Employer Risks of Noncompliance

• Wage & Hour Violations including but not limited to Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) classifications, timekeeping rounding, overtime wage and incentives earned during overtime work. In a single recent year, more than $171.5 million was awarded in back wages, with a single employer charged approximately $52 million.

• Wrongful Termination: Case awarded $5.5 million to a single employee at the expense of a single employer.

• Immigration Law Documentation: $1100-$16,000 per single missing piece of documentation, fining a single employer $15 million and sentencing officials for "willful conduct" up to 15 months in prison. Courts attest: "Ignorance is not an acceptable plea."

• HIPAA Violations & Fines up to $50,000 per incident, to $1.5 million aggregate per employer. Willful violations subject to criminal prosecution, up to 3 years imprisonment.

• Sexual & Other Unlawful Harassment: Fines up to $50,000 per charge plus damages into the 7-figures.

• Pre-Employment Screening: Failing to screen properly creates employer liability for employee behavior both on and off the clock. Relying upon non-compliant testing can result in costly illegal discrimination complaints, including punitive damages beyond the economic.

• Family & Medical Leave Act (FMLA): Violation fines can double the amount of direct compensation and benefits the employee would have otherwise earned.

• USERRA Noncompliance (The Uniformed Services Employment and Reemployment Rights Act): Fines up to double back pay plus employee’s legal costs.

• Employee Right to Privacy: Economic and punitive damages relating not only to medical privacy but also defamation and use of employee name/likeness.

• COBRA: Employers may be fined $200/day for 24 months ($146,000) for each employee not provided appropriate notification of the Consolidated Omnibus Budget Reconciliation Act.


Small employers and nonprofits are most definitely not immune to these risks. Random government audits are on the rise! Contact HRS for a proactive "friendly" compliance review which in itself serves as "reasonable care" and "affirmative defense." Consider our Answer Desk as an on-call resource. All HRS programs deliver legal compliance.


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