Top compliance issues in the United States right now

John Sherman

Legal workplace compliance issues have become a “hot topic” for companies today. Sure, conflicts come up in any work environment and that’s part of the cost of doing business. You have so many different personalities, roles, and expectations that it’s simply impossible for things to be “smooth sailing” all the time.

However, some employees cross the boundary between conflict and compliance—and when this happens you need an effective strategy for addressing the problem before it gets out of hand. Just as the working world is evolving at a breakneck pace, so are the compliance issues we are facing today.



  • Disability
  • Age
  • Genetic Information
  • Compensation/Equal Pay
  • Harassment
  • Pregnancy
  • National Origin
  • Religion
  • Race/Color
  • Retaliation
  • Sex
  • Sexual Harassment
  • Decreased productivity from your employees. This is generally due to anxiety, feelings of helplessness, or preoccupation with the discrimination that is taking place.
  • Disgruntled employees and a rise in conflict-based incidents. Discrimination can lead to frustration, anger, and annoyance between co-workers and this can cause disruptive arguments and fights in the workplace.
  • Financial issues for your employees and your overall business. When an employee is facing discrimination they are not able to carry out their job to the best of their abilities. This can cost a business their two most valuable resources: time and money (and that’s before legal gets involved!)
  • Costly legal issues which may be ongoing as a result of a filed discrimination charge or against the company for not taking action. Legal problems can shut down any business, and discrimination is a very common source of legal issues in the workplace today.

Sexual harassment

Sexual harassment is absolutely illegal and should never be tolerated in the workplace, regardless of gender. However, the unfortunate reality is that we are still seeing a rise in sexual harassment in many states today.

Sexual harassment may include:

  • Unwelcome sexual advances
  • Physical and verbal harassment of a sexual nature
  • Requests for sexual favors

Sexual harassment is a proven path to creating a hostile work environment and that’s why the best companies spend time educating their employees on the topic.

Keep in mind that harassment can come from anyone involved with the company, not just employees. For example, harassment can come from:

  • Supervisors
  • Co-workers
  • Vendors
  • Clients and customers


Workplace bullying

Workplace bullying is another issue affecting businesses all over the nation. According to Dr. Gary Namie, the National Director of The Healthy Workplace Bill, workplace bullying is on the rise and becoming a huge concern for businesses and employees.

When a person is being bullied at work you might notice:

  • An increase in work absence due to health issues.
  • Reduced productivity due to feelings of depression and hopelessness.
  • Social anxiety and irritability that prevents them from interacting with supervisors and coworkers.
  • A rise in conflicts between coworkers.

What can you do about workplace bullying?

One of the best ways to address this issue is to enforce a zero workplace bullying policy. This policy should be read and signed by all employees and workers in the company to ensure that everyone knows what is expected of them.

When implementing a policy like this, it’s important that you spell out the consequences for any bullying behavior that takes place. Management should have a clear plan of action and follow up with any reports that workplace bullying is taking place as soon as they learn about it. Addressing the matter quickly may help you avoid costly legal expenses in the long run and it will absolutely help you maintain a more positive work environment for your team.

When it comes to legal compliance issues, the best approach is a swift one. Far too often businesses wait until the issue has gotten so far out of hand that legal action is the inevitable conclusion. However, if you create a culture of accountability and put in the time to educate your management and staff about your policies on a regular basis, you’ll be less likely to face compliance issues over time


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