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National Survey Reveals Top Employment Law Concerns for Small Business Employers

Published on 10/19/2017 12:00:00 AM
biggest employment law concerns for small businesses

According to a 2017 survey conducted by ComplyRight, Inc., small business employers are troubled by the growing complexity of federal, state and local regulations. The national survey, which was conducted to determine the biggest pain points in this area, also revealed that many employers lack confidence in their understanding of the often-conflicting laws.

The inaugural National Small Business Compliance Pulse Survey involved phone interviews with 300 small business employers across the U.S. Specifically, the participants were individuals responsible for employee recordkeeping and HR tasks in workplaces with 5-100 employees.

Key Findings Underscore Concerns and Challenges

Among the key findings, the study reported that nearly 74% of small businesses feel that federal, state and local employment laws are becoming increasingly complex. When looking specifically at the responses from business owners and CEOs, that number bumped up to 86%.

The growing complexity creates uncertainty: According to the study, nearly half of small businesses lack full confidence in their knowledge of the federal, state and local employment laws affecting their businesses.

Of the myriad employment regulations employers must navigate, the issues that concern them most are:

Healthcare legislation — 70%
Employee leave laws — 60%
Tax reporting requirements, such as the ACA — 56%

Interestingly, although half of the participants are unclear about labor laws, 93% are at least somewhat confident in their ability to handle a labor law investigation or legal action. Confidence is highest among those using dedicated HR software to manage HR tasks and lowest among those using manual processes and tools.

Where do employers turn to keep up with the latest employment law changes? Most participants (82%) prefer to rely on written notifications from federal and state agencies, though many agencies don’t proactively communicate such information. And more than half turn to colleagues and friends to stay abreast of HR laws — a risky proposition, given the intricacies and ever-changing nature of employment regulations.

Other findings:

Only 16% of small business employers use a comprehensive HR information system (HRIS) to manage tasks; the majority use pen, paper and sticky notes (40%) or spreadsheets and general business software (30%).
86% of small businesses report having formal written HR policies, yet fewer than half include policies on social media use at work (38%), weapons in the workplace (33%) or use of personal electronic devices at work (31%), indicating their policies may need updating.
Among owners and CEOs, 48% report that labor law compliance takes up too much of their time and 37% feel that labor laws and regulations limit their business growth.

Download the Executive Summary Today

Want to read more about the results of the National Small Business Compliance Pulse Survey, with expert insights from ComplyRight? Download the full Executive Summary here.

Ashley Kaplan, Esq.
Presented by: Ashley Kaplan, Esq.,
Senior Employment Law Attorney
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