Got a Startup? Be Sure to Stay on Top of Employment Law for Your State

Startup business face a great deal of challenges, but when you face them head on and with the right information, it can help your business become more successful in the long run. While many startup businesses are focusing on things like what tech to have, how many employees to hire, and what type of budget you’re working with, there’s a lot more to consider, especially when it comes to legalities. If you have a startup business, it’s extremely important for you to stay on top of employment laws, and while there are many country-wide laws in place, some are specific to location. Here are a few employment laws to keep in mind.

Wages and Hours

The law determines the wages and hours your employees endure thanks to the Fair Labor Standards Act. As a company, you can decide if your employees are salaried or hourly, which makes them either exempt from overtime or qualifies them for overtime. For those who are hourly workers, there are rules in place that determines their wages if they exceed a certain amount of hours. According to Mr. Leichter, a Texas oilfield workers overtime lawyer, “Employers often use illegal means to deny their workers the additional overtime pay they earned…Workers should know what money they deserve…”

In addition to wages, the Fair Labor Standards Act also forbids hours for children under 16 and forbids employment of certain jobs for children under 18. If you are considering hiring anyone under the age of 18 for your business or hiring anyone as an hourly worker, then it’s important you fully understand the law in your state.

Workplace Safety

By law, you are required to provide a safe working environment for your employees, and the Occupational Safety and Health Act puts this into motion. This law varies by state as well as the specific job, but it’s still necessary for you to ensure you’re not breaking any OSHA laws. If you do, you could find yourself not only facing hefty fines from OSHA, but your employees can also turn around and sue you for any damages they may have incurred due to your negligence. Most office-related jobs don’t have as many safety requirements as those that require construction-related tasks, but it’s still a good idea for you to check local laws and educate yourself.

Worker’s Compensation

Even if you have a safe workplace and follow the laws, it’s still possible for an employee to get injured while on the job. Worker’s compensation laws are in place to help protect both the employer and employee in case of work-related injuries. This typically requires you to have a certain insurance coverage, and this again will depend on number of employees you have and the type of work being done.

Employee Benefits

Health insurance is always a hot topic when it comes to employers, and while the laws are always changing, it’s important for you to fully understand your role in supplying employee benefits. Once again, the size of your business will play a role in the type of benefits you must supply to your employees, but you must keep in mind this is an added cost to your startup. If you are struggling with funds and need to cut back, then being educated on the employee benefits laws will help you make the right decision for your company.

Along with health insurance, employee benefits can be attributed to other benefits. For instance, if your company has more than 50 employees, then you’ll need to adhere to the Family Medical Leave Act (FMLA), which requires you to provide 12 weeks of unpaid job security to your employees for different reasons. In order to ensure you meet all necessary benefits, it’s a good idea to talk to a Human Resources professional so you’re fully aware of what you need to do.

Unions/Non-Unions

Some jobs require union employees, and these unions have their own sets of rules, benefits, and requirements. If your startup requires the assistance of union employees, then you must do your research to determine what union options you have as well as the laws and rules invoked by each. Failing to meet necessary requirements can put you in danger of lawsuits and fines, and this isn’t something your startup can likely afford.

Having a startup is a great way to be entrepreneurial and be your own boss, but it also comes with more than just getting the company off the ground. Knowing your employment laws will help.

 

 

 

The True Cost of Owning A Home

Homeownership is not for everyone. It seems every time you turn around there’s something else that needs attention. Even if you recently paid off your mortgage there are still many expenses and monthly and yearly services that you will need to continue with in order to keep your home in good order

Property Taxes and Homeowners Insurance

Property taxes are something that every homeowner is required to pay, even those that own their home outright. And while they vary from one location to the next they still go up each year. It can get even worse if you now live in an area that’s making a lot of improvements for the better. Homeowner’s insurance is also something that you must have. It protects you in case of fire or an electrical failure and in the event that someone is injured on your property. 

Pest control

Keeping pests out of your home is not only critical to your sanity, it’s also necessary for your health and the preservation of your home. A sighting of a few ants or an occasional mouse may present a bigger problem for you in the near future. Luckily, pest control companies such as Moxie Pest Control, have the knowledge and the equipment that can help them determine if you are at risk for an all-out invasion. Most companies access the situation, then address it and follow up with monthly treatments that can add up to $50.00 or more each visit. 

Lawn Care

Maintaining your outdoors helps to keep the property looking good. Performing regular maintenance by trimming tree limbs and shrubs and removing weeds also prevents bugs and pests from entering and inclement weather, such as snow, ice, and wind from causing damage to your home. If you work, hiring a landscaper or lawn care service may prove to be a viable option. Even if you opt just to use one to mow the lawn it can run you a hundred or so a month from early spring to late fall. 

Annual Service of the heating and cooling system and Plumbing

Whether you have a furnace or an HVAC unit they will need an annual inspection in order to sustain a high level of performance. You can opt to skip a year or two and roll the dice. However, chances are good that if something goes wrong it will end up costing you more. That’s because small problems turn big quickly and forgoing a hundred or so for the annual maintenance that entails the cleaning out of your vents, the plumbing, and the equipment can turn into a few hundred or even worse, the need for a new furnace or AC system for a few thousand dollars. 

Cleaning Out the Gutters

Throughout the year your gutters collect debris and water that runs off. If the gutters become full or clogged in certain areas the water is no longer able to flow freely down the side of your home. When this happens the water begins to back up and overflow causing your siding or shingles to remain wet against the home. Over time this water eventually begins to seep through causing damage to not only the roof but also your home’s interior. A simple cleaning two times a year can prevent this from ever happening. Its a few hundred dollars well spent. 

In addition to the regular maintenance involved with homeownership, there are other things that continue to require your attention and time like resurfacing the deck, filling in the cracks on your patio and repaving the driveway. Inside the home, there are things like changing the lightbulbs, replacing filters, painting and sealing doors and windows. And, all of these things don’t include your monthly utility bills.