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HR is a Cluster of laws, regulations and requirements. It's easy to get twisted up and dumped into a black hole of nothing but time and money. But for most small businesses (fewer than 50 employees) there are three basic requirements for a sensible, practical HR program.
These Basic Requirements Are:
- Creation and maintenance of three specific employee files;
- Publication of an employee handbook with certain policies;
- Posting of required state and federal notices.
Without any question, there is a lot more to HR than the three items listed above. But with regards to compliance with HR rules and regulations, this is where owners of a small business need to start.
Like a Mother & her Kid.... We always watch over our clients.
There are three separate employee files that need to be a part of every HR program. They consist of the following:
- I-9 File: Form I-9 Employment Eligibility Verification Completed Form. The law requires that you have a completed I-9 on file for each of your employees. These forms must be available for inspection by authorized U.S. Government officials. It's best to keep all I-9s in a single file and update all employee's I-9 Forms at the beginning of every year.
- Employee File: You should create and maintain a separate file for each of your employees. This file is where you keep most of the information you collect on employees, such as: Resumes and employment applications, offer letters, employment agreements or contracts, payroll information, basic employment data including W-4s, information about participation in benefit programs, employee signature page for handbook, awards, recognition or disciplinary documents, performance evaluations, termination documentation and exit interview information, etc. It's best to assume all this information is confidential, so keep these files in a secure location. Only people with a compelling business reason should have access to these files.
- Employee Medical File: You should create and maintain a separate medical file for each of your employees. This file is where you keep any information related to health or medical issues, such as: applications for insurance, notes from a doctor excusing a person from work, medical examination information, information related to disability, etc.
IMPORTANT NOTE: Files related to an employee's health or medical information must be kept in a separate and secure file.Again, the employee medical file must be separate from the employee file. Keep this file secured in a locked cabinet. For small businesses, there is usually no reason for anyone (other than the owner) to have access to this file.
Employee Handbook with Company Policies
An employee handbook is the centerpiece of an effective HR program. The employee handbook explains your company's policies and procedures, and it communicates your expectations to your employees. A good handbook also helps to protect your company in the event of a dispute.
As with many issues surrounding HR, the policies you include in your handbook need to follow each State's laws.
IMPORTANT NOTE: Creating your employee handbook is a crucial first step. But it's also critical that your employees read the handbook and agree to your policies as a condition of their employment. The best practice is to ask employees to acknowledge their acceptance and to store that acknowledgement in case it's needed in the future.
Posting of Required Notices
It's almost impossible for a small business to keep up with the rules and regulations for required notices at the federal and state level. Posters can be sought out for Free by Federal & State Agencies, or can be purchased rather inexpensivly from the right company.
Our dedicated staff can create a comprehensive and effective Employer Handbook that is tailored to your company without breaking the bank.
Looking for Affordable Health Insurance? We also have dedicated partners that can help you chose your best options for your situation.