Compliance fileThis is the next post in a series of articles discussing the importance of compliance for Tacoma or Olympia, Washington businesses. The previous post reviewed compliance audits and how proactively examining a company’s level of adherence to its internal policies and external laws and regulations may reduce legal risk. It also recommended retaining experienced compliance counsel to help conduct the audit on the company’s behalf. In this article, we will discuss the important role played by a compliance lawyer in all aspects of a business’ compliance program. If your company needs assistance, contact our office today to speak with an attorney.

As we have previously discussed in this series, compliance is not a one-size-fits-all concept. Complex sets of laws, rules and regulations uniquely affect businesses depending upon their industries, sizes, locations and more. Developing tailored compliance programs, complete with policies, procedures and processes geared to guiding employee behavior, is imperative to minimize legal risk. A business attorney with compliance experience can assist companies in developing effective compliance programs. Beginning with identifying which laws, rules, regulations or other requirements apply to your business, a compliance attorney may be the first line of defense to protect against violations. When knowledgeable counsel is engaged early in the process, they can assist with drafting the internal documentation necessary to operate your business in accordance with the rules. A lawyer can develop training programs, communication materials and updates to proactively protect the company’s interests.

After the initial framework for the compliance program is established, a compliance attorney will continue to stay informed about updates to laws and new or proposed legislation that may impact the company. A lawyer can conduct or assist with periodic compliance audits to evaluate how well the employees are following the rules and identify potential risk areas for improvement. If the company is required to defend against an alleged violation of a legal requirement, the attorney will be uniquely situated to present documentation of the company’s compliance efforts. In some cases, a company’s commitment to a robust program of compliance can be a valuable tool in defense of the company or may help mitigate potential penalties.

Given the complicated array of legal requirements applicable to a business, I cannot over-stress the importance of retaining an attorney with compliance experience to help your company. If your business has concerns about compliance, contact our office today to speak to an Olympia lawyer. The firm also services the Thurston County cities of Lacey, Tumwater, and Yelm, the Pierce County cities of Tacoma, Puyallup, and Lakewood, the Lewis County cities of Centralia, and Chehalis, the King County cities of Seattle, Auburn, Bellevue, Burien, and Federal Way, as well as other areas in Washington, including Grays Harbor, Mason, Cowlitz, and Pacific Counties.