It can be difficult to track employees who work at one location but when you have employees at more than one location, it can present many challenges, particularly if you operate across different states.
Certain industries are more likely than others to have multi-location employees, such as a restaurant or hospitality chain. With multiple locations, treating employees consistently and remaining compliant with labor law regulations is more challenging.
When you have employers in multiple locations, it tends to complicate compliance and non-compliance opens your company up to fines or lawsuits. Resourceful Compliance can help you to take care of this with their Multi-Site Solutions. From updates to new posters, they will make sure you stay compliant at all times, even if you operate in multiple locations.
Some challenges of operating in different locations
- Employers operating across states have to comply with federal and different state laws. For instance, state versions of the Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA) are often stricter than the federal laws. Wage and hour laws also vary from state to state, with some having more severe consequences for non-compliance than others.
- Some benefits, such as health insurance, have to be managed differently in different locations because the benefit will depend on what local insurers cover. It can be challenging to make sure that employees in different locations have similar benefits.
- When employees are dispersed, keeping employee files can be more difficult with documentation scattered rather than being in a central location.
- State and local income taxes can vary and employers need to make sure they are accurately applying tax laws.
- Rules and policies can differ in various locations due to different state regulations.
When multiple locations are considered a single entity
It is only when different locations are affiliated that confusion can occur. If multiple, affiliated locations work under the same unemployment insurance (UI) number, it is considered a single entity. This may be the case, for instance, if multiple stores are majority-owned by a major investor.
This means that employees that work in multiple locations should only have one I.D. number that’s used across all locations. It’s easier to keep track of hours this way and ensures that employers don’t inadvertently inflate their employee count.
Who takes responsibility for what?
When a company has multiple locations, it’s easy to become confused about which one is responsible for which function. If one location thinks another is taking responsibility in a certain area and therefore doesn’t do it, this can result in gaps in data and potential penalties.
If you conduct business in multiple locations, you have to complete a Multiple Worksite Report on a quarterly basis. This report has to be filed in each state if your operations meet the criteria.
For instance, you don’t need to fill in a report if you only have one location in another state and you employ less than a total of 10 people on the secondary worksite. Monthly employment counts and total quarterly wages must be provided in this report.
A centralized payroll system and other software helps with good data input, and makes data output easier too, resulting in more accurate reporting. Open communication about payroll procedures between the various locations also helps with data accuracy.
Mistakes surrounding the tracking of employees and their health care can result in heavy fines. This is why it is so important to set one of your locations as the responsible party for each one. Although multi-location employees can complicate compliance, they should not be the reason for you to suffer fines or penalties.