How to keep up with HR Laws

How to keep up with HR Laws

As a small business owner, your staff counts on you to be a jack-of-all-trades. You are simultaneously the boss, the middleman, the team member, and even the janitor.

When it comes to human resources, a small business owner is often the entire HR department. With so many responsibilities, it can seem impossible to keep up with every aspect of HR laws and their frequent changes. Often this can lead to an unintentional lack of compliance, leading to issues with your workforce, decreased productivity and efficiency, low employee morale, and can even lead to lawsuits.

One particular area of concern is keeping up with overtime pay and benefits regulations. HR law changes frequently and sometimes dramatically; if your company does not have an HR specialist on your team, it can feel like an impossible challenge to stay informed of shifts in regulatory policy.

As an example, new overtime regulations were set to go into effect on December 1, 2016. A recent poll showed that 52 percent of small business owners were unaware of the new regulations, and 51 percent did not know whether their employees were exempt from the law.

The best way to ensure compliance and stay current on upcoming legislation and policy changes is to hire an HR consultant or an employee to focus exclusively on HR law. While this may be the best option, it is not always the most cost-effective, nor is it a solution that every company can afford to implement.

For a DIY solution, small business owners should make use of the following resources to stay current on HR law:

• The Society for Human Resource Management is a professional organization that offers many tools for small business owners.

• Sign up for email updates from the Department of Labor and your state level Department of Labor.   

• Cornell University offers free online resources through the Cornell Legal Information Institute.