Small business owners know that employees are their most valuable resource. Small business owners work hard to train and retain employees by creating a rewarding workplace. Finding qualified employees has been small business owners’ top business problem since 2019. However, government mandates and regulations have made labor issues and the ability to fill open positions more complicated than ever.

Small businesses operate differently than large businesses; they do not have human-resources departments to track the changing standards and rules that affect their workforce and workplace.

NFIB urges Congress to eliminate burdensome mandates and prevent cumbersome regulations that inhibit job creation.

Paid Sick Leave and Paid Family Leave

Multiple proposals before Congress would mandate paid sick leave and paid family medical leave mandates on small businesses. The Build Back Better Act contains an inflexible four-week federal paid family leave program that would pose challenges to small employers trying to manage and maintain their workforce.

Other proposals would mandate ten days of paid sick leave and up to 12 weeks of paid family and medical leave on all employers, similar to the temporary requirements from the Families First Coronavirus Response Act (FFCRA) of 2020. These requirements are unfamiliar to smaller employers with fewer than 50 employees who are not currently subject to the unpaid leave mandates of the Family and Medical Leave Act.

The PRO Act

The PRO Act will significantly restrict the rights of small business owners to contract freely, compromises the privacy of millions of Americans, and exposes small businesses to costly boycotts and protests.

Minimum Wage

Small business owners know that more than doubling the federal minimum wage would lead to increased labor costs and tough choices. They must either increase the cost of their product or service or reduce labor costs elsewhere. The reduction in labor costs would be achieved through reduced jobs, reduced hours, or reduced benefits.

NFIB opposes the Raise the Wage Act because 92 percent of NFIB members opposed an increase in the federal minimum wage to $15.00 per hour by 2024 and annual increases in subsequent years in a recent member ballot. In March 2021 the Raise the Wage Act was considered in the U.S. Senate as an amendment to the American Rescue Plan Act and the amendment was rejected in a vote of 58-42.

Independent Contractor Classification

Defining a worker as an “employee” or an “independent contractor” became more difficult in 2024 due to the U.S. Department of Labor (DOL) revoking a 2021 rule. With the previous rule, definitions and determining factors for classification were clear. In its absence, classifying a hire correctly is surrounded by uncertainty.

NFIB opposed this rule and has filed a lawsuit challenging it. NFIB sent letters of support to the U.S. Senate and House for legislation to repeal DOL’s 2024 rule, arguing that it adds complexity to the classification process and can lead to frivolous lawsuits and enforcement actions against small businesses. NFIB supports the protection of – and efforts to secure – the right of individuals to work as independent contractors.

You can learn more about how to determine a worker’s classification in NFIB’s Legal Guide.


The U.S. Department of Labor (DOL) released a new overtime rule that goes into effect July 1, 2024. The rule raises the salary threshold for overtime pay eligibility, adding burdensome requirements for small business owners.

The current threshold for salaried workers eligible for overtime pay is set for those making less than $35,568 annually. On July 1, the threshold rises, expanding eligibility for salaried employees earning less than $43,888. At the start of 2025, the threshold increases again to include those making less than $58,656. All salaried employees under these thresholds working more than 40 hours in a single week are eligible for overtime pay.

The rule further states the eligibility threshold is subject to change every three years. NFIB opposed this rule and has filed a lawsuit challenging it.

Joint Employer

The final joint employer rule significantly expands when employers are deemed joint owners under the National Labor Relations Act. NFIB opposed the final rule from the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) issued last year and continues to advocate for the NLRB to return to a simplified determination for joint employer status.

NFIB announced a Key Vote in support of repealing the rule and restoring the independence of small business owners.

Get the Facts!

Our infographic below details how the $15 Federal Minimum Wage impacts small business.

Minimum Wage Infographic

Click to view full-size infographic

Minimum Wage Infographic

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