The Only Constant is Change

When it comes to being an employer in California, one thing is certain; things will always be changing.  In the key areas of Payroll, Human Resources, Employee Benefits, and Workers’ Compensation and Safety, the rules for you as a business owner are truly a moving target.

Isaac Asimov’s famous quote begins with the iconic statement that “the only constant is change” and goes on to say that “no sensible decision can be made any longer without taking into account not only the world as it is, but the world as it will be”.

Two significant challenges confront business owners in keeping up.  First, you have to be aware of what’s changed in the four key areas of employment: payroll, HR, benefits and workers’ comp.  That could be a full time job in-and-of itself.  And, let’s be honest, you are an expert in your business, not in payroll taxes, employment law, benefits administration, and insurance.  So, even if you can stay abreast of all of the changes that might affect your business, you may not know what they really mean to your bottom line or your company’s future.  Second, with some changes required and others optional, you have to decide how, when, or even if you should implement a change.

Take the Brinker case regarding meal and rest periods that is before the California Supreme Court.  A final ruling has not been issued, so each employer must assess the potential impact and make a business decision which balances the risk of the ruling going one way or the other with your needs, your customer’s needs, and your bottom line in this tough economy.

Or take, for example, the recent reduction of the Social Security payroll tax.  This change didn’t happen until early December but it appeared to be a fairly straight forward, mandated change.  But wait – for self-employed workers, who pay both the employee (worker) portion AND the employer portion, it was unclear what the reduction would be; i.e. would it only apply to the employee portion or to both the employee and employer portion?

You wouldn’t decide if your company should be a partnership or a corporation without professional advice from your attorney or your CPA.   Likewise, don’t try to stay current with, nor interpret changes in, the areas of Payroll, Human Resources, Employee Benefits, and Workers’ Compensation and Safety without also seeking the advice of a professional in the area Employer Services.

Whether it is a small, one time consulting project to review a certain area of your employment relationship with your employees, or a desire to completely offload all of the administrative burdens of being a California Employer and focus on the business of your business, YPP can help.

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