Littler's Employment Practices Audits group is composed of attorneys at all levels who concentrate their practices on various types of compliance audits. Because auditing and compliance are the primary focus areas of many of these attorneys, we are able to complete audits effectively and efficiently – using best practice technology, templates and protocols.
Audits are an important tool to evaluate legal compliance, create proactive protections and provide people and HR development. Many employers are not in compliance with a variety of laws but most potential violations can be easily detected and remedied. Audits provide a deterrent to litigation and can serve as a cornerstone of a company’s “good faith defense” in future litigation. Moreover, the cost of an audit is well below that of protracted litigation.
Because of our extensive experience, Littler has developed and recommends a best practice protocol for conducting many different kinds of audits. Typically, the structure of an audit revolves around five general categories:
- technical compliance with the law;
- applicability of best practices;
- people development in the human resources function and throughout the business organization;
- the effectiveness of HR’s technical human resources systems; and
- proactive positioning for the future with creative concepts and planning.
Assessing technical compliance and best practices typically involves reviewing a company’s legal compliance with the following issues:
- wage and hour
- human resources practices;
- employment policies and forms review;
- fair employment practices;
- pay equity and discrimination;
- disability analysis and accommodation;
- leave administration;
- union risk;
- alternative dispute resolution;
- affirmative action and diversity programs;
- I-9 compliance;
- safety and health practices;
- performance, discipline and terminations;
- fringe benefits;
- employee privacy and HIPAA compliance;
- office security and workplace searches;
- drug testing;
- pre-employment assessments;
- technology and communications regarding electronics, internet, email and voicemail;
- personnel and payroll records;
- employment applications;
- offer letters;
- performance reviews;
- whistleblower protection;
- steps for addressing employee issues and concerns;
- reporting policies regarding claims of harassment and discrimination; and
- terminating the employment relationship.
People development focuses on developing, recognizing and rewarding talent, developing HR professionals through training, mentoring and retention, and effective recruiting.
Auditing the effectiveness of the human resources technical system can include reviewing records and technology systems, document retention, immigration and EEO tracking and technology, and salary and benefits tracking.
Preparing for the future and proactively avoiding potential problems is one of the biggest benefits of conducting an audit. The audit will give a company the tools it needs to plan and effectively comply with employment and labor laws. Companies can accomplish this through training, anticipating change and implementing developmental programs for its managers and employees.
To ensure effective project management for its clients’ audits, Littler Mendelson has developed Audit QB (Audit Quarterback), a customizable, web-based tool designed to help Littler attorneys conduct large-scale employment audits effectively and efficiently.
Through our Audit QB and other tools, Littler can conduct large scale employment audits in the areas of wage and hour issues, human resources assessments, fair employment practices, affirmative action and diversity programs, union risk, pay equity, I-9 compliance and safety and health practices, along with many other employment and workplace challenges. The Audit QB stores all questionnaires and data in a central location; manages the audit and schedules events, including real-time updates; stores relevant documents, including job descriptions, policies and procedures and performance reviews; generates reports for data analysis; and gives clients access to completed and uncompleted questionnaires, internal task assignments, information about the status of task assignments and data analysis reports.
The attorneys in Littler’s Employment Practices Audit group draw on the resources of Littler's national employment law practice, resulting in a more efficient and cost-effective audit process. One of those resources is Littler GPS®, the firm’s 50-state survey database of federal and state legislation and regulations on wage and hour, EEO, employee benefits and many other topics. Using the most up-to-date information available ensures Littler’s clients are in full compliance with federal and state laws.
Littler is the largest law firm in the country devoted exclusively to the representation of employers in employment matters. With more than 900 attorneys in 56 offices throughout the United States, Littler has offices near most major metropolitan locations.
The singular focus of our practice, our national footprint, and our best practice methodology and technology allow Littler to assist its clients in achieving their audit goals.