One particular labor law for small business may lead to financial penalties and even lawsuits if the business fails to follow that law. The Occupational Safety and Health Administration mandates many labor laws and regulations, enforcing healthy and safe working conditions. The laws are safeguards and protections employees need to help ensure that they are protected and safe in the workplace.
Small business owners must run their business when they keep and follow all federal and state labor laws. Big corporations can stay informed about any changes in the pipeline and their compliance status by hiring legal counsel and HR professionals. The situation can be pretty hard for small businesses. However, they cannot make any valid excuses with a lack of resources for breaking the law. Therefore, they need to stay on top of these issues since employment regulations and labor laws are the easiest to violate.
Why Small Business Need to Understand Labor Laws
Business owners must stay updated on the legal landscape as required by labor laws and ensure that their business operations comply with the rules. Small businesses must not think that the bigger federal labor laws can make them fly under the radar. While the labor law for businesses tends to be extensive, every business owner needs to be aware of them.
Businesses can expect to get financial penalties of about $10,000 when they fail to follow labor laws. The failure can even lead to possible jail time. In addition, employers will need to pay for lost employee benefits or provide back pay and interest to their employees, depending on the offense. Lawsuits could also arise from impacted staff, leading to an expensive scenario of jury awards, settlement fees, and court costs. The lawsuits can even be damaging to their brand’s reputation, resulting in serious long-term ramifications.
FLSA and IRS Employee Misclassification
Several small business owners keep operations running by relying on independent contractors. The federal government may consider these workers as employees, depending on their relationship with the company.
According to the Fair Labor Standards, it covers business owners who pay overtime to their staff that works more than 40 hours per week for those workers’ regular hourly rates at a rate of 1.5 times. People under the FLSA’s professional, administrative, or executive exemptions are any employee ineligible for overtime pay. These white-collar exemptions have to do with specific job responsibilities.
The Department of Labor and the IRS have their eyes on companies that purposely misclassify employees to avoid payroll taxes, paying overtime, and other worker-related expenses. The IRS can determine worker status through a 20-factor test, and it is based on three crucial areas: types of relationship, financial factors, and behavioral factors. What dictates the worker’s status are the worker’s contributions to the business and the business owner’s control over the employee’s daily operations. In addition, there could be some considerable changes with a new administration, resulting in many regulations. Therefore, it is critical for small businesses to keep an eye out for more changes to the current rules and prepare for new developments.