Contrary to one’s first impression, many business-related laws – including many supply chain and employment laws – do not apply to small businesses. So, what is the first inquiry to make when researching any business-related law? Obviously, one should ask: “Is my company even covered by this law? If the answer is “No,” then you can relax and move on to the next business challenge. If the answer is “Yes,” then you should learn more about the law’s requirements.
Laws typically include a criterion that identifies which companies are covered by the law, and which are not. Often the criterion is a size standard such as a certain level of annual receipts or a certain number of employees.
For example, to be covered by the frequently discussed California Transparency in Supply Chains Act a company must have, in addition to other requirements, annual worldwide gross receipts exceeding $100 million. If your company’s gross receipts are less than this threshold, then relax and move on.
As another example, the federal Americans with Disabilities Act states that a “covered entity” includes a company that “has 15 or more employees for each working day in each of 20 or more calendar weeks in the current or preceding calendar year. If your company meets this employee count threshold, you should learn more about the ADA’s prohibitions and requirements.
So, before you direct your lawyer to fully brief you on what any given law requires, discuss with him or her whether your company is even covered by the law. You may save money and time.