Employment laws are in a constant state of fluctuation. For example, in 2017 alone the City of Chicago and Cook County implemented ordinances requiring mandatory sick leave, minimum wage in Chicago increased to $11 per hour, Illinois amended its leave of absence laws to allow sick leave to be taken for family members, and non-compete agreements were restricted for low wage employees.
Keeping track of all of these changes at the federal, state, and local levels can be an arduous task, and as a business owner, we know that you'd rather be focused on growing your business and not getting bogged down in all the legal details. However, failure to adhere to new and updated employment laws can lead to steep penalties and even legal action, which can hinder growth and profits.
To help you strike a balance between needing to focus on growing your business while also staying informed of key employment law details, we've curated a few top-level suggestions:
- Subscribe to employment law and human resource e-newsletters. Many such professional organizations exist, including HR professional groups, small business groups, and law firms, which publish weekly or monthly emails that can alert you to changes in employment laws.
- Before implementing any new policies or ratifying contacts, consult an experienced employment attorney to ensure that your policies and contracts are up to date and legally sound.
- Consider conducting a yearly audit of your practices and policies by a qualified employment attorney.
By implementing one or all of the steps above, you can start focusing on expanding your business and creating robust profit margins while feeling confident that you are remaining compliant with the myriad of changing employment laws.