Today, there is less room for interpretation of the law, and companies must operate within the restrictions of a strictly regulated employee environment. This includes a large amount of administration-enforced laws and regulations such as ERISA, COBRA, EEO, OSHA, ADA, FMLA, and FLWA/FLSA, not to mention age discrimination, sexual harassment and workers ’ compensation. (Most employers with at least 15 employees are covered by EEOC). What laws have posed a struggle for corporations to comply with?
Companies often spend a great deal of time ensuring compliance with the EEOC or Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, which is in charge of enforcing federal laws that make it illegal to discriminate against a job applicant or an employee because of the person's race, color, religion, sex, national origin, age (40 or older), disability or genetic information. The laws apply to all working conditions regarding hiring, firing, promotions, wages, benefits, and even training. If a corporation is not compliant with the EEOC, investigations will occur and harsh penalties may arise as well.
Despite the significance of evolving regulations, many organizations are still struggling with manual EEO data entry and time-consuming, inefficient report generation. Companies must not neglect ,even though being compliant is extremely time consuming. For example, every applicant interviewed must be on file regardless of if the applicant is hired; and the activity must be recorded and kept on file for a specific period of time. What does this mean for HR? More time spent in the recruitment and candidate management processes and in most cases, more manual data entry.
I think there is an easier way to comply with federal regulations! Technology has advanced to simplify this compliance process, i.e. applicant tracking systems, web-based databases. These types of web-based software usually come equipped with easy-to-use tools that enable users to collect, track, and report upon EEO data in compliance with federal regulations. These systems are automated; that is correct, I said automated, which means a tremendous amount of time saved regarding manual data entry and documentation management. (Not to mention less paper!) The collection and storage of all EEO information can now be stored automatically in a centralized location. Companies are able to stress less about compliance issues with an automated system as opposed to manual data management.
Companies are conducting their own audits yearly, or even mini- audits approximately every six months, to ensure they are 100 percent compliant. Moreover, communication regarding internal and external reporting requirements is critical. How is a company able to comply if they are unfamiliar with the requirements? Not only is understanding the requirements vital, but establishing a set of company guidelines or standards is also very important. Many companies are already doing this. By setting these guidelines, employees are less likely to deviate from the requirements, and thus, companies are more likely to successfully follow federal and state mandates. Taking the right preparatory steps can make compliance a much easier process.
Along with saving corporations from lengthy investigations, and severe penalties or fines, automation can provide secure measurements such as maintaining an EEO Administrator login to control who has access to sensitive information. As a side note…automation also serves another purpose. It tends to foster more time-saving and efficient processes such as: pre-screening candidates with "knockout" questions, separating those who meet basic qualifications from those who do not, and storing candidate source search strings.
By automating all EEO regulations and requirements; I think it is possible for the issue of compliance to be as easy as pie - of course with the proper preparation and more importantly, the right solution!