Atlas Air CHRO Adam Kokas Discusses Regulation & Compliance

Leah Williams

As Adam Kokas explains it, the increasing volume of laws and regulations affecting corporations has transformed the CHRO role to include the facilitation of cross-functional teams to address some of the compliance issues.
Kokas, who serves as CHRO and General Counsel at Atlas Air Worldwide, observed that the transformation has occurred quite rapidly. "If you think about where CHRO roles were four to five years ago versus where they are today, I don’t think many of us expected to be talking to our shareholders about our CEO’s pay," Kokas noted. "Say- on-Pay, Dodd Frank and executive compensation rules are very big now and involve HR."
"We are seeing more compliance and regulations. On the compliance side, we are seeing more focus on on anti-corruption, anti-bribery, FCPA and so on. This manifests itself within HR where the training we are covering is becoming more and more complicated and sophisticated. Before, a lot of the training was employee relations, sexual harassment, those type of issues. Now, through a cross-functional effort, you may have training that also involves compliance."
"For example, at Atlas, our compliance training involves several groups, including HR, the training group, and the legal department," said Kokas.
"As an another example, the Affordable Care Act adds a layer of regulation, in addition to process and planning. As benefits professionals, we must prepare for further rules and regulations related to the law. Also, we must ensure our employees have appropriate coverage and manage the future cost that may come from these regulations," Kokas concluded.