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.
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.
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.
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.
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.