About To Hit 50 Full-Time Employees? Look Out For These Compliance Benchmarks

When your business starts to grow, one of the most exciting milestones to reach is 50 full-time employees. Scaling a business rarely goes without growing pains. But if you don’t prepare, a lot can go wrong.

As you move forward, you’ll want to consider how your growth may trigger certain laws and regulations. The closer you get to breaking the threshold of 50 or more employees, the more vital it is for you to understand how your compliance is directly affected by the ACA, FMLA and Form 5500.

AFFORDABLE CARE ACT (ACA)

Under the Affordable Care Act, or ACA, if you own a business with 50 full-time or full-time equivalent employees, you are required to offer affordable health coverage or face a penalty.

The ACA also stipulates that employers follow reporting requirements once they reach 50 full-time employees. Keep in mind that you must still be following the Affordable Care Act for the 2017 tax year, regardless of potential changes.

FAMILY AND MEDICAL LEAVE ACT (FMLA)

According to the Family and Medical Leave Act, you must provide unpaid, job-protected leave for up to 12-weeks each year if you are a covered employer that employs 50 or more employees.

Employees that meet the requirements are eligible for 12 weeks of leave in a 12 month period to:

  • Recover from a serious illness or health condition.
  • Care for a close family member (parent, child or spouse) with a serious illness
  • Care for a newborn child, at least within a year of the child’s birth (or to care for a newly adopted or foster care child, also within a year of the child’s placement).

You also must offer 26 weeks of unpaid leave in a period of 12 months to allow for care of a covered service member with a serious illness or injury.

ERISA FORM 5500

Form 5500 is a form that any employer must file who sponsors plans subject to ERISA – the Employee Retirement Income Security Act. Plans under ERISA may include medical, retirement and 401(k).

If there are under 100 participants under your plan, only the form 5500-SF must be filled out.

OTHER COMPLIANCE BENCHMARKS

Hitting 50 employees isn’t the only stage of growth that prompts compliance. There are a handful of milestones you will pass on your way to that 50th employee.

  • 10 Employees: You must follow Occupational Safety and Health Act (OSHA) requirements
  • 20 Employees: You are required to act in compliance with COBRA as well as the Age Discrimination in Employment Act
  • 100 Employees: You must comply with regulations such as offering a 60-day notice when a workplace is closing, or mass layoffs occur.

To learn more about compliance in the state of Georgia, check out this list of Georgia employment laws.

Having a growth-focused mindset is a key motivator for most small businesses. When you hire that 50th person and scale your business, it can be exciting – but also confusing. To eliminate confusion, get in touch with one of our trained benefits consultants and start getting the answers you need.

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