12 HR compliance questions

12 HR Compliance Questions Frontline Managers Should Know

As a human resources professional, you’re quite familiar with compliance regulations and practices. But it takes a village to maintain compliance—which is why your managers should be able to answer basic HR compliance questions, too.

After all, failure to grasp key compliance issues leads to fines, lawsuits, and headaches for employers. Last year, the Department of Labor’s Wage and Hour Division (WHD) collected $27 million from employers—and that’s just one aspect of federal compliance.

Your frontline managers interact with employees every day; they need a solid understanding of compliance risk, too. Why not invite them to peruse these core HR compliance questions and ensure they have the foundation they need?  

1. What is the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA)?

Overseen by the WHD, the FLSA is federal employment legislation that sets the standards for minimum wage, overtime pay, payroll recordkeeping, and child labor.

2. What role do managers play in FLSA compliance?

Managers play a crucial role in ensuring that employees are paid accurately, particularly for overtime work if applicable, and are classified correctly.

3What’s the difference between exempt and non-exempt employees?

Exempt employees are not eligible for overtime pay; non-exempt employees are (for hours worked beyond 40 per workweek). Classifications are based on salary levels and job duties are subject to periodic regulatory changes. For example, the DOL is expected to raise the overtime pay exemption threshold soon.  

4. What’s the significance of Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964?

Title VII is federal legislation that prohibits employment discrimination based on race, color, religion, sex or national origin. It’s overseen by the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC), which collected more than $513 million in discrimination settlements last year.

5. How can managers help maintain Title VII compliance?

Managers are obligated to treat employees and applicants fairly and equitably in every aspect of employment. They should lead by example, foster a respectful culture, and vigorously address discrimination and harassment complaints. Find more tips here.

6. What is the Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA)

The FMLA is federal legislation that allows eligible employees to take unpaid, job-protected leave for specified family and medical reasons, including to address a serious health condition, care for a sick family member, bond with a new child, or attend to family military-related needs

7. How can managers help support FMLA compliance?

Acting in tandem with HR, managers should educate employees about their rights and eligibility under the FMLA. They should be able to explain the leave application process and should not discourage employees from applying.    

8. What is the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA)?

The ADA is a federal law that prohibits discrimination against individuals with disabilities. It requires employers to provide reasonable accommodations to qualified individuals—i.e. to make adjustments to the workplace or an individual’s job duties.

9. What role do managers play in ADA compliance?

Managers must ensure that their employment decisions and recommendations are based on each individual’s qualifications and abilities, rather than their disability status. Managers should collaborate with HR and employees themselves to provide reasonable accommodations when indicated.

10. What is the Age Discrimination in Employment Act (ADEA)?

The ADEA is the federal law prohibiting employment discrimination against individuals aged 40 and older. It applies to every aspect of employment: hiring, firing, promotion, and compensation, and is overseen by the EEOC.

11. What role do managers play in ADEA compliance?

Managers should ensure that their employment decisions are based on non-discriminatory factors such as skills and performance—not age. They should promote an inclusive

Culture, practice anti-ageism, and quickly address complaints of age discrimination.

 12. How can managers master compliance best practices?

The first step for managers is to recognize the importance of compliance—and to make an effort to learn the applicable labor laws and how they apply to their jobs. Ideally, maintaining labor compliance is a group effort made by HR, leadership, managers, and workers.

In addition, managers should:

  • Become very familiar with company compliance-related policies and processes
  • Take advantage of employer-sponsored compliance training
  • Work with HR to address specific compliance challenges as they occur
  • Make an effort to stay abreast of regulatory changes  
  • Know how to use the compliance tools in their employer’s HR software

At Namely, we offer employers a broad menu of built-in compliance tools and safeguards. The better HR professionals and frontline managers understand them, the more compliant their organizations can be. Learn more about them here.

At Namely, we build our webinar program around having the most relevant and buzz-worthy HR conversations. What topics would you like to see us cover in our webinars next year? 

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