Keeping up with hundreds of laws and regulations can be difficult. As a small business owner, it’s imperative to be in compliance but can be hard to do when laws change. Here are a few new laws and regulations that could impact your business in 2017.

Keeping up with hundreds of laws and regulations can be difficult. As a small business owner, it’s imperative to be in compliance but can be hard to do when laws change. Here are a few new laws and regulations that could impact your business in 2017.

 

Overtime Final Rule

What this does: This amendment updates the current minimum salary for white collar workers required to exempt them from overtime pay. This applies executive, administrative, and professional employees. Now, if a full-time worker makes less than $913 a week or $47,476 a year (previously $445 a week or $23,660 a year) they are entitled to overtime pay. Business owners are also now able to make up to 10% of this threshold in nondiscretionary bonuses, incentive payments, and commissions. This threshold will also be updated every three years.

How this affects you: It is important to be aware of new changes to laws that affect your business, and failing to pay employees correctly can result in lawsuits. The Final Rule went into effect on December 1, 2016. If you are not in compliance yet, you can either: reduce your affected employees’ hours, increase their annual salary to meet the minimum for exemption, or pay overtime. Check out the Department of Labor’s web page for more information about compliance.

 

State Minimum Wage Increases

What this means: Nineteen states increased their minimum wages at the beginning of 2017. Alaska, Florida, Missouri, Montana, New Jersey, Ohio, and South Dakota automatically made changes based on standard of living. Arizona, Arkansas, Colorado, Maine, and Washington implemented changed approved by voter ballot initiatives. California, Connecticut, Hawaii, Massachusetts, Michigan, New York, and Vermont implemented changes from prior legislation. Washington D.C, Maryland, and Oregon will increase their minimum wages on July 1, 2017.

How this affects you: If your business operates in any of these states, it is important to make sure you increase employees’ pay accordingly to avoid lawsuits. Click here to take a look at exactly what these new minimum wages are and when they will be updated next.

 

H.J. Resolution 83

What this means: The official description for this legislation states that “Congress disapproves the rule submitted by the Department of Labor relating to Clarification of Employer’s Continuing Obligation to Make and Maintain an Accurate Record of Each Recordable Injury and Illness (published at 81 Fed. Reg. 91792 (December 19, 2016)), and such rule shall have no force or effect.” This means that the previous rule about employers ongoing obligation to maintain work-related injuries and illnesses is no longer in effect.

How this affects you: With the erasure of the rule, the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) cannot issue you a citation for failing to report a work-related injury or illness past six months from the incident. This does not mean business owners no longer have to report and accurately maintain OSHA records for the required five years. As a small business owner, you should still make sure to report any incidents immediately because it is the right thing to do. This amendment just means that you will not be unfairly cited years after any lapse in recordkeeping.

 

SEC Small Business Advocate Act

What this does: This legislation is two-fold. This act codified the Small Business Capital Formation Advisory Committee which would have expired in the fall of 2017.  It also designated funds to set up an office for small business advocacy within the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC), which will be headed by a chairman to advocate on behalf of small businesses. Currently, Michael Piwowar is acting as interim chairman until the SEC finds an appropriate candidate.

How this affects you: Small businesses are often underrepresented compared to larger businesses with more funds available and access to representatives. This act will give small business owners a voice. The Advocate will work to resolve issues small businesses have with the SEC and other government regulatory organizations, reach out to small businesses for feedback on relevant issues, identify and solve problems small businesses have with access to capital, and many other duties that will better represent you in the process of business legislation.

 

For information about Opportunity Fund’s small business loans, please contact us at 866-299-8173 or loans@opportunityfund.org.  For questions about your existing loan or other customer service questions, please contact us at 866-299-8173 or sbhelp@opportunityfund.org.


Opportunity Fund is California’s largest and fastest-growing nonprofit lender to small businesses. In FY16, we made $60M in loans to help more than 2,200 small business owners invest in their businesses.  Opportunity Fund invests in small business owners who do not have access to traditional financing. As a founding member and signatory to the Borrower’s Bill of Rights, we believe in the important role small businesses play in our community and the economy, and we aim to help owners financially succeed.

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