How aware are you of the current federal, state and local employment laws? If you feel like you are in a constant state of confusion, you are not alone. According to the second annual National Small Business Compliance Pulse Survey sponsored by ComplyRight, more than half of small business employers lack full confidence in their knowledge of changing regulations, which have been quite plentiful over the last few years.
Remaining compliant with regulations is crucial to the success of a business, especially one in the pest management industry. Failing to do so can result in hefty financial penalties and detrimental legal issues. With 89 changes to state laws and four changes to federal laws from January 2016 through June 2017 alone, according to ComplyRight, it’s easy to see why it can be challenging to keep up.
QualityPro, the only recognized and accepted credentialing authority of the professional pest management industry, can come to the rescue and help your company get on track in the HR department. One of the benefits of becoming a QualityPro accredited company is that QualityPro stays up-to-date on changing employment regulations so that you don’t have to. For example, did you know that several states and cities now prohibit employers from asking job applicants about their compensation history from previous employers? Many people don’t know this, but QualityPro accredited companies do. Same thing goes for criminal history. Employers are not allowed to ask about it in 28 states and 150 cities and counties.
Recent research from ComplyRight found that more than half of survey respondents were confused by the new limitations on questions they can—and cannot—ask job candidates, such as these two. It makes sense. For as long as companies have been hiring, salary and criminal history have been part of the application process. Unless you are made aware of these laws, you may still be asking about the two indicators in your own company’s standard application.
To ensure that QualityPro accredited companies are provided with the guidance needed to comply with the latest state and federal laws, QualityPro just released Version 5 of the QualityPro standards. Based on four pillars, the standards relate to how companies do business in the field of business operations, environmental stewardship, consumer relations and employee education. Companies must meet the 16 standards in their entirety to become accredited by QualityPro. In Version 5 of the Standards, which was released on July 1, 2018, Standard 1.1 was updated. It now states that QualityPro no longer recommends asking about criminal history on the application and no longer offers an application with criminal history questions. However, the application does still include the following clause so that employers can obtain the necessary reports to comply with other QualityPro Standards: “You are hereby authorized to make any investigation of my personal history, financial, criminal, credit and motor vehicle records through any investigative or credit agencies or bureaus of your choice…. A criminal record or sentence is not an automatic disqualification for employment. I agree to submit to any drug or alcohol testing prior to or after employment.”
This can all be confusing and overwhelming, but QualityPro can help make your HR process a bit easier. QualityPro accredited companies can download a template employment application with no salary history questions from QualityProTools.org, the resource hub with everything companies need to get the most out of their QualityPro Certification. It’s as simple as that!
Another benefit of QualityPro accreditation is that all companies have access to NPMA’s HR Consulting firm, Seay Management Consultants, at no additional fee. Any time an HR question comes to mind related to the hiring process, included but not limited to employment applications, background checks and drug testing, Seay Management Consultants is only a phone call away. In fact, Seay Management Consultants advises that every employer should have a comprehensive Compensation Management and Administration Program comprised of job descriptions and evaluations, pay grades and a performance evaluation system—and they can help you put one together.
The bottom line is that not knowing about these new laws could result in more than a major headache for business owners. If you are not a QualityPro accredited company, consider applying today to earn your national credentials and gain access to valued HR resources for business management and growth. To learn more about the benefits of QualityPro or to apply for accreditation, visit www.npmaqualitypro.org.
By Allison Allen, BCE