Mid-Year Check-In: Conduct an Audit of Your HR Function

With 2022 nearing its mid-point, it may be a good time to take a new look at how you manage your organization’s people and HR practices, processes and compliance.

This is where an HR audit can be helpful. An HR audit is an effective tool to assess your present status on a number of HR-related topics, providing recommendations on moving forward. Not only will you learn where you are compliant or where you need to make changes, you’ll have a clear document that is useful in prioritizing your HR needs and focus for the rest of the year and forward.

An audit helps identify areas where your business processes may not be in regulatory compliance and may illuminate inefficient management practices. An HR audit also helps you evaluate employee management practices and identify areas for growth.

To illustrate this, here’s a brief checklist of what an effective HR audit generally entails:

Develop an audit questionnaire: This document identifies the key areas of your HR management practices with a list of specific questions related to each area.

Collect the data: Collect and review all pertinent written documents, forms, communication materials and personnel files.

Conduct interviews: Gather input from the management team regarding their HR needs, issues, challenges and their day-to-day management practices and employee-related issues.

Summarize the results: Consolidate the information collected. Benchmark the results with market data. Determine which practices are good and which practices need improvement. Recommend specific solutions for improvements.

Obtain approval from senior management: Present the preliminary results and recommendations to senior management. Obtain their support and approval.

Create action plans: These plans help ensure the audit delivers positive results over the near and long-term.

In support of this, an HR audit helps fuel your employees’ performance and provides leadership with a more focused direction to help stay on a business growth track.

impactAction: If you have questions about HR audits, contact us at info@impacthrllc.com or 443-741-3900.

impactHR Receives Asian American Chamber of Commerce Award

The Asian American Chamber of Commerce (AACC) this month named impactHR an awardee for its 2022 Jewels of Asia Gala (which took place May 28 at Live! Casino & Hotel in Hanover, MD).

The AACC’s award also honors impactHR’s Principal, Kelly Mitchell, for leading the company’s commitment to promoting diversity and inclusion that results in notable success, partnerships and positive collaboration.

Mitchell’s’ leadership with impactHR and in her community has earned her numerous honors and awards, including being named one of “Maryland’s Top 100 Women” in 2019 by The Daily Record. She also received a “2018 Mid-Atlantic Women’s Leadership Award” winner by CEO Report and a 2017 “Top 100 MBE Winner” by the Capital Region Minority Supplier Development Council.

Read more.

Upcoming Minimum Wage Increases for MD, DC on July 1, 2022

It’s almost the mid-year point, which generally means a new set of minimum wage increases are set to occur.

In Maryland, Montgomery County’s minimum wage increases July 1 to $15.65/hour for large employers (those with 51 employees or more); $14.50/hour for employers with 11-50 employees; and $14/hour for employers with 10 or fewer employees.

In addition, as a reminder, the Maryland state minimum wage increased last January 1 to $12.50/hour for employers with 15 or more employees and to $12.20/hour for employers with 14 or fewer employees.

Also in Maryland, the minimum wage in Howard County increased (last April 1) to $14.00/hour for employers and $12.50/hour for small employers.

In the District of Columbia, beginning July 1, the minimum wage increases from $15.20/hour to $16.10/hour for all workers, regardless of the size of the employer.

impactAction: If you need assistance complying with these minimum wage changes, contact us at info@impacthrllc.com or 443-741-3900.

MD Awarded State Small Business Credit Initiative Awards to Support Small Business Growth

The U.S. Treasury Department announced last week that five states — including Maryland — have received Treasury’s approval for their State Small Business Credit Initiative (SSBCI) capital programs.

With these new funds, Maryland has been approved for up to $198 million to operate eight loan and equity investment programs, including the Maryland Small Business Development Financing Authority (MSBDFA), which helps provide capital for underserved businesses.

TEDCO, an impactHR client, also will receive up to $50 million and will allocate the funds into four existing programs targeting technology-based Maryland businesses and entrepreneurs. Three programs — the Venture Equity Fund, Venture Capital Limited Partnership Equity program and Seeds Funds Equity program — are primarily focused on venture capital and startup funding.

In addition, Maryland will use $17 million to fund the Neighborhood BusinessWorks Venture Debt Program, which expands access to capital for underserved communities by lending alongside venture capital equity in high-growth businesses in qualified low-income communities.

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Looking at Compliance Requirements for a Remote Workforce

Remote work is likely here to stay in some form or other going forward. According to a recent Gallup poll, the number of days employees worked remotely doubled during the course of the pandemic.

To help employers manage this shifting dynamic, here is a set of general tips to stay in compliance with key employment laws and regulations:

Logging Hours: Make sure employees are logging all of their time properly (especially overtime hours worked).

Taking Work Breaks: Remote employees must take all required break and rest periods required by law (as if they were in the workplace).

Workplace Posters: One way to ensure you’re complying fully with posting requirements is to mail hard copies of any applicable workplace posters to remote employees. If you have employees in multiple states, you should send each employee the required federal posters, plus any applicable to the state in which they work.

FMLA Eligibility: Remote employees who otherwise qualify will be eligible for leave under the federal Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA) if they report to or receive work assignments from a location that has 50 or more employees within a 75-mile radius. According to the FMLA rules, the worksite for remote employees is the site to which they are assigned as their home base, from which their work is assigned or to which they report.

Verifying I-9s virtually: Because of ongoing precautions related to COVID-19, the Department of Homeland Security has extended the Form I-9 flexibilities (I-9 verification inspection) until Oct. 31, 2022. This temporary flexibility policy allows employers to forgo in-person inspections of Form I-9 identity and employment eligibility documentation for remote workers.

impactAction: If you have questions about remote work and employee compliance issues, contact us at info@impacthrllc.com or 443-741-3900.

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