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Ignorance of the law is no excuse! As a business owner, you have a legal responsibility to comply with federal, state and local laws that affect how you treat your employees. The penalties for not complying with employment laws can have a serious impact on you and your company. Here are just a few of the legal issues that you need to know about:
- Jurisdictional threshold – which laws apply to your company? Different laws kick in as you hire more people.
- Are you paying people correctly? Are they employees or independent contractors? Are they exempt or non-exempt from overtime regulations under the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA)?
- What is the minimum hourly wage where your company is located? Is it different where your employees live? If so, which rate do you pay? Many state and local governments have enacted increases above the federal minimum wage.
- If you have employees located in different states, which laws apply – the state laws where your company headquarters is located or where the employee lives?
- Do you have employees who are less than 18 years of age? What legal restrictions apply to them?
- Are you required to pay employees for breaks or rest periods? What about jury duty?
- Are you in compliance with ADA, ADEA, EEOC, FCRA, HIPAA, IRCA, OSHA, and USERRA regulations? What about State laws preventing discrimination and requiring parental leave?
- Can you require employees to give two weeks’ notice of their intent to resign? Do you have to provide “severance” pay when you terminate an employee? What happens to accrued leave when employment ends?
- What is “at-will” employment? Can you really terminate any employee at any time?
- What should you do when an employee alleges workplace harassment or discrimination?
An HR professional can help you with all of your human resources needs, from developing a legally -compliant application form, hiring the right employees, running background checks, creating employee handbooks that include anti-harassment policies and procedures, managing employee performance, staying legally compliant, automating employee records, and anything else you need to create an environment where employees can provide the services that you need to run your business.