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Workplace Compliance Checklist for Small and Medium-Size Employers

Compliant ATS Software

Employment Law Guide for Small and Medium-Size Employers

Workplace compliance is in a constant state of flux. Just look to the recent passing of the new overtime rule for proof of this. As an employer, you must always be aware of which laws apply to your business and how they affect you. Unfortunately, this can be incredibly challenging especially as your organization grows and new laws and regulations enter into the mix. We know that HR and recruiting professionals already have enough on their plates with talent management. To relieve you from the burden of searching through government databases and PDFs to stay up to date on the latest workplace laws and regulations, we have taken the time to put together a compliance checklist for small and medium sized employers.

Baseline Employment Laws That Apply to All Employers Regardless of Size

For Recruiters

Ban the Box Legislation

Such legislation prohibits employers from inquiring about a job candidate’s criminal history on a job application. Instead, they must wait until the final phase of the interview process. “Ban the Box” laws vary amongst local and state jurisdictions so you must check to see if you fall under such legislation. This April, President Obama signed a memorandum containing a rule to “Ban the Box” for federal agencies.

Employee Polygraph Protection Act (EPPA)

This act prohibits employers from using lie detectors on both job applicants and current employees (exceptions are made for some employers such as security service firms)

Equal Pay Act (EPA)

This act addresses sex discrimination in the workforce. Under the EPA, employers must pay male and female employees who fulfill “substantially equal” roles, equal levels of pay.

Fair and Accurate Credit Transactions Act (FACT)

This act requires that employers must protect consumer credit information that is being disposed of. For example, when deciding whether to hire a job applicant, you may request a credit reports as part of their background check. This information is protected under FACT.

Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA)

Establishes guidelines for overtime pay, minimum wage, timekeeping, recordkeeping and child labor.

Immigration Reform & Control Act (IRCA)

Defines which workers are legal to hire and provides guidelines to verify the legality of workers. The IRCA also prohibits discrimination based on country of origin or status of citizenship. I-9 forms are used to help uphold the IRCA.

Uniform Guidelines for Employment Selection Procedures

Outlines uniform standards for employers to follow when going through their candidate selection process. These standards ensure that employers do not make discriminatory employment decisions based on race, color, religion, sex or national origin.

For HR

Consumer Credit Protection Act, Title III (CCPA)

Protects employees from termination related to wage garnishment.

Employment Retirement Income Security Act (ERISA)

Sets minimum standards for retirement and health benefit plans. ERISA does not require the establishment of a benefit plan, only that if such a plan is provided, it meets minimum criteria.

Federal Income Tax Withholding

Establishes that employers must withhold a set amount of employee wages for the federal government.

Federal Insurance Contribution Act (FICA)

Stipulates that employers must withhold a set amount from employee wages for Medicare and Social Security.

Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA)

Defines privacy and security rules for how healthcare information is shared. It also limits the amount of information that employers can receive from healthcare providers regarding individually identifiable health information.

National Labor Relations Act (NLRA)

Protects the rights of employees to join or organize trade unions, engage in collective bargaining and take collective actions such as strike.

Sarbanes-Oxley Act (SOX)

SOX prohibits employers from retaliating against whistleblowers and also establishes the 401 (k) blackout period notice requirement.

Uniformed Services Employment & Reemployment Rights Act (USERRA)

Protects the reemployment rights of servicemembers when returning from a period of service.

Under 50 Employees

For Recruiters

American with Disabilities Act (ADA) (15+ Employees)

“The Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) prohibits discrimination against people with disabilities in employment, transportation, public accommodation, communications, and governmental activities. The ADA also establishes requirements for telecommunications relay services.” – DOL

Genetic Information Nondiscrimination Act (GINA) (15+ Employees)

GINA prohibits employers from discriminating based on genetic information.

Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 (15+ Employees)

Prohibits employers from discriminating on the basis of race race, color, sex, or national origin.

Age Discrimination in Employment Act (ADEA) (20+ Employees)

Prohibits discrimination against people over the age of 40.

For HR

Occupational Safety and Health Act (OSHA) (11+ Employees)

OSHA sets standards to ensure that employers are providing safe and healthful workplaces. “OSHA standards may require that employers adopt certain practices, means, methods, or processes reasonably necessary and appropriate to protect workers on the job. Employers must become familiar with the standards applicable to their establishments and eliminate hazards.” – DOL

Consolidated Omnibus Budget Reconciliation Act (COBRA) (20+ Employees)

Stipulates that employees who have lost their rights to health benefits still have the option to continue group health benefits in some instances. (Fact Sheet)

Employers with 50 – 100 Employees

For Recruiters

Affirmative Action Program (AAP)

Employers must create a program to promote the advancement of minorities, women, people with disabilities, and covered veterans.

For HR

Affordable Care Act (ACA)

Companies over 50 employees (Applicable Large Employees or ALEs) need to offer affordable health care options as dictated by this act and keep records of doing so.

Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA)

“The FMLA entitles eligible employees of covered employers to take unpaid, job-protected leave for specified family and medical reasons with continuation of group health insurance coverage under the same terms and conditions as if the employee had not taken leave.” – DOL

Over 100 Employees

For Recruiters

EEO-1 Survey Filing (Title VII, Civil Rights Act of 1964)

“The EEO-1 Report is a compliance survey mandated by federal statute and regulations. The survey requires company employment data to be categorized by race/ethnicity, gender and job category.” – DOL (Who Must File)

For HR

Worker Adjustment Retraining Notification Act (WARN)

Employers that fall under this act must precede a period of significant layoffs with 60 days advanced notice.

Laws for Federal Employers

For Recruiters

For HR


Join Newton for Our Recruitment Compliance Bootcamp!

Is workplace compliance an area that you have been meaning to catch up on? If so, then you are in luck! Tuesday, June 14th, we will be hosting our monthly Recruiting Bootcamp and the topic will be recruitment compliance. Follow the link below and join us to learn how an ATS can help you comply with EEO and OFCCP recruitment regulations.

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About Andy Chan