Q&A: What changes will the Biden administration have on my small business?

Jean Spencer, Senior Manager of Integrated Campaigns at Zenefits.
Apr 5, 2021

A new presidential administration usually means new laws. When it comes to business processes like taxes, business compliance, standards, and labor laws, what changes can small businesses expect from the Biden Administration? In this episode of POPS!, Zenefits Sr. Manager of Integrated Campaigns Jean Spencer breaks down four pieces of legislation small business leaders should […]

A new presidential administration usually means new laws. When it comes to business processes like taxes, business compliance, standards, and labor laws, what changes can small businesses expect from the Biden Administration?

In this episode of POPS!, Zenefits Sr. Manager of Integrated Campaigns Jean Spencer breaks down four pieces of legislation small business leaders should be paying attention to, including the $1.9 trillion stimulus bill, healthcare, gender identity & sexual orientation, and employee & contractor classifications.

In this Q&A, you’ll hear: 

  • [01:32 – 02:37] What small businesses need to know about the $1.9 trillion stimulus bill
  • [02:48 – 03:32] What could change (and stay the same) with President Biden’s proposed health care expansion
  • [03:59 – 04:54] An overview of a new anti-discrimination executive order for employers
  • [04:55 – 06:25 ] Information on a new bill regarding employee classifications and gig workers

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POPS Star Bio

Jean’s love for small business runs deep. In 2010, she became an entrepreneur with her invention of touchscreen gloves (Agloves).  She learned first hand (pun intended!) about running and building a business. Her professional career has taken as many leaps and shifts as her latest personal passion for free solo rock climbing. Really!  She cut her teeth in journalism as a political journalist at the Wall Street Journal, and she’s married her love for data and storytelling in a number of marketing roles including her current gig as the head of Integrated Marketing Campaigns at Zenefits.

Transcript

Jean: What changes will the new administration have on my small business? 

Didi: Welcome to POPS, the show that shows you how to shift from human resources, paperwork to people operations, but the new world of work by answering one question at a time. To help us answer your question. Here’s Jean Spencer, Senior Manager of Integrated Campaigns at Zenefits. 

Jean: It’s a fair question. That’s because often when there’s new presidential administration, American business owners start feeling a little squirmy unsettled, curious on edge because you know, a new cabinet, a new Congress means changes to how things are done.

New laws. Notoriously creates a substantial impact on businesses and their processes like taxes, business compliance, standards, and labor laws. So now we’ve got the Biden administration and what can business owners expect? It would be good. Will it be bad? Well, we’re not fortune-tellers here, but in an attempt to answer the question, let’s touch on some facts.

We do know regarding four key areas. Namely, we’ll go over the 1.9 trillion American rescue plan act, healthcare and benefits, gender identity, and sexual orientation, and employee and contractor classifications in this short podcast. First, what do you need to know about the 1.9 trillion stimulus bill?

Well for one, there’s less money overall in comparison to the first stimulus bill earmarked for small businesses support. But if you’re in the restaurant industry or venue industry, you’re in a different boat and could actually get a major boost in funds, the bill allocated 28.6 billion in grants for foodservice businesses.

Based on their annual revenue fluctuations during the pandemic and the size of restaurant or restaurant chain. Another 1.25 billion is being saved for shuttered venue companies like movie theaters, performance venues, or museums to help get them back on their feet. Another important point that you might want to remember from the 1.9 trillion stimulus bill, was that raising the minimum wage.

Which was originally drafted as a part of this bill was not included in the final draft. If you have more questions about the stimulus bill, I’d recommend reading this article from Inc, which we’ll post in the podcast notes. It does a great job at bullet pointing, what you need to know for your small business.

So that’s the American rescue plan act, but there are other ways that the Biden administration might impact small businesses outside of the highly publicized economic relief bill. One big one healthcare. President Biden has pledged to preserve and enhance public access to health benefits initiated in the Obama administration through the affordable care act.

This means some things as it relates to healthcare will look and feel the same for small businesses. For instance, businesses with 50 or more full-time employees will continue to be federally required to provide and report ACA-compliant, health care reports. But president Biden has also proposed healthcare expansions, most prominently, a national insurance option, similar to Medicare.

If this were to be implemented, this public option could remove the obligation on smaller businesses to provide health insurance. Potentially saving you significant costs. It could also lower the Medicare eligibility range from 65 to 60, possibly prompting earlier retirement. This all can have impact on your workforce.

So in short, the healthcare saga isn’t complete and small businesses should stay vigilant and keep up with how national healthcare regulations continue to evolve. Okay. So we’ve gone over the new stimulus package and healthcare. What else? Let’s look at social issues, gender identity, and sexual orientation, and how they’re by an administration is impacting those.

Of course, discrimination has not been tolerated for years in American workplaces, but an executive order issued from the white house this past January 2021 reinforced the with greater strength. When it declared that quote, adults should be able to earn a living and pursue a vocation, knowing that they will not be fired demoted or mistreated because of whom they go home to or because of how they dress.

Does not conform to sex-based stereotypes and quote, this represents every nude commitment to enforce the equal employment opportunity, commissions laws against workforce workplace discrimination, and suggest a more proactive action on the part of HR departments to create inclusive, welcoming, and safe environments for people of all walks in life.

Finally, let’s look at employee classifications because this is a big one. Currently, there’s a broad and controversial labor discussion regarding employee classifications and the gig economy and how it’s being represented in the workplace. There’s a new house resolution bill on the floor house resolution 24 74 called the protecting the right to organize or ProAct.

It aims to strengthen the ability of workers to organize into unions. Eliminate right-to-work laws. Codified the ABC test used in California via assembly bill five and more according to people in favor of the bill. Now, if you’re not sure what all that means they BC test used in California has been another controversial thing that essentially says that if people are doing the jobs that look and feel like full-time work or employee style work, that they need to be treated like employees.

Not as a part of a freelance contractor or gig economy. This means that employers, we have to cover their employee benefits, such as short-term disability, worker’s comp, et cetera. Now, critics say if enacted a national ABC test could jeopardize existing freelance or contract relationships at a large scale.

But proponents of the bill said aim to give workers the benefits they deserve. So hopefully this helps, as we mentioned, we’re not fortune-tellers here, but these are kind of four big area buckets that the Biden administration may have an impact on and may have an impact on your small business. If you have more questions, please always feel free to reach out to us through this podcast or visit workest.com where we publish HR news daily. 

Didi: Do you have a question for our experts. You can always email me at [email protected] or head on over to www.zenefits.com/pops-podcast for more insights on content for this show and our others. Thanks for listening.

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