New Business Regulations for 2018

The start of every new year always brings a host of new laws, regulations and yes – penalties – for businesses.  Below are three major areas of concern for small business owners in 2018.  Remember that in many cases compliance with the law goes beyond having safeguards in place.  Often, regulators require proof in the form of paper trails, digital certificates and other checkmarks to ensure businesses are complying with the law.  A workplace policy that encrypts laptops is a great idea, but useless from a regulatory perspective if a business cannot prove the stolen device was actually encrypted.


Regulatory Concerns for 2018

Payment Evolution

Phase Two of #SameDayACH went live in fall of 2017.  This permits debits up to $25k which helps improve cash flow for small businesses.  And coming in March, banks will have to meet a strict 5pm deadline for Same-Day ACH funds availability.  Small business owners who accept fund transfers and electronic forms of payment should be prepped and ready for these changes ahead of Spring 2018.

Employee Compensation, Pay Equity and Overtime

There’s been a growing call for #PayEquity across genders, age groups and other demographics.  The EEO-1 Form was tabled for future discussion, but changes would include requiring employers to submit wage data and actual hours worked.  This growing transparency in employee pay is driving states to adopt laws forcing employers to pay based on performance and experience rather than across demographic lines.  Meanwhile the US Department of Labor has begun soliciting public feedback on overtime regulations in an effort to stem unreported overtime from employers.  The 11th US Circuit Court ruled that if an employer knew – or even had reason to know – about unreported overtime, they cannot mount a defense claiming the employee inaccurately reported hours.  Additionally, form I-9, called the “Employment Eligibility Verification Form” was revised in 2017.  Legislation has been introduced under the Legal Workforce Act that could even phase out the I-9 in its current form, and Immigration and Customs Enforcement estimates they will increase the number of worksite inspections by 400% in 2018.

Privacy Law

Privacy laws vary by state, but it’s important to note that some laws are enforceable based on the buyer’s state of residence and some are based on the seller’s location.  Essentially, any small business with an e-commerce website can be subject to differing levels of privacy regulation, simply because a buyer from a more heavily regulated state bought through your website.  It’s a consideration most business owners are blissfully unware of until they’re hit with the crippling legal fees, punitive damages and remediation costs associated with customer identity theft.  On a more global scale, the European Union’s General Data Protection Regulation (#GDPR) is already having an effect on US companies doing business in Europe.  And further, many speculate that the tightened security and stiff penalties may offer a preview of what’s to come in United State privacy law.

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