It’s no secret that compliance and labor law issues aren’t among the favorite topics for business owners—but they are among the most important. In an ideal world, business owners would be 100% comfortable with their knowledge of new and changing legislation that would affect their work practices and employees. However, that doesn’t appear to be the case. 

The onslaught of new labor laws in 2020—including predictive scheduling, paid leave, minimum wage, sexual harassment training, overtime, and employee classification changes—got us thinking: are our customers totally up to speed on the ins and outs of new compliance requirements? Are they satisfied with their level of knowledge on what exactly will affect them? 

We asked more than 500 local business owners and managers, as well as more than 750 employees—and the results surprised us. Many of our users revealed they are still feeling a little in the dark. 

Insight #1: Small business owners and managers are not 100% confident when it comes to labor law changes. 

We started by asking employers how confident they feel about their level of awareness on which labor law changes would apply to their businesses. The average answer fell on the “not at all confident” side of the spectrum. 

In fact, when asked to select which new rules would apply to their business out of the list of hot labor law topics in 2020, 30% of the survey takers acknowledged that they didn’t know if any of the new laws would impact them. 

 

Insight #2: Smaller businesses are even less certain. 

Broken down further, 33.3% of business owners with less than 10 employees who took the survey said they were in the dark, compared to the 22.2% of business owners with at least 50 employees who said the same thing. 

Insight #3: Although some business know which laws apply to them, they don’t know how. 

Of the 290 businesses that said they were aware of the new regulations that will impact them, they still did not feel confident that they have a full understanding of what exactly the new laws are and what that impact will look like. The average response when asked to rate the level of confidence again fell closer to the “not at all” side of the spectrum. 

Despite a lack of full confidence on the issues, almost 63% of those 290 businesses said they were either already compliant or working on becoming compliant in December. 

Insight #4: The trepidation applies to federal laws too. 

The newly implemented federal overtime salary threshold applies to businesses all over the country, which would lead one to believe that the information is widespread and easy to learn. Still, our survey said otherwise. 

Included in the group of surveyed employers were 96 that are impacted by the new overtime rule based on their employees’ wages. Sixty-five of those business owners didn’t know that was the case. 

Insight #5: Many business owners don’t have a strategy to keep up with new labor laws.

Our customers got pretty honest when asked how they stay on top of changing labor laws. Below are some of the answers, including “I’m not sure,” “I try,” and the straightforward response of “I don’t.” 

The recurring theme among the responses to the question tells us one thing: there is a lack of widespread, reliable resources out there for business owners and managers to utilize and stay on track of employment legislation updates and changes—and the resources that do exist aren’t easy for employers to locate. 

Insight #6: Employees are in the same boat. 

Of the more than 750 employees surveyed, 32% acknowledged they don’t know if any of the new laws have an impact on them. That percentage is strikingly similar to the percentage of employers who said the same thing. 

Employees were also asked to rate their confidence on how well they understand the labor law changes, and again, the average answer fell on the “not at all” side of the spectrum. 

The survey showed that employees were also in the dark about how their employers were preparing to stay compliant. Of the 430 employees that know of at least one regulation that will impact them, over 64% of them said they aren’t sure if their employer is prepared. 

What does this all mean? 

Based on what we learned from Homebase local businesses, it’s clear that employers are in need of a solid source of labor law information. While it’s important to consult legal counsel, it’s also important for business owners and employees alike to have a place where they can find easy-to-understand answers to any question they might have. 

Since we’re in the business of making work easier, we’d like to be that solid source to help make compliance easier as well. Take advantage of our new deck of tools, including a state-by-state guide on all things labor law, an overtime change calculator, a compliance calendar, a quiz to help you gauge your level of knowledge, and informational blogs on the newest legislation. 

Need even more? We can help with that as well. Become an HR Pro member and you’ll get access to certified HR advisors who will offer training, templates, and advice on how to avoid lawsuits and fines by staying 100% compliant.