Reporting, Regulations & Requirements: Essential Reminders for Your HR Team (Did You Know?)

business_owners_ceo_and_cooIt’s that back-to-school time of year and for many of us, school always meant the Three R’s, which stood for “Readin’, Ritin’ and ‘Rithmetic”. However, if you’re managing human resources for a company then the Three R’s might actually stand for “Reporting, Regulations and Requirements” instead.

Why? Well, for one thing, it’s time to make sure you’re on top of a number of deadlines and compliance priorities essential to the smooth running of your HR operations. Here are some key reminders you and your team should work on as the fall unfolds:

Don’t Forget Your EIR for the EEOC

The end of this month – September 30th – is the filing deadline for the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) annual Employer Information Report, also known as the EEO-1. The EEO-1 is a compliance survey report that is required under mandate by federal law, and requires companies to report on employment data by race or ethnicity, gender and job category.

The EEO-1 is required for all companies that are subject to Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, as amended, with 100 or more employees and those subject to the same law who are under 100 employees but operate as a division or affiliate of another company that has 100 or more employees. Also required to submit the report are federal government prime contractors or first-tier subcontractors who are subject to Executive Order 11246, as amended, with 50 or more employees and a prime contract or first-tier subcontract with a value of $50,000 or more.

There are two ways to file the EEO-1. One is via a paper report, and the other is through the EEOC’s Online Filing System or via electronically transmitted data file. The EEOC strongly encourages online filing, and offers more details on the filing process here:

EEO-1: How to File [U.S. EEOC]
http://www.eeoc.gov/employers/eeo1survey/howtofile.cfm

Address New Veteran and Disabled Requirements in Your AAP

If your organization does business with the federal government or is otherwise implementing an Affirmative Action Plan (AAP) due to affirmative action obligations as defined by EEOC, then be aware that there are significant new requirements impacting your efforts to recruit and retain veterans and disabled persons.

The Office of Federal Contract Compliance Programs (OFCCP) issued two new rules in late 2013 that took effect as of March 2014. The new rules change and widen the affirmative action requirements for covered veterans and disabled persons. These changes primarily impact federal contractors with contracts or subcontracts with a value of greater than $100,000 and/or those with 50 or more employees, although they may also impact companies who provide products or services that are ultimately deployed through federal contracts (such as a manufacturer whose products are used in defense systems, for example).

In the past, applicable employers were required by provisions in the Vietnam Era Veterans Readjustment Assistance Act of 1974 (VEVRAA) and Section 503 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973 to do two key things: (a) Pursue ‘good-faith’ efforts to recruit and retain covered veterans and persons with disabilities, and (b) encourage them to self-identify as such. Now, a third requirement is added, specifically that employers establish targets for hiring these individuals, collect and retain data pertaining to their efforts to reach those targets, and provide the data for review, analysis and documentation purposes.

The new requirements are in effect today, but for most companies the reporting component becomes significant on the date when their next Affirmative Action Plan (AAP) must be filed, which varies depending upon the employer.

Don’t Be Surprised By Requests from the BLS

Even when you don’t have a requirement that says your company must comply with a law or file a form, the federal Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) may still send you a survey. Operating within the U.S. Department of Labor, the BLS is the principle data collection agency for information on the workforce in the United States, and has a major role to play in economic forecasting and labor policy decisions.

In order to provide that information, it collects data from employers. Many of the BLS surveys are designed to compile information from a random sample, which means that – much like jury duty – you just never know when you’re going to get a letter in the mail asking you to participate in the Occupational Employment Statistics (OES) Survey or the Survey of Occupational Injuries and Illnesses.

Generally speaking, the request for your participation is not really a request – it’s a cheerful and nicely-worded requirement. The OES is technically voluntary, although in many states employer participation is mandated by state law and is subject to penalties. The Survey of Occupational Injuries and Illnesses, which is managed by BLS in partnership with the Occupational Safety & Health Administration (OSHA) is indeed always required under federal law.

Remember, if cleanliness is next to godliness, then regular, complete and accurate reports are the keys to compliance heaven. Take time this fall to organize and properly structure your internal data collecting and reporting procedures to ensure that your human resources program is in compliance and up-to-date on all fronts.

For more information on how your business can benefit from leaving the gaps, gremlins and gripes of “Accidental HR” behind, contact HR Resolutions today for a free initial consultation to discuss how on-site, on-call and as-needed HR outsourcing can work cost-effectively in your business, or call us at 717-652-5187.

Article Sources:

EEO-1 Survey [EEOC]
http://www.eeoc.gov/employers/eeo1survey/

EEO-1 Survey: Who Must File [EEOC]
http://www.eeoc.gov/employers/eeo1survey/whomustfile.cfm

Employer Information Report (EEO-1): What You Need to Know
http://alltrustisallin.com/employer-information-report-eeo-1-need-know/

Unpacking OFCCP’s Final Rules for Veterans and Individuals with Disabilities
http://www.cooley.com/unpacking-OFCCPs-final-rules-for-veterans-and-individuals-with-disabilities

Major Changes to Affirmative Action Requirements Effective March 24, 2014
http://www.employerlawreport.com/2013/10/articles/eeo/major-changes-to-affirmative-action-requirements-effective-march-24-2014/

Occupational Employment Statistics (OES) Survey [USDOL]
http://www.bls.gov/respondents/oes/home.htm

Survey of Occupational Injuries and Illnesses (SOII) [USDOL]
http://www.bls.gov/respondents/iif/home.htm

Reporting Fatality, Injury and Illness Information to the Government [OSHA]
https://www.osha.gov/pls/oshaweb/owadisp.show_document?p_table=STANDARDS&p_id=12786

Image Credit: USACEHQ (Flickr @ Creative Commons)

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