Protecting Employers Since 1985

End of the Year HR Self-Audits

As 2017 comes to an end and 2018 is about to begin, it is a very good time to conduct a HR self-audit to make sure your company is in compliance with all HR and employment laws

Every HR audit is different but the goal of the audit is to determine if your company is in compliance with HR/employment rules and laws. When conducting the audit companies should closely examine their policies, procedures and practices to make sure they are compliant with current law.

Audits are typically broken down into different categories. The below outline for conducting an audit is not meant to be comprehensive to every organization – but is merely an example to help companies identify areas to review to make sure they are in compliance with current law. The following are general categories that are covered in an HR audit; however, this is simply an example and every company needs to customize their audit to address their needs.


a. Are work weeks identified and defined?

b. Are full-time and part-time hours/shifts defined?

c. Does the company have an employee handbook and has it been reviewed recently?

d. Does the company have confidentiality or non-compete policies and have they been reviewed lately?

2. Hiring:

a. Do job descriptions exist and are they up to date?

b. Are job ads correctly worded and sufficiently posted?

c. Are applications up to date and reviewed annually?

d. Are managers trained on interview techniques/procedures?

e. Are you asking legal interview questions?

f. Review compliance to conduct background checks.

g. Are new hires reported to the state and the IRS?

h. Do new employees fill out W-4, I-9, etc.?

i. Are I-9’s, benefit information and medical information kept separate from personnel files?

j. Employee orientation – do new employee’s sign receipts for the employee handbook and other specific policies/company property?

k. Are employees trained on discrimination, harassment and retaliation policies?

3. Compensation & Benefits:

a. Review compensation levels/plans.

b. Are employees correctly classified as exempt or nonexempt – are independent contractors correctly classified?

c. Is performance tied to compensation?

d. Is work time documented – how?

e. Are policies in place regarding company benefits to demonstrate how the benefits are administered?

f. Are benefit plans reviewed annually?

g. Are employees informed/oriented about their benefits?

h. Are non-exempt employees paid at least 1-1/2 times their hourly wage for all hours worked beyond 40 hours in a week?

i. Are benefits summaries provided to plan participants?

j. Review COBRA Notices.

k. Are employees allowed FMLA leave (if applicable)? Review FMLA procedures.

l. Open enrollment meetings.

m. Are minors allowed to work – if so is the company in compliance with child labor laws?

n. Are final paychecks provided on time and are deductions in compliance with current law?

4. Employee Relations:

a. Open door policy.

b. Performance reviews – how is quantity and quality of work evaluated?

c. Is there a progressive discipline policy – make sure it is up to date and consistently applied.

d. Are procedures in place for documenting policy violations?

e. Are there procedures for employee’s to lodge complaints?

f. Are policies in place to prohibit discrimination, harassment and retaliation and are supervisors trained on these policies.

g. Does management evaluate a termination before it takes place?

5. Record Keeping:

a. Are personnel files current?

b. Are federal and state posters up to date and properly displayed?

c. Are policies in place regarding record retention?

The above outline is just a basic draft for an HR audit. There could also be sections dealing with safety, security, workers compensation and a whole section specifically for healthcare organizations. It is a very good idea for companies large and small to conduct an annual HR audit to make sure that companies policies, procedures and practices are in compliance with current law.

Wessels Sherman can assist you in conducting an HR audit. If your company needs help with an audit, please contact any of our five offices.

Questions? Contact Attorney Joe Laverty in our Davenport office at (563)333-9102 or by e-mail at

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