All businesses, whether they are a small privately-owned business or a large conglomerate, are responsible to comply with federal and state laws. Unlawful discrimination, corrupt personnel practices, workplace harassment, employee safety, and wage, payroll, and benefit issues can wreak legal havoc on a business, costing owners hundreds of thousands of dollars in penalties and legal fees. Strong and clearly established corporate policies and procedures can help business owners avoid the hassles and legal problems that can come with noncompliance.
Benefits of a Strong Workplace Compliance Program
Federal, state, and international laws vary greatly, and keeping compliant in the fluctuating climate of our global business environment can be overwhelming. Keeping track of international, federal, and state laws governing the ethical and legal practices for an organization is an ever-changing process. Corporate policies and procedures need to be continuously evaluated and updated.
The main benefits of a strong workplace compliance program include:
Prevents illegal or unethical actions committed by uniformed employees
Encourages reporting of illegal and unethical actions of administrators, managers, and colleagues
Reduces the likelihood for waste, fraud, abuse, discrimination, and corruption
Sets employee expectations
Supports the goals of the organization
Promotes corporate growth and sustainability
Prevents corporate crisis and failure
Helps in the defense of the corporation should a lawsuit occur
When employees are properly trained and educated on corporate compliance and its importance to corporate success, businesses can operate effectively and efficiently.
Elements of a Corporate Compliance Program
To reap the full benefits of corporate compliance, a company must establish a strong plan. The essential elements of a corporate compliance program include:
Training: Comprehensive training on business laws and ethical practices that relate to a business, and on the importance of corporate compliance needs to start with a company’s top administrators and trickle down to the general workforce. An employee that does not understand what the laws and regulations are cannot be expected to behave appropriately.
Hire a Corporate Compliance Officer: A corporate compliance officer is one that consistently reviews corporate policies, establishes a corporate plan, and enforces the policies and procedures that support the compliance program.
Establish Modes of Communication for Administration and Employees: Communication is essential to corporate compliance. Employees need to have an established mode of reporting non-compliant actions as well as one that counsels employees that violate rules.
Consistent Review and Evaluation of Corporate Policies: The federal, state, and international laws governing business are in a constant state of change and development. Consistent review of the laws and regulations as well as corporate compliance policies and procedures will ensure that business practices remain ethical and compliant.
Annual Risk Assessment: It is imperative that corporations identify the biggest risk areas for their corporation and annually evaluate their audit results, recent litigation, compliance complaints, employee claims, and policies affecting each risk area.
West Chester Employment Lawyers at MacMain, Connell & Leinhauser Help Businesses Establish Corporate Compliance Programs