Frequently, we hear from small business owners facing audits and regulatory inspections. To help, we’ve put together guidance on your rights when the government comes knocking. Although you can demand a warrant, if the authorities want to inspect your business records or premises, it does not take much to get a warrant if you refuse access. And as our special guide to dealing with OSHA inspections warns, government inspectors may seek to pursue a more thorough inspection than they would have otherwise if you should withhold consent for an inspection initially.
You should contact a trusted attorney if you face an enforcement action or investigation. But you will have little time to correct any regulatory violations, even if you can manage to delay inspection. For this reason, keep your house in order—just in case you are randomly audited or an employee files a complaint.
While challenging to ensure full compliance with the regulatory thicket of state, federal and local law, taking steps now can payoff later if problems arise. For that matter, our reader’s may appreciate this post from the California Restaurant Association offering guidance on what California employers need to know to avoid major problems in the event of a Labor Enforcement Task Force raid. Additionally, small business owners should download and review our helpful Legal Guide Series, which covers a host of regulatory issues of importance to employers throughout the nation.