When you're hiring employees for your small business, it's a step that should be celebrated. After all, it shows your growth as a business and how you are thriving. However, there is one disadvantage to this momentous step: you must recognize and make sure that your business is compliant with applicable federal labor laws.
Labor laws are comprehensive regulations and rules existing at both the federal and state level. Labor law legislation exists to protect employee rights, and they require further education on the part of the employer. As a business owner, you must comply with these laws, or there will be grave financial consequences, which could be damaging to your bottom line. Every small business must remain vigilant about labor law compliance. Keep reading to learn more.
Know which labor laws affect your business
To make sure your business is compliant, you must learn which state and federal laws affect your business. There are many different applicability variations of how a law could affect your business, even though federal laws apply to everyone across the county. To give an example, the Age Discrimination Act requirements only apply if you employ 20 or more individuals.
Each state has its own set of labor law requirements, in addition to national laws. Visit your local state agency's website to familiarize yourself and your business with state requirements in charge of employment. This office is often called the Department of Labor, or something very similar.
Create a checklist of compliance
Once you understand which employee laws pertain to you, creating a compliance checklist can help you stay organized. You will likely need to feature both federal and state law posters in your place of business, for example. With a list of required notices in a checklist, you will know ahead of time how to stay compliant. If anything on a checklist is recurring, keep an employee calendar, asking staff to please keep up with it to ensure appropriate deadlines complete tasks.
Make an employee handbook
When creating an employee handbook, the task can take some time, but overall, it can be worth the effort. With an employee handbook, your staff understands helpful information about their rights. Also, the information in them can help reduce misformation that can sometimes lead to lawsuits.
When you're looking to create an employee handbook, you must create an updated schedule on it for years to come. This way, it will always remain an accurate reflection of how your company handles its policies. It is also a good idea to have each employee sign a form acknowledging that they have received and read the handbook. The same goes for any subsequent updates.
Perform job discrimination audits
As a business owner, you most likely know that discriminatory practices can open your business up to employee grievances, many times, which can be quite costly. Several HR and employment practices are probably already in place within your company. Therefore, it is a good idea to do a self-audit. This practice ensures that you are not wading into discriminatory waters.
When proceeding with an audit, first identify the anti-discrimination regulations that apply to your business. Federal law Title VII of the Civil Rights Act prohibits discrimination based on race and gender, for example. It is also essential, as discussed above, to pay close attention to state laws, as well. Some states protect gender identity rights as a leading example.
Utilize an employee agreement
Always use an employee agreement, otherwise known as an employment contract, whether you are looking to hire full-time staff or looking for help on the side. This action will help solidify and strengthen the employment relationship while protecting your team's rights and your business.
When you write out responsibilities for your employees in writing, there is a reduction of confusion about the employment relationship. A document like this should be as comprehensive as possible, offering protection to both sides. There are multiple ways to go about generating this document. You could create a customized agreement template or hire an attorney to draw out an agreement. No matter what, this is not a document to overlook.
By keeping in control of all of the actions required to stay compliant with state and federal labor laws, you need not have a headache later on. Be proactive towards reducing the potential consequences of non-compliance in your workplace.
Infinity Consulting Solutions
At Infinity Consulting Solutions (ICS), we provide top-of-the-line compliance services to help you create time for your business's other essential aspects. Our compliance services include background screening, drug testing, new hire paperwork, and education and employment verification.
ICS Payroll solutions will ensure appropriate classification and assume responsibility regarding any worker's IRS inquiries associated with our payroll program.
Please feel free to contact us today with any questions about our compliance services for your staffing needs.