Have you gone to a website of the federal government lately? You may be surprised to learn that they appear to be slanted almost entirely to workers. Employers have to work very hard to find information about topics of concern to them on these sites.
- The Department of Labor (DOL) information about unemployment insurance is subtitled “workforce security.” It tells workers how to file claims. Admittedly, the DOL is designed primarily for worker information. However, just a few years ago, the site had very helpful links and resources for employers (especially small employers) dealing with their workforce; this information is gone (or at least so buried that it’s difficult to find).
- The IRS website has been revamped recently. If you look at the homepage, you wouldn’t think there were any taxes on businesses; all of the photos and links are for individuals. Again, the site does contain information for businesses, but you really have to look hard.
- The PBGC, which is the government agency insuring private pensions, provides information to workers about how to make claims and more. It is challenging for employers who want information about their obligations to find suitable links. Information about premium amounts and paying them is there, but again you really have to look. Previously, there had been easy-to-find links for employers.
These are just some examples that I encountered when seeking information relevant to business owners. It is now challenging to find guidance and resources for businesses on many federal websites. Is this an accident, an error, or a political statement?
Barbara Weltman is an attorney, author (with such titles as J.K. Lasser’s Small Business Taxes and The Complete Idiot's Guide to Starting a Home-Based Business), and trusted professional advocate for small businesses and entrepreneurs. She is also the publisher of Idea of the Day® and monthly e-newsletter Big Ideas for Small Business® at www.barbaraweltman.com, and host of Build Your Business radio. Follow her on Twitter: @BarbaraWeltman.