Whether it’s a restaurant denying employees overtime pay or a staffing firm misclassifying workers, companies make headlines every day for various compliance missteps. Labor laws vary from state to state and also change over time as new decisions get passed and old laws get revised. This makes staying in line with compliance laws an “up-at-dawn, pride-swallowing siege.” Or if a Jerry Maguire quote is a little dramatic for your taste, let’s just say it’s an active process–not a set-it-and-forget-it situation. Missteps can cost many millions not to mention the other resources companies end up throwing at preventable mistakes. That makes compliance more than a legal necessity: it’s a strategic imperative. While navigating changing laws and regulations can be daunting, there are effective strategies that businesses can employ to avoid compliance woes as well as the negative headlines that come with mistakes.
Three Key Practices to Prevent Compliance Errors
1. Avoid the “Wait and See” Approach
A proactive stance is vital in the compliance domain. “Wait and see” often leads to last-minute scrambles to align with new regulations, resulting in inadequate implementation and potential legal issues. Regular internal audits and proactive policy development are key.
2. Create and Modify Systems on an Ongoing Basis
Create systems in alignment with local, state, and federal guidelines and be ready to modify them in accordance with changes (such as this month’s groundbreaking federal labor law decision). It’s not enough to simply be aware of the rules; businesses must integrate compliance into their everyday operations. This involves creating and continually updating systems, processes, and training programs to ensure they stay in line with local, state, and federal guidelines.s.
3. Engage Partners in Areas Outside Your Expertise
No company is an expert in everything and engaging expert partners is a crucial business practice. Companies with a strong compliance track record often leverage external expertise. Such partners allows businesses to outsource the aspects of their operations that take up too many internal resources. If you don’t have compliance and classification experts on your team, it’s okay! A qualified partner can help. Reach out for a free risk assessment and consultation.
The Bottom Line
Staying ahead of compliance issues is not just about avoiding legal troubles; it’s about building a sustainable, trustworthy, and competitive business. Engaging expert partners, adopting a proactive approach, and integrating compliance into your operational framework can help you keep your head above water and navigate the complexities of regulations confidently and effectively.