This post was originally published in October, 2015. It has been updated for accuracy and comprehensiveness.
Last fall, I read about a live event design and production company in California that faced HUGE fines over improper i-9’s for their employees. Running an event production company for the last eight years has given me some perspective on the human resource challenges faced by live event companies.
People operations is always a complex task for a business owner. Small or large company, it doesn't matter. Labor laws have evolved in incremental stages over time. Mainly this is because they are meant to address issues as they arise. It's almost impossible to predict every challenge, especially in such a rapidly evolving labor market.
But when these sometimes starkly different laws are fused together, they present a challenging set of rules. Even well-established, successful companies struggle to navigate. Imagine the difficulty (and cost!) for inexperienced business owners and entrepreneurs. You could compare it to quenching your thirst by drinking from a fire hose.