Workforce Compliance 101: Minimizing Risk with WFM Software

April 2, 2024

by Malysa O’Connor

Workforce Management Compliance Risk Blog Thumbnail

With the landscape of labor laws and regulations constantly evolving, companies face significant challenges while they try to keep up and mitigate the risk of non-compliance.

In this article, we’re diving deep into understanding and navigating these risks.

Discover some of the most common compliance issues, from overtime and clopening violations and the consequences of non-compliance that can hurt your business financially and reputationally.

We’ll uncover why conventional approaches to mitigating these hazards are ineffective in today’s landscape. Then, we’ll illuminate how modern workforce management software (WFM) presents an ingenious alternative.

Let’s discuss practical strategies to leverage technology to help your business comply with labor regulations.

Workforce Compliance 101: Summary

  • Employers face prevalent compliance challenges such as overtime and clopening violations and adherence to Fair Workweek laws.
  • Manual compliance management has inherent problems, including difficulty keeping up with evolving regulations and the risk of errors and inconsistencies. It’s no longer the best option to protect your business.
  • Legion’s Workforce Management Software offers automated solutions such as compliance templates, customizable rules, and centralized monitoring to streamline compliance processes and mitigate risks effectively.

Common Compliance Issues in Workforce Management

Every thriving business understands compliance’s importance—and complexity.

Safeguarding your enterprise and guaranteeing equitable treatment for every employee goes beyond “following the rules.” What about when the rules change with little notice or differ across locations?

Each city, county, and state can have its own set of rules, and that’s a lot of information to keep track of and ensure they are applied consistently and accurately at the store level.

That is why it’s crucial to stay informed about compliance risks you face as a business owner and find the perfect solution to minimize them.

Overtime or Wage Violations

One of the most prevalent compliance issues is the mismanagement of overtime and premium wages.
Employers must carefully track and compensate employees for overtime hours, including addressing premium wages for “clopening” shifts (closing and opening the next day) to avoid violations and legal repercussions.

Fair Workweek

Fair Workweek laws provide workers with predictable schedules, require employers to post work schedules in advance, and restrict last-minute changes without proper compensation.

Navigating these rules without automated WFM tools is challenging; violating them can lead to costly premiums.

Minors Laws

Minors make up an important part of the workforce for many employers. However, labor laws protecting minors can be complex, and they differ for employees aged 14-15 and those 15-17. A single violation could result in a $10,000 fine.

Minimum Wage Laws

Businesses must always adhere to minimum wage laws. Failure to do so is not only unethical but illegal.
Violations can result in financial penalties, legal liabilities, and damage to the organization’s reputation.

Leave Management

Managing employee leave, including time off for voting or other legal obligations, requires careful attention.
Employers need to be able to follow state and local laws about leave entitlements while still ensuring smooth operations.

Record Keeping and Reporting

Another essential compliance component is accurate record-keeping and timely reporting.
To demonstrate compliance, employers must maintain detailed records of hours worked, wages paid, and leave taken with detailed audit trails.

Manual Compliance Management Is No Longer Practical

Before automated workforce management, many businesses relied on manual processes and paper trails to manage compliance risks. This often involved physical record-keeping, cumbersome and time-consuming, requiring manual workarounds to address compliance requirements. This would often lead to errors and inefficiencies in the workforce management processes.

Even semi-automated legacy methods don’t meet the attention needed to comply with labor laws and regulations.

In many organizations, legacy systems need heavy customizations. When it’s time to upgrade or modify these systems, there is no clear understanding of how the customizations were applied or how they function. This makes it difficult to replicate or update information effectively.’

These outdated processes no longer work with modern work and pay rules.

Organizations must embrace automated workforce management solutions that promote accuracy, consistency, and efficiency to ensure adherence to labor laws.

How Workforce Management Software Enhances Compliance and Mitigates Risks

Legion Workforce Management Software tracks changes and applies them automatically to workforce policies. For businesses with multiple locations, this means uniformity in compliance.Legion is designed to help you stay ahead of the curve, dodging potential legal issues and fines. We have taken all angles into account.

Compliance Templates and Customizable Rules

Legion offers a library of preloaded compliance templates that make it easy to meet regulatory standards, and these templates are updated as needed so they are fully compliant with current regulations.

This system also allows supervisors to tailor scheduling rules to suit their company’s requirements while ensuring adherence to state and local regulations.

With this added flexibility, Legion empowers businesses to navigate the complex compliance landscape easily.

Time Tracking and Attendance Management

Businesses must be able to record timesheets and attendance accurately to adhere to legal standards.

With Legion WFM’s software, you can streamline tracking and attendance operations to minimize errors that might result in complications. Time and Attendance proactively notifies managers when a schedule edit may cause premium pay, and employees can consent to schedule changes and clopening on the time clock or mobile device. In addition, Time and Attendance flags the timesheet and alerts the manager of any assessed compliance premiums based on employee clocks ensuring that the premiums paid are accurate and necessary.

Time and Attendance supports automated compliance premium assessment for federal, state, and city labor laws, including overtime, predictive scheduling premiums (for fair workweek ordinances), split shifts, and more.

The system automatically assesses premiums based on employee clocks and published schedules. It also lets you configure policies to meet your business needs and avoid cost overruns. Rules include restricting early/late/unscheduled clock-ins and automatically tracking out-of-compliance attendance inputs, including overtime, meal premiums, clopenings, etc. Employees can “attest” that they took breaks or lunches with full audit trails to ensure they meet all meal and break requirements.

Automated Schedule Management

In addition to time tracking, Legion Automated Scheduling creates schedules that adhere to mandatory break rules, takes into account labor laws that protect minors, and provide alerts for any violations straight to your phone.

To help you comply with Fair Workweek laws, our system will notify you at least two weeks in advance to ensure schedules are posted and up-to-date.

You can edit and publish schedules from your phone, so staying on top of managerial duties is easier than ever.

Centralized Compliance Monitoring

When headquarters interprets laws and implements guidelines and rules, they can be uniformly applied across all locations. By centralizing the interpretation and application of compliance rules, businesses can ensure managers are not interpreting laws at a local level. This opens businesses up to risk if the laws are not applied accurately.

Once your policies are in place for your company, the next step is to ensure managers follow those rules.

It’s possible a well-meaning and intelligent manager could misunderstand or misapply policies when trying to adhere to them manually. Even with the correct policy in place, this can result in a costly lawsuit that could be avoided with the help of technology.

Legion WFM’s solution proactively alerts managers about potential compliance violations before they become problematic. This should bring HQ and managers the peace of mind they need to ensure they comply.

Legion Automated Scheduling factors in labor compliance rules and business policies automatically help you ensure predictable schedules so you can build trust through transparency and schedule equity and eliminate the burden of interpreting and applying rules for managers.

For visibility and proactive compliance management, Legion provides a Real-Time Attendance dashboard that provides visibility into projected overtime, approaching minor thresholds, and meals and breaks. And, because compliance is constantly evolving, Legion helps you stay ahead of the curve with our quarterly Compliance Watch, which notifies you of upcoming changes in the law.

Integration with Payroll Systems

Legion WFM’s software also seamlessly integrates with payroll systems. By automating the transfer of data, businesses can reduce payroll errors.

This is particularly critical when calculating wages, overtime, and other compensation. Errors in these areas can lead to costly fines and penalties.

Embracing Modern Solutions for Today’s Compliance Challenges

Legion’s Workforce Management Platform is the right solution to help you protect your business and employees. To learn more about Legion WFM, watch this on-demand webinar about how you can navigate compliance challenges in an election year. You can also schedule a demo to get more information.