Owning a Small Business-Are You Compliant?

HR compliance concerns for small businesses

Small businesses owners often neglect equally important legal affairs when they focus on the main aspects of their business. One of the key neglected areas is Human Resource management and legal compliance. Considering that HR deals with other people’s affairs, there are numerous federal and state laws that impact the employer-employee relationship. Over the years, these business laws have grown to regulate businesses as well as to protect employees. Here are highlights of key compliance areas that deserve attention from business owners.

WLitigationorkplace litigation

Various laws and government agencies focus on workplace discrimination, including discrimination based on race, ethnicity, gender and sexual orientation. A small business owner needs to have in place mechanisms and policies designed to prevent discriminatory practices in the workplace. Doing do is a first step in avoiding potentially costly wrongful termination and discrimination lawsuits. The legal costs and distraction associated with such cases can cripple, or even be fatal, to a small business. In addition, small business owners should provide extensive training for management on employment discrimination and harassment.

Compliance with Benefits Laws

Many federal and state laws and regulations govern employee benefits including health, disability, life and other insurance benefits as well as retirement plans. These laws and regulations are complicated, and can create a serious compliance headache for small business owners. Even managing benefits for a small number of employees requires expert advice and guidance. Business owners who offer benefits to employees must comply with numerous requirements including government filings, test conduction, and provision of required notices and documents to employees.

Expert guidance

One point of distress for small business owners is the combination of managing all of these tasks. Often, the owner, especially during the start-up, is the manager, human resources manager, sales executive, and customer service representative. A small business owner should focus on the main business elements such as sales and management. As a result, human resource issues often take a back seat. However, with HR often requiring expensive training for proper execution, it is important that it does not take a back seat. While the HR generalist may attend to basic human resource responsibilities, full compliance requires a solid understanding of labor relations, information systems, compensation and benefits, training, and staffing. Limited training is not an excuse when the small business owner is facing litigation due to non-compliance.

The Atlanta law offices of Brownstein & Nguyen are experienced in assisting small business owners with their legal responsibilities. Contact business litigation attorney Jay Brownstein for a consultation today regarding your small business concerns.