Labor Law Changes and Community Radio

Even if nonprofit and with little or no staff, community radio stations are obligated to follow labor and workplace statutes as outlined by their states as well as the federal government. The penalties for failure to abide by rules intended to protect employees and volunteers are stiff, and include hefty fines.

Here are a few issues stations should be aware of:

  • Dozens of states have passed increases to the minimum wage. How will this affect your station?
  • The Department of Labor recently issued a rule clarifying who is an independent contractor versus an employee under the Fair Labor Standards Act. If your station hires or is considering contract work, how should you address this?
  • Nonprofits nationwide are reporting attempts by criminal elements to file fraudulent unemployment claims. Do you know what IRS and state workforce agency documents to watch out for?
  • Earlier this month, the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission announced updates to its conciliation program. Employers will be asked to be more involved in voluntarily resolving discrimination complaints. Does your station have a means to address these matters?
  • The Biden administration is expected to review many employment rules and policies, including around contractors. Are you keeping up?

Most community radio stations do not have the budgets to hire human resources staff. And even if you might have someone in charge of people, it is critical that your station has all its postings, records and other materials in order.

Do not assume, because you are a radio station or a nonprofit or in community radio, that you are exempt from following the law. NFCB provides information and guidance to member stations around staff and volunteer policies in a rapidly changing environment. You get fresh information on how they can stay in compliance. Reach out today to join NFCB.

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