Ensure HR Compliance With This Record Keeping Checklist

Written by Amanda Bower    |    Published: June 29, 2022

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“Are we going to get in trouble for that?” Everyone who has ever owned a business or who has been a leader in a startup has probably had this thought before.

Because when you’re growing a company and running full-speed-ahead, you know just how much you’re responsible for, and just how much can potentially go wrong. In fact, it’s your sole responsibility to make sure things are done the right way, which is especially important when it comes to laws and regulations.

That means your company can’t only be focused on treating people nicely, because unfortunately in the eyes of the law, nice just isn’t good enough. Instead, you need to make sure your company is 100% HR compliant. Trust us – it’s worth it.

What’s the best way to do that if you’re taking on many of your human resources tasks on your own? By using a comprehensive HR compliance checklist.

What do we mean by HR compliance?

HR compliance is one of those terms that might not sound all that exciting, but it’s incredibly important to thoroughly understand. HR compliance is when you ensure that your workplace and its practices follow all of the necessary laws and regulations that govern it. That includes at the local, state, and federal levels.

If it sounds like a lot of laws and regulations, that’s because it really is. There are tons of ordinances, acts, laws, and other decrees that dictate the way we work, the way you need to run your company, and what kind of reporting you need to do.

The good news is that you’re likely already HR compliant in many areas and that you’ve probably heard of many of the governing laws and acts that dictate HR compliance.

But what if you miss something?

Unfortunately, HR compliance is non-negotiable. Things can’t slip through the cracks, and your company has to be 100% HR compliant. That’s the case whether you have an entire HR department handling things, or you as the leader are tackling these issues on your own. Think about things like payroll — they can easily slip.

HR compliance doesn’t only protect both you and your business from potential liabilities and infractions. It also ensures that your people are being treated fairly across the board, in every area addressed in the law.

And that’s something we can all definitely get behind.

That’s where an HR compliance checklist comes into play. You can use it to keep track of your own HR compliance. But please note: there are plenty more areas of compliance where this came from. That means this is not necessarily everything you need to be compliant in.

We’ve divided up this checklist into different types of HR compliance to be aware of because you’ll want to be aware of all the different types.

Read on for our ultimate HR compliance checklist.

Calendar-Based Compliance

This is a list of just some of the compliance events that happen on a recurring basis.

Family & Medical Leave Act

The FMLA allows covered employees to “take ​​unpaid, job-protected leave for specified family and medical reasons.” Eligible employees can take 12 workweeks of leave within a 12-month period if qualifying conditions are met.

Fair Labor Standards Act

The Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) establishes many labor laws, such as the minimum wage, but also addresses some recurring compliance events. For example, it establishes the right to overtime pay of “time and a half” when more than 40 hours are worked in a week.

W2 forms

This federal document shows how much employees earned, as well as tax and retirement figures. It’s due annually to both the IRS and your employees.

Record keeping

Governing bodies might require you to keep certain records for a predetermined amount of time. These might include payroll records, timesheets, and contracts.

Additional reporting

There are many other reporting events that happen on predictable deadlines. Depending on factors such as your company size, these might include:

  • EEO-1 reporting: This reporting has to do with the demographic of your workforce.
  • ACA reporting: The Affordable Care Act requires employers to give their employees and the IRS certain forms in order to be compliant.
  • Medicare Part D: Employers must provide all eligible employees with the Medicare Part D notice annually.

Hire-Dependent Compliance

These are compliance events that happen when a new hire starts at your company to add to your HR compliance checklist.

Compliant job postings

Compliance with new hires starts with where you post your job vacancy, and how you post it. You’ll want to understand your governing laws and ordinances to make sure you’re advertising your position in a compliant way. For example, you may be required to post the position publicly for a certain amount of time, even if you want to go with an internal hire.

Proper hiring practices

All employers must ensure that their hiring practices are fully compliant. For example, know your laws about asking for someone’s criminal record, don’t ask about someone’s sexual preference, and be aware of general laws that govern your hiring practices.

Title VII

Understand Title VII thoroughly, as it governs employment practices, and specifically, covers discrimination for religion, sex, race, national origin, or color. This discrimination can happen before the hiring process, when a new hire begins, or after a new hire is integrated with your company.

Age Discrimination in Employment Act

This act specifically forbids age discrimination against people who are 40 or older. That means that during your hiring process, ensure that you are not discriminating against someone based on age. This means that you can’t pass over certain candidates based on age, or give them specific roles or duties that might be seen as age discrimination.

Proper documentation

When you hire a new employee, ensure that you have all the proper documentation ready before they actually start their first shift, such as their I-9 and other tax documents. These documents should be filled out and submitted before they begin working.

Background checks

If you want to run background checks during your hiring process, you’ll need to make sure they’re in line with the Fair Credit Reporting Act. This act requires you to have written authorization before carrying out a background check.

Dynamic Compliance

These are additional compliance events that happen. For example, they may happen when an employee leaves or they may occur on an irregular timeline.


There are guidelines in place that prevent retaliation, and employers from taking action against their employees for perceived retaliation for something like whistleblowing or reporting their employer. Some examples of this might be a termination or a decrease in pay. There needs to be obvious evidence connecting the retaliation to a certain action.

Payroll & PTO

It’s not just enough to have your people on the clock. You need to keep proper track of hours worked, for both onsite and remote employees. You also need to be keeping an excellent track of time off, such as PTO. If you have an accounting team, they can definitely help you with this. If you’re considering hiring an accounting team, don’t forget that outsourced accounting might be the best solution to fit your needs.

Predictive scheduling laws

These laws protect workers from unpredictable schedule changes that can interrupt their personal lives, and impact things like how much notice an employer must give before changing a schedule. This means you might need to give certain notice if you want to change someone’s shift, and you might need to notify them or post it in a certain way.

Who should own human resources when there’s not a proper department?

Here’s the thing: when you’re focused on building your business from the ground up, it’s very likely that an HR department wasn’t all that high on your to-do list in the beginning. And it makes sense, at least at first.

But once you understand just how much HR compliance is necessary, you can see exactly why HR departments exist in the first place.

So the question remains: who should own human resources (and HR compliance) when there’s not an entire department running the show?

That’s where we come into play.

When you’re focused on growing your business and mastering the day-to-day operations, the last thing you want to do is get bogged down with HR tasks (and risk missing things). Our HR services include everything from payroll services to complete employee lifecycle management. Yep, we’ve really got all of your HR and payroll needs, met by incredible professionals.

Did we mention it’s for way less than the cost of in-house services?

Contact us today so we can help you take your business to the next level.

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