If you are in HR, you’re no stranger to compliance management, forms, and deadlines—though keeping them all in order may be a different story. We want to be sure you are equipped with the right information to keep everything on track throughout the year, from ACA to FLSA.

That is why we put together the HR compliance calendar, to bring you an important list of dates and deadlines you need to know to keep your workplace on track.

In this month’s compliance calendar, you will find the key topics to keep your Company up-to-date including employee awareness and required or recommended training.

*NEW: Monthly Compliance Calendar Consultations – As a client of Guardian HR you already know how valuable it is to receive assistance from your dedicated consultant but did you know you also have a compliance consultant available to you as well.  We will review your overall HR practices and procedures and set you up on a 12-month compliance agenda where you will have monthly meetings with your compliance consultant who will help you implement our recommendations. Ask your Dedicated Consultant to get you started with your Compliance Consultant today.  There’s no additional cost.
  • Not applicable to HUB100 or GHR Hotline Clients

Holidays

  • Labor Day – First Monday in September

Important Dates and Deadlines for this Month

  • N/A

Topics to Discuss and/or Review

1.Discuss possible flexible work options for your organization. For clients with access to the Forms Library, references to this section can be found in the folder “Telecommute.” For clients with access to the Forms Library, references to this section can be found in the folder “Telecommute” see the document, “Flexible Working” Flexible working options include:

  • Hybrid Work – This could be a working arrangement where some staff will work on-site, some will work off-site either telecommuting or remote working, and others may choose to work on-site on some days and off-site on others, based on Company policy, Company availability, and the employee’s personal preferences.
  • Working from home (or telecommuting) – Having arrangements for employees to work outside of the Company’s offices or physical workspace. Usually, these agreements involve working from home.
  • Remote Work – The terms remote work and telecommuting are often used interchangeably, and there are no strict definitions separating the two concepts. However, remote work can differ from telecommuting in terms of whether physical attendance is ever required and whether employees need to live in close proximity to the workplace.
  • Part-time work – Generally part-time work is known as employment that provides fewer weekly hours than full-time. The Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) does not define full-time employment or part-time employment. This is a matter generally to be determined by the employer – keeping in mind certain laws that do define part-time employees, like the Affordable Care Act (ACA). Whether an employee is considered full-time or part-time does not change the application of the FLSA. A typical definition of part-time work is an employee regularly scheduled to work fewer than an average of 30 hours per week for a period of indefinite duration. For employers, part-time positions can be useful, allowing them to employ people to carry out work that will not take up sufficient time to justify a full-time position. For employees, part-time work can often be desirable, allowing them to earn money alongside other responsibilities, such as studying or raising children.
  • Job-sharing – A work arrangement, where two people are employed on a part-time basis, combining work efforts to carry out the work that would otherwise be done by one full-time employee.
  • Flex-time – Flexible working arrangements where employees may choose when their working day begins and ends, as long as they work a certain number of hours – usually specified in an agreement or policy.
    • Example: Rather than working from 8 am to 4 pm each day, an employee may opt to work from 10 am to 6 pm on one day, and from 9 am to 5 pm on another. The Company may also offer an arrangement where workers extend their hours on one day to reduce their hours on another, as long as their weekly or monthly hours are met – keeping in mind any overtime provisions that may apply.
  • Compressed working hours or Alternative Workweeks – A condensed workweek, also known as a compressed workweek, is an arrangement where the standard full-time working hours are still worked, but they are condensed down into fewer days than normal. Most often, this will result in a four-day working week rather than a five-day working week, although the exact arrangement may vary.
    •  Something to keep in mind, implementing a condensed or Alternative workweek may not be as simple as changing an employee’s schedule. The Company needs to be aware of overtime implications in their State/locality and if any additional requirements may be at hand. For example, California has specific adoption requirements for Alternative Workweeks that include a specific proposal, pre-election meetings, a secret ballot vote, and filing with the DLSE.
  • Shift Work – An arrangement where the working day is divided into different shifts, which are then assigned to employees, meaning different groups of workers will be carrying out their duties at different times of the day (example: day and night shifts). This arrangement is most common for employers who operate 24-hours a day, seven days a week.

 

2. Prepare positions to work from home. For clients with access to the Forms Library, sample policies are available in reference to this section can be found in the folder “Telecommute”.

  • Determine which positions are conducive to working from home.
  • Create a list of the types of equipment employee need to work remotely and ensure they have access to equipment such as laptops, desktop computers, monitors, phones, printers, chargers and office supplies.
    • Determine what software or applications employees must have while working from home.
    • Establish if employees may use their own devices for business purposes.
    • Verify if additional equipment must be purchased and identify the cost and timeline necessary.
  • Manage security risks.
    • Install appropriate security/privacy settings for employee equipment or ask employees to submit their personal equipment for install or appropriate security/privacy settings.
    • Address is employees may use public Wi-Fi.
    • Reiterate confidentiality and social media policies with employees.
  • Create a communication tree.
    • Ensure employees are aware of the Company’s organizational chart and have contact information for those in their team or department.
    • Create a list of communication tools employees may use. For example, outlook, Gmail, Company intranet, chat tools like slack, Teams, zoom, etc.
    • Determine who employees go to for troubleshooting equipment, software, or application issues.
    • Specify how employees report internet problems. For example, how/when employee report internet outages and at what point of time should they stop working.
    • Determine how employees will receive required employment law posters or notices.
  • Ensure wage/hour issues are in compliance.
    • Identify compensable working time.
    • Implement or reiterate timekeeping procedures.
    • Address unauthorized off-the-clock work, unauthorized reported work, and managing overtime pay requirements.
    • Ensure all required breaks policies are being followed.
  • Address potential safety concerns.
    • Remind employees that the workspace should be maintained in a safe condition, free from hazards and to report any injury sustained while telecommuting immediately to the Company’s designated representative (the employee’s immediate supervisor, HR, etc.).
    • Address home office ergonomic standards and provide ergonomic training to employees.
  • Address employee conduct while teleworking.
    • Remind employees they are still subject to Company rules and policies.
    • Determine employees schedule and required working hours and when they are expected to be available and communicative.
    • Advise if workspace is to be quiet and as distraction-free.
    • Discuss attendance to training programs, special projects or meetings or when in-office attendance is required.

 

3. Determine if the Company is responsible for equipment or business expense while employees work remotely. For clients with access to the Forms Library, sample policies are available in reference to this section can be found in the folder “Telecommute”.

  • Per Federal law, an employer must reimburse for work-related expenses when the business expenses drop an employee’s pay below minimum wage. Keep in mind, State law may require an employer to reimburse employees for necessary business expenses. Please check when drafting policies to address when and what the Company may be obligated to reimburse for employees working from home.
  • Common expenses that may be covered by state law reimbursement requirements for remote work include:
    • office equipment, like chairs and desks;
    • cell phone use for business purposes;
    • printing equipment, including the printer, paper, and ink;
    • the costs of online subscriptions, like a paid Zoom account;
    • home internet bills; and
    • or other services or equipment necessary for the employee’s job.

 

4. Develop and implement policies and or employee agreements for remote work, telecommuting, flex work, etc. for your organization. For clients with access to the Forms Library, sample policies are available in reference to this section can be found in the folder “Telecommute”. In addition, if you are a Guardian HR client with a dedicated HR Manager, please ask how we may assist you in the creation of said policies.

Tips

More information in reference to the topics discussed in this month’s compliance calendar can be found in our comprehensive online Forms Library, which is available to members 24/7.

Note: This calendar is designed to help our clients review the key human resources-related reporting and notice requirements that may apply to their organizations. Please note that this list is for general reference purposes only and is not all-inclusive. Many of the compliance requirements are complex ERISA or other statutory legal filings and responsibilities may vary depending on your company’s plans. We encourage you to consult with your insurance brokers, plan administrators, and/or your ERISA and tax advisors for further guidance.

For the most current information on certain tax-related or benefit-related documents or forms provided by the IRS, or other sources, please check with a tax professional, benefit professional, and/or the correlating websites (i.e. irs.gov/LatestForms, etc.).