Are you aware of the latest labor law changes that may affect your business? Just this year, many states have changed regulations related to paid medical and family leave, state-funded retirement accounts, minimum wage, and pay transparency, to name a few. Keeping up with the daily changes in labor laws can be challenging for businesses, but necessary to avoid legal issues and ensure compliance.
Labor laws are designed to protect the rights of employees and generally specify the employer’s responsibilities. Currently, the U.S. Department of Labor enforces more than 180 federal laws. But businesses must also be aware of laws specific to the states where they do business. In most cases, the strictest of either law applies to the company, so you must be aware of both.
Reasons to Stay Informed
Businesses that fail to comply with labor law changes risk more than just fines — they can also suffer reputational damage. Customers, employees, and prospective workers may take a dim view of companies that do not follow the law, resulting in fewer customers and less experienced talent applying for positions. Plus, ignoring updates in labor laws can result in hefty fines, legal liabilities, and damage to the company's reputation. Even failing to post updated labor law posters can have adverse effects. On the other hand, understanding changing regulations and taking the necessary measures to comply helps a business run smoothly while avoiding legal troubles and protecting employees' rights.
How to Respond to Changing Labor Laws
Organizations should be ready to adjust operations when new guidance is provided on labor laws, especially if the change requires immediately adjusting hiring practices, payroll, or employment policies. Businesses should be prepared to update policies and processes to reflect the current state, federal or local laws that apply to them. For instance, many states have enacted salary transparency. While some employers have already adopted the practice to stay ahead of the game, others are adjusting policies and procedures to remain compliant.
Tools that can Help
There are tools available to help employers stay compliant. For starters, the Department of Labor regularly updates its website and offers email alert services. Businesses can also benefit from labor law compliance services that inform them of changes. These services can even provide updated labor law posters when changes are necessary. Additionally, hiring experienced HR consultants can assist in staying informed about changes in labor law and their potential effects on your business.
Adhering to changing labor laws, including ethical employment practices, allows companies to stay ahead in attracting and retaining top talent. Proactive employers will benefit from using affordable tools to keep abreast of changing laws affecting their business. By doing so, they will be able to maintain compliance and continue to provide a safe working environment that can increase job satisfaction, improve customer service, and ensure a business runs smoothly.
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