Top 5 Compliance Challenges Retailers Face Today

By Kris Janisch
Published Oct. 19, 2021

Compliance Challenges Retailers

Employment law compliance can be especially challenging for the retail industry.

Compliance is a challenge. But for employers in the retail industry, it can be especially cumbersome. Hundreds of thousands of stores, new employment laws, plus tracking COVID-19 regulations… It takes constant monitoring to keep up.

With that in mind, here are the top five compliance challenges retailers face today.

  1. Scheduling

In recent years, predictive scheduling laws have become more common. And giving workers advance notice of schedules is just part of the compliance equation.

Employers may have to pay workers more for certain hours (back-to-back closing and opening shifts), offer hours to existing workers before making a new hire, give new employees a good-faith estimate of potential hours, and more.

Check out our blog, Predictive Scheduling Laws: What Employers Need to Know, for a comprehensive look at these laws and the states considering legislation.

  1. Minimum Wage

Because of the hundreds of ever-changing laws surrounding minimum wage rates, not to mention the related labor law postings, retailers may struggle to find a simple way to manage them.

Take a mall in California that straddles two different cities, for example. One retailer in the mall has two shops, each with a separate minimum wage, even though they share the same address. Those types of situations, along with indexed rates, voter-approved increases and the sheer volume of new laws, makes minimum wage management especially challenging for retailers.

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  1. Paid Leave

Since 2015, more than 26 jurisdictions have passed paid leave laws. And during the first part of 2021, GovDocs was watching 281 bills related to employee leave of some form, and 92 bills related to paid sick leave specifically.

This activity has added a layer of complexity to the compliance puzzle, especially for retail employers, who may have to research which employees are covered, accrual rates, whether seasonal employees are covered and more in order to remain in compliance.

Paid Leave Management. Simplified.

  1. Labor Law Posters

In retail, location managers are busy managing staff, handling inventory and providing excellent customer service. They do not have time to focus on whether they have outdated labor law posters hanging on the wall or if they need retail-specific postings to maintain compliance.

Even worse, HR managers may find that shipments were delivered, but the posters weren’t displayed. As your first line of defense against an employee complaint, labor law posters are a vital facet of compliance.

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  1. COVID-19

Retailers were hit especially hard by the COVID-19 pandemic.

State and local regulations often varied widely, managers had to make physical changes to their locations, count customers, define entrances and exits and purchase personal protective equipment for staff, among other requirements. And with constantly updating guidance from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, more changes could be in store for the retail industry.


Employment law compliance is a major concern for employers in the retail industry. These are just five of the challenges retail HR and compliance teams face.

Plus, as the pandemic begins to ease its grip on the U.S., legislators will likely turn their attention to crafting and passing the employment law compliance laws that have maintained a steady increase in recent years.

This Employment Law News blog is intended for market awareness only, it is not to be used for legal advice or counsel.

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What is GovDocs?

GovDocs simplifies employment law compliance for large, multi-jurisdiction employers in the U.S. and Canada. The GovDocs software platform integrates three solutions in one convenient place to help you master the employment laws impacting your business. Whether you manage a postings, minimum wage or paid leave program, our products cut through research time, provide proactive insights into the everchanging landscape of employment laws and reduce the risk of noncompliance. The company is headquartered in St. Paul, Minn.

Have fewer than 30 locations? 

The GovDocs Poster Store simplifies posting compliance for employers with less than 30 locations across all industries, offering a variety of posting products to meet your labor law compliance needs.