Getting started in Government Contracting is not easy. Aside from the massive difference from a private business, there are the rules of compliance that companies need to abide by to the letter in order to start, keep working on, and finish a government contract. Not to mention that these rules may change with each administration and amendment.
There are also areas of government regulation that you need to keep abreast on. Here are 5 of the most important:
- Labor and Employment
These are regulations that go in tandem. When you talk of labor laws, you usually refer to the labor force as a whole, while employment regulations are geared towards the individual.
There are over 200 federal labor laws. Here are some very important ones:
- Hours and Wages. The FLSA ensures that employees are paid the standard minimum wage and overtime compensation. The federal minimum wage differs from state to state, the state also has its own minimum wage and the employee will get the higher one of the two.
- Workplace Safety and Health. The OSH sets this safety standard. There have been a lot of changes due to the pandemic so get updated!
- Employee Benefits Security. The ERISA ensures that employees receive their retirement benefits completely. If you offer retirement benefits, make sure that you have a system that protects these benefits.
- Unions and Members. The LMRDA is there so that Unions submit financial reports and standards for their elected officials. Unions help with workers’ freedom and rights.
- Employee Protection Against Workplace Retaliation. The OSHA enforces more than 20 whistleblower laws to protect employees that come forward about their company’s questionable acts. Employers cannot demote, deny or reduce pay and hours, nor can they fire or lay off whistleblowers.
- Medical and Family Leave. If a company has 50 or more employees, the FMLA mandates that they provide a 12-workweek and 26-workweek leaves due to birth, adoption, illness, or military service.
- Equal Employment. The Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) enforces several laws to help against discrimination in any form. Some examples of these laws are
- the Civil Rights Act of 1964 enforces that discrimination is illegal and that companies need to make accommodations for religious beliefs.
- Equal Pay Act of 1963 is there so that workers are paid equally regardless of gender.
- The Pregnancy Discrimination Act of 1978. No discrimination due to childbirth or pregnancy.
- The Age Discrimination in Employment Act of 1967. People over 40 are protected by this law.
- Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990. Qualified people with disabilities should not be discriminated against. This is what this law mandates. This includes any possible accommodation needed
- Tax Regulations
The Federal Government, like most governments, gets its main source of revenue from taxes. The IRS makes sure that individuals and businesses do their civic duty to pay taxes.
There are a lot of types of business taxes that need to be settled and some may not apply to all. Here are some general taxes:
- Income Tax. This can be very confusing. Nearly every individual and business need to file income tax (with some exceptions), there are also different forms that need to be used for different situations.
- Estimated Taxes. Individuals and entities need to file this tax if they expect to owe a certain amount after their return is filed.
- Self-Employment Tax. Your social security and Medicare Tax, if you are an individual working for yourself, will be your Self-Employment tax.
- Employment Taxes. If you have employees, you need to cover a few employment taxes: FITW, FUTA, Social Security, and Medicare.
- Excise Tax. Needs to be settled on the sale, production, or consumption of goods in a country..
- Privacy and Advertising Regulations
- Truth-in-advertising. Businesses need to be truthful about their advertising. They also need to protect their clients’ information. There are many federal laws supporting these. The FTC is the governing body when it comes to truth in advertising.
- Customer privacy. The threat of the digital age is very clear here. Every business needs to take care of its clientele’s personal information.
- Environment Regulations
The EPA enforces several laws so that businesses will be responsible for their eco-footprint.
- Antitrust Regulations
The FTC is the main body that enacts antitrust laws. Horizontal conduct or even Single firm conduct are quite frowned upon and are watched closely by the FTC.
There you go, 5 key areas that every Federal Contractor should know about. Being able to understand, at least the gist of these rules will allow for the best possible outcome in your Government Contract. If you run into any trouble understanding these regulations, just give us here at PWCPA PC a quick call and we’ll be happy to sort things out for you