Keeping up with laws and regulations is hard to do when you run a small business. Laws change often at the state and federal level, making it difficult to maintain legal compliance and communicate what’s important to employees. But if you have a small team, or a single employee who handles legal responsibilities in addition to other duties, compliance and communication can sometimes fall through the cracks. And if it does, your business runs the risk of potentially devastating financial penalties and lawsuits.
Fearing your own shadow is no way to do business. Instead, consulting with licensed attorneys who can give you quick, expert advice when you need it helps you run your business with greater confidence. They can help you stay on top of new and changing laws, ensure compliance, and create a more transparent workplace.
Today, legal guidance is a must-have, especially with the recent COVID-19 laws and increasing costs of legal mistakes. Read on to learn why outsourcing legal services is a good idea.
How current legal trends could affect you
COVID-19-related workplace and employment laws include everything from onsite worker protections to wage and hour protections to paid leave and more. But the laws often differ in each state and even from federal laws, which makes it challenging to know how to comply with them.
The question of whether to mandate vaccines for employees is also a tough one. Even though the recent ruling by the Supreme Court blocks vaccine mandates for businesses with more than 100 employees — with the exception of federal and healthcare workers and contractors — you may still choose to adopt some kind of vaccine policy for your business or relax the policy you currently have.
More changes and trends are on the horizon that may affect your business. If some or all of your employees are returning to the workplace, your policies around health, safety, and transparency may need updating. For any employees that continue to work remotely, figuring out how to better manage their time to avoid overwork and scheduling conflicts is likely a top priority.
As life moves on post-pandemic, you’ll need to rethink how your workplace should function — taking into account the various interests of the business and the needs of your employees while still complying with current laws. But making some of these decisions will no doubt be challenging, especially if you have limited HR and legal compliance resources.
The cost of legal mistakes
Navigating legal matters without the right experience — or even the time to focus on it — can put your business at risk. Any mistakes or misunderstandings regarding employment laws can severely hurt your finances and put you at odds with your workforce.
Here are just a few examples of what some violations cost:
- Occupational Safety and Health (OSHA) penalties can cost over $14,000 per violation and over $145,000 for repeated or willful violations.
- Employee Retirement Income Security Act (ERISA) penalties are now up to $2,400 per day for failing to file Form 5500.
- Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) penalties can cost up to $1,000 per violation of minimum wage, overtime pay, child labor regulations, or recordkeeping guidelines.
Penalties like these are avoidable when you know the laws inside and out, and how and when any changes directly impact your business. Yet staying in the know is often what’s hardest for small businesses, especially when your team is already strapped for time or employing a dedicated, legal-savvy HR team just isn’t feasible in the first place.
How outsourcing boosts confidence
No matter what your business entails, there are many aspects that demand legal support. When you don’t have legal expertise on staff, can’t get guidance quickly enough, or worry about the costs associated with retaining legal services, outsourcing is a smart choice that provides a number of benefits:
- Cost savings. Outsourcing legal guidance eliminates the often prohibitive costs of retaining a full-time attorney.
- Scalability. Outsourcing can scale up and down with the needs of your business, so you only pay for legal services when you need them.
- Efficiency. Outsourcing gets you the answers you need in a timely manner while allowing your employees to focus on other important tasks without having to worry about legal responsibilities.
- Peace of mind. Outsourcing to licensed attorneys gives you critical legal oversight so you have more confidence when making business, employee, and workplace decisions.
Access to affordable legal services
Every business must stay compliant with laws, appropriately communicate with employees, and manage risks. But for small businesses with limited resources, it’s often difficult to get the legal guidance you need, when you need it, while staying within your budget.
With PrimePay HR Counsel, a team of licensed attorneys provides the level of support you need to handle HR legal compliance and your workplace and employee challenges. You get cost-effective, 24/7, personalized legal and HR advice along with access to important employment law updates, checklists, documents, templates, and other services and guidance your business may need.
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