Is Your Business Missing These Common Areas of Non-Compliance?
Human resources is a vital part of your business but one that's often overlooked. As small businesses grow, we as owners tend to stay too long in the mentality that we can "do it all ourselves" and often get tripped up by the things we didn't know we needed to know!
A human resource consult can help you identify areas where non-compliance may be an issue, and most importantly, address those areas before they result in hefty unexpected fines.
Below are some of the most common areas of non-compliance:
Workplace Safety - Most of us have heard of the Occupational Health and Safety Administration (OSHA) but we don't always think about these regulations applying to our small businesses. OHSA regulations don't have minimum size limits when it comes to which businesses are required to follow safety laws. It's a great idea to develop a comprehensive safety program to ensure that all employees are properly trained as to what the rules and guidelines are. We recommend small businesses work with a comprehensive human resource provider who can assist with the development of this program.
Employee Benefits - We know that you want to keep your team happy! Employee benefits can have some common pitfalls for employers though if not administered properly. The Affordable Care Act, the Patient Protection Act, and the Employee Retirement Security Act can all potentially impact your business and the requirements you must abide by when offering benefits such as time off and health insurance to your team. Not understanding your responsibilities as the employer before offering these benefits can result in fines and penalties later on.
Hours and Employee Classification - This one comes up a lot in the cannabis game. It's easier sure to pay your friends in cash and call them contractors but you can't classify workers as contractors just because you want to. Contractors generally set their own hours, wear their own uniforms, work for other businesses (such as your competitors) performing similar services, and work on a per project basis. If you're telling your team when to be at work, what they're doing, and they are working full time for you and no one else, most like you have to classify them as an employee. This in turn mean you need to be remitting payroll taxes and paying overtime. The IRS can charge a 100% penalty for not timely remitting payroll taxes.
Not Handling Paperwork Properly - Very often employee files are a source of non-compliance. I-9s and W-4s are not retained properly, it's not been documented when employees were offered benefits, or things like performance discussions are not included in the files. Employers can avoid Department of Labor issues by understanding what they need to retain in employee files and how to store this documentation securely. With this also comes the need to understand fair hiring practices and laws against discrimination. If you're doing background checks on new hires you'll need to make sure you're compliant with state laws allowing you to do so and the paperwork you're required to keep on hand.
This month only, contact us for a FREE HR consult if you have questions about how any of the above may impact your business.