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New Laws and Regulations Businesses Should Know About in 2024

The beginning of each new year tends to usher in a wave of new state and federal laws and regulations impacting businesses in several different industries. For small and medium-sized businesses in particular, it’s crucial to pay attention to how these items of legislation could potentially affect operations.

At IBPSA, a key part of our mission is to provide legislative support for businesses in the pet care services industry. As we monitor the latest legal news affecting businesses across the U.S., here are a few new and upcoming laws of which pet care businesses should be aware:

Minimum Wage and Overtime Increases

Although the federal minimum wage remains $7.25 per hour, state and local governments across the U.S. are taking action to raise this amount significantly. Effective January 1, 2024, 22 states and 43 cities and counties increased their minimum wage rates, with many of these reaching or exceeding $15 per hour. Later in the year, higher rates are slated to take effect in an additional three states and 22 localities. The trend towards higher minimum wages is expected to continue, with many initiatives calling for wage floors of $20 or above in future years.

Businesses should also be aware of a proposed rule from the Department of Labor (DOL) that would entitle an estimated 3.6 million additional workers to overtime pay. Specifically, this rule would require employers to pay overtime to salaried workers who are in executive, administrative, and professional roles but earn less than $1,059 a week, or $55,068 a year for full-time employees. This amount represents a significant increase from the previous salary threshold of $35,568. While the DOL could potentially implement the proposed overtime rule at any time in 2024, experts anticipate that it will face legal challenges due to the substantial impact it would have on numerous businesses.

Reporting Requirements under the Corporate Transparency Act

In 2021, Congress enacted a bipartisan law called the Corporate Transparency Act in an effort to curb illicit finance. Effective January 1, 2024, this law now requires many businesses operating in the U.S. to report information about the individuals who own or control their company to the Financial Crimes Enforcement Network (FinCEN), a bureau of the U.S. Department of the Treasury. Businesses with more than 20 employees and more than $5 million in sales may qualify for exemptions.

Although this new regulation is facing legal challenges, existing businesses must plan to fulfill the registration requirements by January 1, 2025, while new businesses created after January 1, 2024 must register within 90 days. While filing is simple and free of charge, businesses that do not comply may be subject to both criminal penalties and fines of up to $10,000. To learn more about how the Corporate Transparency Act may affect small businesses, visit https://www.fincen.gov/boi/small-business-resources.

Paid Leave Requirements

Several cities and states across the country require employers to provide certain amounts of sick leave (paid or unpaid) for their employees. These requirements can vary drastically from place to place, so businesses must be familiar with the applicable laws in every location where they have staff.

The current trend among city and state lawmakers is to increase the amount of required leave and expand the reasons why employees may take their leave beyond personal illness. For example, in Illinois, the Paid Leave for All Workers Act (PLAWA) went into effect on January 1, 2024. Under this law, covered workers earn one hour of paid leave for every 40 hours they work, up to 40 hours of paid leave each year; workers may use paid leave for any reason, and employers may not require them to provide a reason when requesting time off. A similar law in California recently increased the required amount of sick leave from 24 to 40 hours per year.

Pay Transparency and Equity

With the goal of increasing pay transparency and equity, several states—including California, Colorado, New York, and Washington—already require employers to provide salary information in their job postings. Massachusetts, New Jersey, and Illinois have similar legislation pending for this year.

Other states are updating or expanding their pay equity laws. In Colorado, for example, the Equal Pay for Equal Work Act—which went into effect in 2021—now requires employers to list application deadlines in their job postings and internal promotion notices. Hawaii has revised its law to ensure that equal pay requirements apply to all protected categories, rather than just men and women.

Amidst the ever-changing legal landscape, it’s crucial for businesses of all sizes to stay on top of laws that may apply to them. While it’s always prudent to consult your attorney for guidance, IBPSA has compiled a variety of resources to help support your pet care services business. Visit https://www.ibpsa.com/business-help/ to explore what we offer!

(Sources: https://www.nelp.org/publication/raises-from-coast-to-coast-in-2024/, https://www.inc.com/brit-morse/5-employment-law-changes-business-owners-need-know-about-2024.html,https://www.usnews.com/news/business/articles/2023-12-13/what-small-businesses-need-to-know-about-new-regulations-going-into-2024).