The new year is an opportune time to reflect on your company’s operations during the past year and start planning for the months ahead. This process should especially include a review of your company’s current human resources procedures in order to avoid non-compliance or misconduct lawsuits and penalties.
Jaime Lizotte, HR solutions manager at ComplyRight Inc., recently wrote an article for SCORE suggesting three simple ways business owners can self-audit to ensure their companies are following HR best practices and aligning with the latest employment laws.
- Update your labor law posters
Each year, about 75 mandatory state poster changes occur and many of the changes happen from October into the new year. Government agencies will not notify businesses when these changes occur and there is not just one source to buy all government posters. However, postertracker.com provides a free posting audit and complyright.com sells a selection of affordable government posters.
- File your 1099 tax forms
If you worked in 2017 with independent contractors such as freelancers or consultants, you are required to file a 1099-MISC tax form for any payment of more than $600 in the calendar year. The deadline for filing this form is Jan. 31, 2018. Company employees have W-2 forms, which indicate automatic tax deductions, but contractors get their full pay without deductions and are responsible for paying taxes directly to the government. Due to the increasing usage of independent contractors, several government agencies have cracked down on ensuring proper classification of these workers. Misclassifying independent contractors can result in penalties or major fines. In addition to filing 1099s, know the criteria for employee classification.
- Hold harassment prevention training
As sexual harassment allegations become more common in the workplace, holding a training session to prevent all forms of harassment is critical. The training should help employees understand the different types of harassment, providing information in a relatable and interactive way. The training should also teach employees that harassment at your business is not tolerated. Managers and supervisors should receive additional or separate training in preventing and responding to harassment. Be sure to document each training session and include a record of employee attendance. This documentation will guide decisions about future training and will also protect your company if a legal dispute arises.