I have my own business. It's about as simple as a business can be.
We want to hire our first employees. In case anyone has any doubt whatsoever about how much more difficult/worse the government makes things for employers and employees (excluding income taxes and 15.3% Social Security & Medicare taxes!), check this out:
We have to worry about "wrongful termination." Federal, state, and city law prohibit discrimination/harassment on the basis of the following protected categories: Race, color, religion, creed, national origin or ancestry, ethnicity, sex (including pregnancy), gender (including gender nonconformity and status as a transgender individual), age, physical, mental, or perceived disability, alienage or citizenship, past, current, or prospective service in the uniformed services, genetic predisposition or carrier status, familial status, marital status, sexual orientation (including actual or perceived heterosexuality, homosexuality, bisexuality, and asexuality), partnership status, and victim of domestic violence status.
We have to comply with the "Fair Labor Standards Act," NY labor law, and the NY minimum wage ($12/hour effective 12/31/17). We have to comply with the "New York Paid Family Leave Act," and the "NYC Paid Sick Leave Law." We've been advised by both an accountant and an employment lawyer that we must retain a payroll provider just to be able to keep up with the constantly changing government rules.
We have to register with NY State as an employer. During the process, they ask questions that you literally can't know the answer to at the time you're registering. They also ask probing questions such as, "Does anyone work for you that you don't consider to be an employee?" And guess what? The guidelines around what constitutes an employee versus a contractor are so vague that a lawyer who specializes in employment and a lawyer who specializes in our field can't definitively advise us on what we can do to know whether we're complying with the law.
We have to report to the NYS Department of Taxation and Finance, comply with the "Wage Theft Prevention Act," and the "Immigration Reform and Control Act."
We have to purchase workers' compensation insurance, "NY State Disability Insurance," and "Unemployment Insurance," which "starts" as a 4-5% tax (you have to wait for the State to tell you after you register) and, presumably, goes up from there based on how well our company is doing. (There's also another business tax on top of everything else that kicks in once we hit some arbitrary amount of profit.)
We need to deliver "workplace postings" to every employee, even though we don't have a physical office. There's a whole industry around this because the government doesn't even provide the information in any kind of easily accessible way. (Check out complianceposter.com for fun.)
What a productive use of our time, energy, and the valuable resources we need to grow! I'm sure our customers love paying higher prices, since they have plenty of disposable income. I bet the people we hire actually prefer having chunks of money taken out of their pay before they get it, because they know they're going to get every inflation-adjusted dollar back someday, and more!
Hey, at least we have a government making sure that we don't do anything "wrong." Otherwise we could lie, cheat, and steal, since that's how you succeed in business! And at least we have a government doing everything possible to encourage our business to grow so that we can create jobs and prosperity!
Can't wait to discover what other nonsense we have to deal with. These things do nothing but hurt everyone involved.
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