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4 Legal Changes Every Small Business Owner Needs to Know - ThinkstockPhotos-86543308-d-c.jpg

4 Legal Changes Every Small Business Owner Needs to Know

It’s that time of year again! You’ve reviewed last year’s performance and now, it’s time to use all that you’ve learned, move forward, and implement all those big plans you have lined up for 2015. But as important as tweeting your daily deals can be, there are other necessary steps to take before you go about your business.

The start of the new year is a great time to refresh your memory and update yourself on new workplace policies that may affect your small business. Why is it so important? If you don’t keep up with Business Compliance and new regulations, you can face penalties and fees, and even have your business closed (tweeting will be the least of your worries at this point). Whether you own a grocery store, restaurant, or consulting business, these new bills may impact how you do business. So without further ado…

Here are legal changes every small business needs to know for 2015:

PAID SICK DAYS

If you’re currently not offering paid sick days, you will have to start doing so by July 1, 2015. After the 90th day of employment, California employers are obligated to provide at least three paid sick days to their workers who do not have any sick time as of now. This new bill will obviously have an impact on your business and employees. In fact, it’s estimated to affect 40 percent of the workforce in the U.S. That’s more than 6.5 million employees! That’s a lot of sick contagious people who can stay at home, rest, and more important, stop infecting their healthy colleagues.

EXPANDED PROTECTION FOR IMMIGRANT WORKERS

Immigrant workers no longer have to fear exercising their California labor right, like filing a complaint about unpaid wages. This new bill will expand the protection of immigrant workers when employers threaten to file a report (false or not) with the government. Unfortunately, this sort of incident has been happening more and more, in retaliation of immigrant workers trying to stand up for their legal rights.

BAN ON SINGLE-USE PLASTIC BAG

We may need to put the phrase “Paper or plastic?” to rest once the new bill that bans single-use plastic bags comes into effect. What stores will be affected? Large grocery stores and supermarkets, like Target and Wal-Mart, will be impacted starting July of this year, while convenience stores and pharmacies will be affected in 2016. However, the new bill does not affect other stores, or bags for fruits, vegetables, or meats. Grocers will be allowed to charge a fee (at least 10 cents) for paper bags.

PETS AT RESTAURANTS

Some dog-friendly cities, like San Francisco, already have a plethora of pet-friendly restaurants with outdoor seating. But with this new bill, restaurants will be required to accommodate pets in an outdoor seating area under certain conditions.

Ready to run your business?

We have all the legal documents you need to run your business. And if you haven’t incorporated yet, why haven’t you? With Rocket Lawyer, incorporation is quick, affordable, and easy. It’s #LegalMadeSimple.

What changes will your business be making this new year? Share your ideas below!

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