What new business owners should know about employment law

On Behalf of | Nov 19, 2021 | Business Law

Starting a business is a significant achievement, but it also involves a lot of work and careful planning. As a new business owner, you must ensure your business complies with the federal and state laws in different areas, especially regarding your employees. If you do not follow the laws, you could be subject to costly lawsuits and penalties. Because of this, it would be in your best interest to know about the five most important laws that you have to comply with if you want to hire employees.

Family and Medical Leave

If you plan on creating a company with more than 50 employees, you will need to give your employees family and medical leave. This means that your employees must have the right to take up to 12 weeks of unpaid leave without risking their job. Your employees will only be able to take this unpaid, job-protected leave if they give birth, adopt, suffer a serious health condition or have to take care of an ill family member.

Fair Labor and Standards

The Fair Labor and Standards Act was created to set the minimum wage employees must earn, regulate overtime pay and determine the characteristics of employees.  Employees have benefits that subcontractors lack. Because of this, if you hire someone as a subcontractor, but they are an employee, the employee could sue you. You have to comply with these laws if you believe the annual gross volume of your sales will be more than $500,000.

Discrimination laws

You should never tolerate discrimination among your employees, nor should you discriminate against anyone. If you hire more than 15 employees and someone gets discriminated against because of their age, sex, race, disability or national origin, the victim could file a complaint against you with the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC). Because of this, you must always be careful when hiring, promoting or firing an employee.

OSHA’S workplace safety rules

Almost all employers in the United States must comply with the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) standards. As an employer, you will need to provide your employees with a workplace safe from hazards and proper safety equipment if they work under dangerous conditions. Your employees should work in a safe environment, and you will be in charge of giving this to them.

Retaliation laws

Lastly, you must know that you cannot retaliate against your employees if they file a complaint with the EEOC for discrimination in the workplace. You also cannot retaliate against an employee if they file a complaint with OSHA for identifying hazards in the workplace. Acts that constitute retaliation include firing, denying benefits or lowering an employee’s salary in revenge for their complaints.

Protection for your business

You want your business to succeed, but this won’t happen if you don’t comply with the employment laws. If you do things right, you can avoid costly litigation lawsuits and ruining your business’ reputation. By following the law, you can reduce your probability of facing a legal claim and, ultimately, save your business.

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