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You’re Violating Federal Regulations

by Andrew SzczesniakDecember 21, 2018 8:00 AM

Probably. Maybe. Maybe not. Who knows? Do you know?

As a Sales Rep for a Professional Employer Organization (PEO), I talk with small to medium-sized business owners on a day-to-day basis. I never cease to be amazed at how well they know their company, their employees, their business, their industry, and their competition. When you spend 80 hours a week working on your business, you become an expert.

Yet, these same business owners will often tell me, “I don’t know what I don’t know. And even if I knew what I didn’t know, I don’t always know how to find out what I need to fix, remedy, or comply with the situation.” Of course, they don’t. They’re devoting all their time to making a better product and/or a better company.

If you’re new to the game or haven’t spent a lot of time thinking about this, you might be wondering what regulations I’m speaking of in the title of this post. After all, those are geared towards large companies, not small, independent businesses, right?

Compliance chalkboard for small businesses. 

Federal Regulations for Business of All Sizes

Some things are required no matter the size of your company. For example, you must make sure you have I-9 forms on all your employees and that they’re filed correctly.  There are hefty fines tied to misfiled or missing forms. You also need to have the required employment posters hanging in prominent places for your employees so they can see what their workplace rights are.

Other laws are based on how many employees you have. For example, if you have between one and 10 W-2 employees, these laws apply to you:

  • Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA)
  • Employee Polygraph Protection
  • Equal Pay Act
  • Consumer Credits Protection Act
  • National Labor Relations Act

Once you have between 11 and 14 employees, you have to become compliant with OSHA and all federal health and safety standards. That includes all the reporting that comes with it.

From 15 to 19 employees, you need to start paying attention to the following regulations:

  • Title VII, Civil Rights Act
  • Title I, Americans with Disabilities Act
  • Pregnancy Discrimination Act

At 20 employees, you have to worry about COBRA (if you’re offering benefits) and Pregnancy Discrimination Act. And it goes on and on and on… you get the idea.

How to Stay in Compliance with Federal Regulations

How does a business owner know what they need to be compliant with while working full-time on their business? There are several ways I can think of:

  • During all your downtime, read up on federal regulations and keep tabs on all the changes as they happen
  • Pay an attorney to keep you abreast of these things
  • Hire someone on staff whose sole responsibility is keeping track of these things

These are all good options, but many small business owners find the best option is to partner with a Professional Employer Organization, like GMS, that will not only keep you compliant but will also take on all the regulatory liability of your employees. 

Recent studies show that small businesses that use PEOs grow 7 to 9 percent faster, have 10 to 14 percent lower employee turnover, and are 50 percent less likely to go out of business. Contact GMS today to learn how we can help take over these administrative burdens, allowing you to focus on your core business.

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