HR Compliance Challenges Facing Employers (Part 1)

Tis the season for HR professionals to indulge in stress! With end-of-year reports, 2019 budget meetings, year-end reviews, open enrollment, and all of the other day-to-day operations, it’s a full-on sprint to the end of the year. Employers face important decisions, every day, that affect their business. Many times, it is HR related issues that demand the most time and resources.

Business regulations and laws are constantly evolving, requiring companies to navigate a challenging terrain to maintain compliance. And compliance is pressure point #1 for most HR leaders. It’s an ever-changing target that requires accuracy, in order to prevent major fines and lawsuits.

Here are some of the top compliance challenges facing businesses today:


Diversity and inclusion are essential ingredients to our way of life, including in our businesses. Strict compliance laws have been implemented over the last few years, in an effort to protect people of all ethnicities, gender, and sexual orientation. These regulations have demanded a major shift in HR policies nation wide, requiring processes and systems that assure compliance.


With unemployment rates at a record low, recruiting has shifted from a long-standing skills gap to a talent shortage. With many qualified candidates back to work, finding qualified candidates has become even more difficult.

Additionally, there has been a tremendous shift in how Americans view work, with work-life balance at the forefront of their career decisions. Solid candidates, who know what they want, end up interviewing their prospective companies, as much as the company interviews them.

To better compete for today’s job seekers, employers need to modify existing recruiting strategies and identify HR software to meet the expectations of digitally savvy talent. Employers also must keep new laws in mind, such as New York City’s salary history ban, when updating their recruiting and onboarding procedures.


Is there a hotter topic in business today than sexual harassment? Stories of workplace and sexual harassment have come to the forefront of our society over the last several years. From the entertainment industry to politics, we have been awakened to the challenges that many people have to deal with on a daily basis, all while just trying to do their job. While harassment laws have been in affect for a long time, there has no doubt been major overhauls in how we train on harassment, how it’s reported, and businesses have reviewed their procedures to protect their employees.

We’ve previously written how technology can fight sexual harassment. However, there are many forms of harassment that can come in the form of bullying, black mailing, or leveraging, and it’s important that companies have processes in place to protect the targeted employees, as well as their culture, and long-term business health. Workplace harassment is an issue that all employers, regardless of size, need to take seriously and do all that can be done to prevent it.


The uncertainty surrounding the ACA, health care, and medical benefits has been around for a few years now. This has significant impacts on both employers and employees, especially when it comes to health insurance heading into the new year.

With generally high premiums and low coverage, there are still many in the workforce who refuse insurance if there isn’t enough of an employer contribution that makes a difference in their premium payments.

HR personnel works tirelessly during open enrollment each year, making sure to communicate the mandated notices and information on local, state, and federal levels. According to Sentric’s HR Statistics, 57% of companies say the administrative burden posed by healthcare reform law is their biggest issue.


In addition to federal law changes, employers must stay compliant with all state and local updates. Some new or updated laws and regulations that employers must follow include:

  • Benefits Offered requirements for PT or FT employees
  • Overtime
  • Pay equity
  • Salary history bans
  • Minimum wage changes
  • Paid sick leave and paid parental/family leave

It doesn’t matter whether the regulation is local, state, or federal, failure to meet compliance standards can bring about heavy fines.


The expansion of PTO (paid time off) and leave laws are impacting employers in several states. New York, New Jersey, California, and Rhode Island have all enacted their own state-level laws that require certain rights be given to employees when it comes to paid family leave.

This means employers in these states must meet the requirements at both the federal and state level to remain compliant. Companies in other states should also take notice, as other states will likely follow and create their own paid leave laws in coming years.

FMLA tracking, PTO, and leave issues are some of the most often contested cases in the court system in regards to Human Resources challenges. Making sure you’re compliant at all levels prevents costly fines and lawsuits.

These are just a few of the areas of major compliance challenges for companies today. Stay tuned for the next set in a follow-up blog post.

In the meantime, if you have questions or need help in maintaining compliance, let us show you how to leverage our Xenqu compliance platform to help you Work. Compliant.