After 2020, more organizations have employees working remotely than ever. Employers have been practicing supervising remote employees over the last year and a half, but what are best practices for the recruiting and hiring process? MP’s HR compliance experts share six critical areas of compliance that employers must consider when recruiting and hiring remotely.
6 HR Compliance Considerations for Remote Hiring
1. Job applications:
Many states have HR and compliance regulations surrounding job applications. If employers are seeking applicants in other states, they must be in compliance with these regulations. They are generally related to the information an employer can request from a job applicant. In some states, it’s illegal to ask applicants if they have a criminal history or about their wages or salaries in previous roles. States developed these regulations to protect candidates from discrimination during the hiring process, so employers who break them may be risking discrimination complaints and lawsuits.
2. Background and credit checks:
To maintain HR legal compliance, employers must conduct any background checks at a particular time. Employers must perform checks after an offer of employment, but before the employee starts the job. This timing will ensure there aren’t any discrimination concerns. As an additional benefit, this timing allows employers to save money on costly background or credit checks, as they’ll only conduct them for final, chosen candidate(s) for the open job(s).
3. Drug testing:
Employers who require drug testing should work with an employment lawyer to ensure their practices won’t run afoul of state Marijuana laws and protections for off-duty use. With 36 states permitting the medical use of cannabis, employers must reconsider their drug abuse and testing procedures and policies. HR compliance experts at MP often recommend employers treat Marijuana use similarly to alcohol use in their workplaces. They suggest that it may be a best practice for some employers to drop Marijuana testing altogether. These approaches are less likely to run afoul of employee’s rights.
4. I-9 forms:
Employers that hire remotely must conduct I-9 documentation correctly. It’s not legal for them to inspect a copy or scan of documents an employee submits for an I-9 form. When hiring a remote worker, employers must engage a notary or local service to complete the employer section of I-9 documentation. Penalties for non-compliance with I-9 requirements can be steep, and employers should prioritize avoiding them.
5. Workers’ Compensation Insurance:
When hiring a remote employee, a workplace must reach out to their workers’ compensation insurance broker. They should ask the insurance provider if their policies cover remote employees in the relevant state(s). Employers should note they may need to obtain a separate workers’ compensation insurance policy for each state. Ohio is one state that requires this from employers, but there are others.
6. Direct deposit laws:
Employers should be aware they cannot require employees to receive their pay via direct deposit in every state. Some states require employers to allow the option of a live check.
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