Reduce Your Organizational Compliance Risk

by | Jan 25, 2016 | Blog, Thought

Reduce Your Organizational Compliance Risk

Workforce Management Trends, Part 3

Last month, we kicked off a three-part series on workforce management trends by focusing on organizational efficiency and employee satisfaction. Today we address how to reduce your organizational compliance risk. To learn more about all of these trends, be sure to register for this Thursday’s webinar, Emerging Workforce Management Trends and Best Practices: Highlights from the Annual Trend Survey.

With the number of wage and hour lawsuits up nearly 8% over last year, it’s no surprise that participants in the 2015-2016 Workforce Management Trend Survey ranked litigation and fines as their top two compliance concerns1. According to the U.S. Department of Labor, which estimates that nearly three-quarters of the nation’s employers are not compliant with the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA), they may have reason to worry2.  Yet, what’s even more concerning is that FLSA represents just a portion of your full labor law compliance risk. Organizations must also comply with the Family Medical Leave Act (FMLA)—which has become more difficult to manage in the last year, according to 27% of survey participants from large organizations—in addition to hundreds of local regulations.

In fact, here are some examples of new, local laws that have gone into effect over the last year:

  • In both California and Massachusetts, changes to family leave regulations and laws kicked in.
  • Nebraska amended its Fair Employment Practices Act to allow more generous accommodations for pregnant women.
  • New sick leave laws went into effect in many locations including California, Massachusetts, Oregon, and the city of Philadelphia.
  • And Nova Scotia expanded its Compassionate Care Leave from 8 weeks to 28 weeks; they also expanded bereavement leave eligibility to allow more time off during periods of bereavement.

Staying on top of it all can be exhausting, especially for organizations operating in multiple locations. For many, the work of researching local laws, tracking the dates when each new regulation takes effect, and actually demonstrating full compliance has become increasingly time consuming—especially when it comes to local wage and hour laws and leave regulations, which may provide more generous protections than the FLSA or FMLA.

So this year, for the first time, we also asked participants how they enforce new requirements when a wage and hour law changes. Only 25% note that their vendor automatically handles the change for them. The rest have to either introduce a new manual process, modify a software product or outsourcing agreement, or deal with the change in another way. Yet, relying on homegrown workarounds makes it extremely difficult for your organization to be completely confident that the issue is being addressed in a way that not only fully complies with the law but also provides an audit trail to demonstrate compliance when needed.

Truly reducing your organization’s compliance risk requires a more sophisticated, proactive solution. At WorkForce Software, our proven approach to labor compliance includes a unique regulatory update service that gives our clients peace of mind and simplifies compliance with hundreds of national and local regulations.

For more on the latest workforce management trends and to find out how your organization’s approach compares, register for our upcoming webinar, Emerging Workforce Management Trends and Best Practices: Highlights from the Annual Trend Survey.

1 Staffing Industry Analysts. “Federal Wage and Hour Lawsuits Up 8% to Record High, Firm Finds.” Nov. 24, 2015. (

2 Dickinson, K. Just How Costly is FLSA Noncompliance? Integrated Design Inc. 2014.

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