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Which New Regulations Will Affect You in 2017?
  • 10 November 2016
  • Eric Michaels

Which New Regulations Will Affect You in 2017?

Big ideas are usually at the heart of a small business. However, these ideas cannot exist in a vacuum. When putting together a business plan, entrepreneurs must consider which policy changes and laws could affect them as well as what is taking place in the halls of Congress. What is legal today may not be so tomorrow, and new laws may have an impact on an existing business or a new business that you plan to open. Here are five new regulations that could impact small business owners in 2017.

1. New overtime threshold

As of December 2016, salaried employees making $47,476 or less per year will be eligible for overtime (one-and-a-half times their base salary rate) once they hit 40 hours of work per week, according to the United States Department of Labor. The new threshold is double the previous one ($23,660), and this shift will impact about 4.2 million workers. Business owners who ask their employees to take on projects after business hours will have to keep these new regulations in mind.

2. Paid sick leave

The United States Department of Labor has announced new rules that require federal contractors to offer paid sick leave to their employees. This time may be used for personal recovery reasons or to take care of sick family members. As of January 2017, all federal contractors must provide up to 56 hours of paid sick leave per year. This change in the law may impact the type of contract that entrepreneurs consider for their next bid.

3. Crystalline silica regulations

The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) has set new exposure limits for crystalline silica, the hazardous chemical found in the dust of construction materials. As of June 2017, construction employees can only be exposed to 50 micrograms per cubic meter of air over the course of an eight-hour shift. This amount is significantly lower than the current standard in place. To meet the guidelines, the OSHA will mandate engineering controls to improve ventilation and otherwise reduce exposure. Employers may also be required to have health screenings for employees who are exposed to silica on a regular basis.

4. Financial advisers and conflicts of interest

Financial advisers must now openly acknowledge any conflicts of interest within the products they sell to investors, as the International Business Times reports. This rule affects any small business owner that offers retirement plans to his or her employees. The government believes that the law will save U.S. workers billions every year. One particular target to keep in mind is money that is being rolled over from 401(k) plans into IRAs.

5. Electronic injury reporting

This rule is largely a change in bookkeeping for business owners who file injury and illness reports to the OSHA. As of January 2017, certain employers will be required to submit this data electronically. The law aims to deter the nonchalant handling of workplace safety incidents, and so some of the data may appear on the OSHA website.

Keeping an eye out for changes in laws and regulations is an essential part of running your own business. After all, these new rules could have an impact on your operations in the near future.

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