12 Laws That Can Affect Your Business in 2012

January 27th, 2012

A host of regulatory changes are coming in 2012, according to Paychex, a leading provider of payroll, human resources and employee benefit services. Some changes are more likely than others to go into effect this year, but every small business should be aware of the potential consequences should they be enacted into law. Here are twelve areas where regulatory changes may occur:

Job creation. Under President Obama’s Jobs Bill, new legislation would help fund infrastructure projects and encourage new small business start-ups by allowing greater access to capital.

Deficit reduction. As the government grapples with the huge budget deficit, new laws may be implemented aimed at business and personal tax reform.

Employment law. The United States Department of Labor, together with many states, wants to clarify employers’ responsibilities toward minimum wage and overtime requirements. New laws would help employees better understand what they are owed.

Worker classification. A number of states plan to enact stricter laws regarding misclassified workers. Under new laws, companies that misclassify workers would face heavier fines.

Immigration reform. Employment of illegal immigrants continues to be a “hot button” issue. Look for legislation requiring private sector employers to use the federal E-verify system to assess a worker’s employment eligibility.

Security and privacy. As crimes in cyberspace continue to spread, many stares are drafting laws regarding new privacy and security safeguards.

Health insurance. The full ramifications of the Affordable Care Act are being debated by the Supreme Court, but if the Act is deemed to be constitutional, many small businesses will be significantly affected.

Dodd-Frank. Financial reforms passed by Congress in the past two years continue to influence banks’ lending policies. Small businesses may find new obstacles to gaining access to credit or capital–or, at least, higher fees for borrowing money.

Unemployment insurance. Businesses could see increased unemployment tax costs if Congress reinstates the federal unemployment surtax. Also, in an attempt to reduce unemployment insurance fraud, several states are contemplating legislation that adds to employer reporting requirements.

401(k) benefits. In addition to more fee disclosures for 401(k) providers, other new laws will expand the category of plan fiduciary, restricting how many loans employees can take from their 401(k).

Taxes. Expect changes in taxes this year, ranging from a higher Social Security wage base to limits on transportation and adoption-assistance-benefits.

W-2 form. Employers filing 250 or more W-2 forms in 2011 will have to include the cost of employer-sponsored health coverage on the 2012 W-2 form.

Whether or not all of these changes directly affect you, it’s important to consider potential adjustments to the way you operate your business in 2012.

Meador staffing consultants stay abreast of changes in employment law, as part of the services provided to our clients in Houston, Austin and across the U.S. Find out more.