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Regulatory Changes You Need to Know If You Manage Hiring

Navigating regulatory changes is incredibly difficult for any organization. But hiring regulations a...

Posted by Cheryl Boyer, SPHR, SHRM-SCP, VP, Client Services on Nov 12, 2019 4:21:50 PM
Cheryl Boyer, SPHR, SHRM-SCP, VP, Client Services

HiringNavigating regulatory changes is incredibly difficult for any organization. But hiring regulations are especially volatile right now, with numerous changes at both the state and federal level.

Keeping up with regulatory changes can be challenging, and it always helps to have a bit of guidance to shine a light on where you should focus your efforts. Here are three regulatory changes to keep your eye on.

Pay and Compensation Equity

There are numerous state laws coming into effect this year around the issue of pay and compensation equity.

First is the issue of the wage gap with regard to both race and gender. While it’s simple to audit your organization’s pay rates, be sure that you’re being vigilant during the hiring process as well. If managers have the discretion to set pay, make sure they’re doing so in a fair and equitable way, and that everyone is paid fairly for the same work and the same level of experience.

Compensation equity has also become the subject of state regulation. Some state legislatures have passed laws regarding salary disclosures. Many of these laws prohibit employers from asking about salary history in their application process. To address this issue, companies now ask candidates for salary requirements instead.

Also, laws are coming into effect to prohibit employers, including government contractors, from punishing employees who share salary information.


Regardless of how you feel about the immigration debate in the U.S., one thing is certain: The federal government has ramped up enforcement for employers. This means that verifying a new employee’s eligibility to work is even more crucial.

While some employers have skirted I-9 requirements in the past, the federal government is pushing to have more audits in this area. So make sure that you’re dotting the I’s and crossing the T’s when it comes to compliance.

Disability Hiring

Organizations that are federal contractors must make sure they’re in compliance with the U.S. Labor Department’s requirements for hiring candidates with disabilities. As with immigration, the Labor Department is auditing organizations for this.

Compliance isn’t just about hiring, but also about the application process. If someone with a disability doesn’t have the ability to complete your online form, you must provide a phone number and email address so they can get in touch with someone at your organization for assistance.

Also, be sure that your job description is valid. You may have standardized language, such as that candidates must be able to lift 100 pounds as part of their job. Be sure you aren’t automatically carrying forward language such as this from job to job. A job description that is inaccurate can get your organization into a lot of trouble, regardless of whether it’s intentional.

How to Stay on Track

While every good talent acquisition leader should know the relevant hiring regulations, they also need help navigating changes at both the state and federal level.

The best way to stay up-to-date on regulations is to get alerts from HR organizations. Besides the Labor Department itself, the Society for Human Resource Management is the gold standard for regulatory resources.

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Cheryl Boyer, SPHR, SHRM-SCP, VP, Client Services
Cheryl Boyer, SPHR, SHRM-SCP, VP, Client Services
Cheryl Boyer, SPHR, SHRM-SCP is Vice President of Client Services at Berkshire where she leads a team of expert consultants responsible for the delivery of affirmative action, OFCCP audit support, applicant management, compensation, and professional training services.

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