When it comes to setting up a new business, there are several employment law tips you have to keep in mind for the seamless running of operations. These tips can help you navigate the intricacies of employment law and help you avoid trouble (lawsuits) along the way. Here are some employment law tips for new business owners.
1. Do your Research and Never be Afraid to Ask for Advice
One of the most important employment law tips to keep in mind is that you need to do your research to know what and what not to do. Several laws affect your business, and you will likely have to deal with them at one point or another. Therefore, it is imperative to get educated on which laws apply to your business and how they affect you and your employees. You need to educate yourself as much as possible to make sure you don’t get in trouble with the law.
Also, you should always ask questions about employment laws you don’t know or fully understand. You might need to ask questions from some existing business owners concerning how they handle business laws. They’ll be able to guide you since they’ve been in it for a while. Asides from existing business owners, your employment law attorney can also advise you on what and what not to do concerning business laws (more on this later).
2. Be Aware of the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA)
One of the things you should be aware of is the fair labor standard act. You need to understand the fair labor standard act because it is one of the most critical labor laws that guide the corporate world. One of the significant guidelines it states is that all employees must be paid time and a half for any others who worked more than forty hours in a given week except for exempted employees. This means that for every single hour they work, you have to pay them.
Of course, since a minimum wage per hour applies, you’ll need to pay your employees at least the standard minimum wage, if not more. Without understanding the FLSA, you won’t be able to properly put everything in place to be on the right side of this significant law. This is why you need to do your research and also ask questions. You wouldn’t want to face a lawsuit at the early stage of your business just because you violated labor law.
How to Avoid an FLSA violation
- Properly classify your employees as exempted or non-exempted.
- Know the difference between exempted and non-exempt employees.
- When hiring new employees, make sure they are aware of their status, whether exempted or non-exempted.
- Keep accurate records of the numbers of hours which your employees work and ensure to pay them accordingly.
3. Always Keep an Attorney Handy
It is essential to always have a business attorney. Your attorney can guide you on labor laws and how to put them in place. Also, if you need some type of legal documentation for your business, your attorney can help you with all these in a seamless manner. In the event of a violation or an employment law-related lawsuit, your attorney would be the one to represent your business interests.
An attorney will ensure that everything is submitted correctly and that you have what you need to win your case. Moreover, they will ensure that you don’t get charged with something you didn’t do. In the end, it will all be worth the expense if you can avoid spending money on paying back taxes and penalties.
If you were wrongly accused of violating any employment law, you shouldn’t be afraid to litigate the issue. There is nothing wrong with pointing out that you were not given proper notice of any mandatory periods or working hours by the state. This may be hard to do, but with your attorney by your side, you’ll be able to handle it better.
The last thing you want is to pay a massive fine for something you didn’t do. You shouldn’t hesitate to seek legal representation when you have a question or concern as long as you are on your right.
4. Know the Proper Protocol for Disciplining/Terminating Employees
One of the major problems new business owners face concerning labor laws is not understanding the proper protocol for disciplining/terminating employees. You should first research to know if there are labor laws guiding disciplining and or terminating employees.
After researching the due protocols, you can put them in place for your business just as they are or modify them to meet your own standards. But you should know that it isn’t enough to set up the proper protocols in place. You should also make your employees aware of the policies and standard practices.
This way, they’ll always strive to stay on the right side of the law. Also, the employees won’t be able to level false law accusations against you enough to warrant lawsuits. Imagine facing a lawsuit from your employee about employee discrimination, unlawful employment termination, and the likes. You might lose so much if you can’t defend your actions properly.
To ensure your business is in the clear, let your employment policies be properly detailed; there should be no room for debate. So, even if you were to appear before the court, your attorney would be able to defend you well and see you win the case.
5. Understand the Two Major Types of Employment Laws
There are two major types of employment laws that you need to understand as a business owner. The first one is the federal employment law, while the second is state law. The federal employment law comprises of diverse types of employment laws that apply at the federal level.
These laws have been set in place by the federal government to govern both employers and employees. As an employer, without understanding the laws that come under this level, you won’t be able to make adequate arrangements to obey the laws.
The same applies to state laws. The employment laws for states usually differ from state to state, and they govern the way employers and employees relate within any given state.
Just like the federal law, if you don’t understand the state law, you might violate some of the laws, and when that happens, you might be fined or prosecuted. So, by understanding the state and federal laws, you are doing your business a lot of good.
Stay on the Right Side of Employment Laws
Following the tips offered here will enable you to stay on the right side of the law while also giving you peace of mind. Remember to ask lots of questions and do your homework concerning the employment laws to avoid any misconceptions. Finally, don’t hesitate to seek legal counsel if you aren’t clear about any of the employment laws. The last thing you want is to end up in court for employment laws-related violations.