Employment law compliance is crucial for small business owners. With the constantly changing labor laws and the impact of the pandemic, it can be challenging to stay up-to-date. In this comprehensive guide, we will discuss the difficulties faced by business owners in remaining compliant in 2021, ways to improve compliance efforts, important coronavirus-related leave laws, key labor law alterations in 2021, and practical tips to remain compliant.
Difficulties Business Owners Face to Remain Compliant in 2021
Due to the pandemic, businesses have found it increasingly difficult to comply with workplace poster requirements. These requirements demand business owners to display posters or notices in the workplace. However, with the majority of employees working from home, accessing these posters becomes challenging. It is crucial to emphasize that employment law compliance is of paramount importance. Nevertheless, not all employers are required to post specific notices. To determine if your small business has specific posting requirements, contact your State Department of Labor. Additionally, staying updated with new laws, such as the Family First Coronavirus Response Act and OHSA guidelines, is essential.
Ways in Which Compliance Efforts by Business Owners Can Improve in 2021
To achieve effective employment law compliance, business owners can take several steps:
1. **Stay Informed:** Human Resources should consistently stay updated with the changing laws and subscribe to federal employment sites, such as the Department of Labor, for legislative updates.
2. **Implement Remote Communications:** Utilize effective remote communication methods to inform employees about workplace changes. Use video calls, emails, or telephone calls to communicate efficiently. Prohibiting phone use during work hours should be avoided; instead, encourage effective remote communication.
3. **Maintain Message Receipts:** Keep records of message receipts from employees to ensure they receive and acknowledge important notices.
4. **Invest in HR Information Systems:** Improve HR management by investing in HR information systems. These systems simplify and organize daily activities, reducing the burden on HR personnel.
Coronavirus-Related Leave Laws
To combat the COVID-19 pandemic, the United States has enacted new employment laws. These laws aim to support employees seeking leave due to symptoms or related reasons. Familiarize yourself with the following key acts:
– **The Family First Coronavirus Response Act**
– **The Family and Medical Leave Act**
– **The Fair Labor Standards Act**
– **The Occupational Safety and Health Act**
It is worth noting that relevant sections of these acts must be displayed for employees to review.
Labor Law Alterations in 2021
Labor laws undergo frequent changes, and small business owners must stay informed about these alterations. Several changes were introduced in 2021, some of which may impact your small business:
– **Minimum Wage Increase:** Federal contract employees’ minimum wages increased to $10.95/hour.
– **Identity Theft Prevention:** Employers should display only the last four digits of an employee’s social security number to combat identity theft.
– **EEO-1 Surveys Submission:** Private sector business owners with more than 50 workers and at least one federal subcontractor contract worth a minimum of $50,000.00 must submit the 2019 and 2020 EEO-1 surveys. This also applies to private sector business owners with 100 or more workers.
A Few Ways in Which a Business May Remain Compliant
Here are some practical tips to help your small business remain compliant during and after the pandemic:
1. **Share Workplace Notices Virtually:** Utilize virtual platforms to share workplace-specific notice posters with employees.
2. **Maintain Proper Documentation:** Keep records of notices issued to employees and ensure they acknowledge receipt.
3. **Regularly Update Employee Handbook:** Ensure your employee handbook is regularly updated to reflect any changes in labor laws.
4. **Stay Up-to-Date with Workers’ Compensation:** Stay informed about workers’ compensation regulations for remote employees to ensure compliance and fairness.
Small business owners must remain aware of evolving labor laws, their rights, and the importance of compliance. Failure to comply with employment laws may result in penalties and fines. While compliance can be challenging, seeking guidance from a trusted law firm can provide invaluable support. It is also crucial to update systems to enable your HR team to receive legislative updates easily. By staying informed, small businesses can operate smoothly while ensuring adherence to labor compliance laws.
Remember, employment law compliance is an ongoing process. As a small business owner, dedicating time and resources to staying informed and implementing effective compliance measures will protect your business and its employees.