Organizations aren’t free to operate however they please. Stringent federal government, state, and local regulations govern the workplace of organizations, overseeing everything from equality to health and safety. These company policies required by law aren’t optional – they’re critical.
Failure to comply with legislation can lead to severe penalties and legal repercussions. By strictly following the letter of the relevant laws, organizations avoid these repercussions, safeguarding their success.
In this guide, we cover the main company policies required by law, detailing what they are and why they matter.
10 Company Policies Required By Law
- Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA)
- Occupational Safety and Health Act (OSHA)
- Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA)
- Equal Employment Opportunity (EEO)
- Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA)
- Title VII of the Civil Rights Act
- Age Discrimination in Employment Act (ADEA)
- National Labor Relations Act (NLRA)
- Immigration Reform and Control Act (IRCA)
- Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA)
1. Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA)
The Fair Labor Standards Act establishes several key policies with which companies are legally bound to comply. These affect all forms of business. Ensure you have the following policies:
- Minimum Wage: Establish policies that comply with the federal minimum wage requirements.
- Overtime: Implement rules regarding the payment of overtime to eligible employees.
- Recordkeeping: Keep accurate records of employees’ time worked and wages paid.
- Child Labor: Policies must respect the limitations on the hours and types of work minors can perform.
2. Occupational Safety and Health Act (OSHA)
The Occupational Safety and Health Act is a major piece of legislation governing health and safety in the workplace. As part of the act, employees are required to develop and implement policies for a safe work environment, including fire safety policies, injury policies, and much more.
Furthermore, employers should inform and train employees about workplace hazards and safety protocols. This training should take place when an individual joins a company and routinely thereafter. Any changes that affect the workplace’s safety should also be communicated to the workforce.
Last, companies must maintain records of workplace injuries and illnesses and report severe incidents.
3. Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA)
Under the Family and Medical Leave Act, individuals have the right to leave entitlements. Creating a policy outlining these entitlements is critical – alongside procedures for providing notice of the need for leave and rules ensuring an employee’s job is protected during FMLA leave.
4. Equal Employment Opportunity (EEO)
Governed by the US Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, this policy applies explicitly to workplace harassment and discrimination. In particular, policies governed by this legislation ensure everyone is treated fairly during an employment decision.
Common times when EEO is triggered include hiring, promotion, and compensation. The legislation prohibits discrimination based on race, gender, age, religion, and disability.
In simple terms, it’s about offering the “same chances” at employment regardless of their immutable characteristics.
5. Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA)
Similar to EEO, the Americans with Disabilities Act works to support the rights of disabled people at work. Under the legislation, employers are required to establish policies to provide reasonable accommodations for qualified individuals with disabilities.
Moreover, although disability is already covered in EEO, the ADA reinforces the prohibition of discrimination against people with disabilities in all areas of employment.
6. Title VII of the Civil Rights Act
Perhaps one of the more well-known pieces of workplace legislation, Title VII of the Civil Rights Act, states that everyone, regardless of race, color, religion, sex, or national origin, must have an equal right to opportunities.
Since 1964, it has enshrined equality in the workplace. However, it also prevents harassment – in particular sexual harassment – and details how companies should have set procedures for handling complaints. Usually, these procedures and complaints are managed by the Human Resources (HR) department.
7. Age Discrimination in Employment Act (ADEA)
Like the three preceding acts, the Age Discrimination in Employment Act also outlines a protected characteristic. In this case, age. The act prohibits any employee from discriminating against a person 40 years or older. That includes refusing compensation and opportunities, reducing the wage rate, or segregating employees.
Most companies get by without a specific policy in place – or rather include this legislation as part of their overall hiring and compensation policies.
8. National Labor Relations Act (NLRA)
More contentious than other entries, the National Labor Relations Act of 1935 is among the oldest pieces of legislation on the list. It protects workplace democracy by providing employees in the private sector a fundamental right to better their work conditions and designate a representative without fear of retaliation.
The act covers individuals joining labor unions or practicing collective bargaining. It also protects the rights of employees to engage in “protected concerted activities” to address or improve working conditions.
9. Immigration Reform and Control Act (IRCA)
Usually covered in hiring policies, the Immigration Reform and Control Act places a legal requirement on employers to complete Form I-9 for each individual they hire. That form covers an employee’s eligibility to work within the United States.
However, the act also details and reiterates that policies must not discriminate against individuals based on national origin or citizenship status.
10. Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA)
Finally, the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act covers the privacy and security of employee health information. Although it was enacted before widespread computer usage, it’s since become a primary data law within the US.
It requires companies to have policies securing employee health data, including assigning a data safety officer. In addition, a policy is required to provide notice to employees about privacy practices relating to their health information.
Keep Your Organization’s Policies Organized With ComplianceBridge
Navigating the numerous laws and regulations governing the workplace environment isn’t easy. Company policies required by law aren’t just internal guidelines; they’re legal mandates designed to uphold fairness, safety, and equity within the workplace. Ready to make policy headaches a thing of the past? ComplianceBridge stands out as an essential tool for ensuring that your organization’s policies remain aligned with legal mandates.
ComplianceBridge simplifies the process of creating, updating, and distributing policies across the organization with features such as customizable templates and automated workflows, which are crucial for staying compliant with ever-changing laws. With ComplianceBridge’s centralized policy library, we help ensure that your employees can easily access the latest policies, while automated alerts and notifications keep everyone informed about updates or new requirements.
Don’t let regulations bog you down. Request a demo today to learn how we can streamline your policy management processes.