HR Rules You Need to Know

December 22, 2014

There’s more to Human Resources (HR) than just managing employees and creating a handbook. There are many rules and regulations that you need to follow in order to remain compliant with federal laws. As such, here are six HR rules that you’ll want to know for your small business.

Rule #1: Know and Understand Policiespeople-309068_640

Companies write policies to keep things in check. If it’s been a while since you took a peek at the employee handbook and company policies, you may want to. It’s important to understand policies on time off, tardiness, holidays, etc. You need to be the go-to person for this basic information, along with more detailed information about your company.

See also: Small Business HR Basics

Rule #2: Ensure Employees Have 1-9 Documentation

It is illegal to hire an individual who is illegally residing in the country. As such, each individual’s identity and employment eligibility must be verified in order to be hired. This is done by completing an I-9 form that is provided by the United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS).

Rule #3: Keep Information Personal

Your employees are required to provide very personal information about themselves in order to be employed (social security number, driver’s license number, etc.). So it is up to you to keep this information absolutely discrete and protected - be sure to follow this HR rule closely.  Furthermore, never disclose an employee’s personal problems with anyone.

Rule #4: Know What Questions are Okay to Ask

Hiring is an exciting part of your company, and if you take part in it, be sure you understand what questions to ask. For instance, did you know that you cannot ask questions that reveal a person's race, gender, religion, marital status, disabilities, ethnic background, country of origin, or age? Have your questions planned out to ensure you don’t accidentally venture into one of the questions that are illegal to ask.

Rule #5: Employees Have Rights

Even if your small business doesn’t have Union employees, all employees have certain rights under federal laws. Know what these rights are so that you don’t violate them. They can be found on the Department of Labor website and are beneficial to understand.

Rule #6: Health Benefits Must be Compliant

Health benefits are a great thing to offer employees--they allow you to recruit and retain employees. However, there are certain rules you must follow to be compliant in your health benefit offerings. For example, if your small business offers premium reimbursement for your employee’s health insurance, there are specific rules that must be followed to be compliant. If you offer group health insurance to your company, you can also review the rules to ensure that everything is in check.  

What HR rules would you add to our list? Comment below and let us know.  

Use health care benefits to reduce turnover
Improve employee retention at a cost your business can set.
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