Small Business Legal Advice Can Keep Chicago Companies in Compliance with State and Federal Regulations

The U.S. Department of Labor has sued a Marshfield builder and its owners for more than $100,000 for alleged violations of the Employee Retirement Income Security Act. The case is being pursued by the EBSA's Chicago office.

Chicago business attorneys often see startups struggle to stay on the right side of state and federal employment regulations. Seeking small business legal advice can help ensure that success does not become as disastrous as business failure.

As we reported recently on our site, employment issues and other legal issues can pose a threat to tech startups or other small businesses.

In this case, the lawsuit was filed in U.S. District Court. It alleges the company failed to forward nearly $18,000 in 401(k) contributions between 2006 and 2008. It also says the company failed to remit timely payments to the plan, which had 52 participants and about $250,000 in assets as of March 2009. The suit also accuses owners of failing to pay nearly $100,000 in employer contributions to the Prevailing Wage Plan from 2007 to 2009. The plan mandates that the builder make prevailing wage contributions to the plan using proceeds received under state and federal contracts.

"The Labor Department is committed to ensuring workers keep what they earn," said Steve Haugen, EBSA's regional director in Chicago. "We will continue to hold fiduciaries accountable when they ignore their responsibilities and put workers' hard-earned retirement income at risk."

The lawsuit seeks to restore contributions to both plans and to remove the company and its owners as plan fiduciaries.

Federal and state prevailing wage plan requirements are a complex part of doing work as a government contractor. As contractors have submitted increasingly lean bids to secure jobs in a tough economy, running afoul of wage and hour regulations, retirement regulations and other state and federal employment regulations has become more common.

Companies may also be best served by using an attorney to establish wage and benefit plans, retirement plans, medical plans, employee benefits and health reimbursement accounts.

Chicago small business attorneys can assist in many areas, including:

-Contracts and Agreements

-Corporate and Finance

-Intellectual Property and Technology

-Executive and Employment Issues

-Licensing Distribution and Sales

-Real Estate

-Environmental Health and Safety

While we all think of economic struggles as the primary destroyer of small businesses -- they can also become a victim of their own success. This is particularly true when a growing business fails to get experienced legal advice at critical steps in its evolution. Discussing your overall legal needs and legal strategies with a Chicago attorney who is experienced in small business issues is an excellent first step. Knowing you have a solid legal foundation can make all the difference when building for the future.

Jeremy A. Gibson & Associates is a law firm dedicated to business litigation in Chicago and elsewhere in Illinois. Call 877-452-4529 for a free consultation.