Familiarize Yourself With Employment Laws to Avoid Litigation

Small business owners know how much hard work is required to set up your own venture and be successful at running it. Successful entrepreneurs are intimately familiar with their product or service, their customers and their market. Familiarize, while they may be quite good at turning a profit, they may not be as well-versed in state and federal employment laws. Therefore, business owners should make themselves aware of applicable state and federal statutes when creating their policies in order to avoid being sued.

Determining the rules under:

Which your enterprise will operate accomplishes several objectives. Rules spell out employee expectations, prevent loss and ensure that operations run smoothly. However, creating your business’s policies can be incredibly complicated. Employment laws vary from state to state. Additionally, the major federal employment statutes depend on the size of your venture. Further complicating the process is the fact that some rules are subject to interpretation. For example, the Americans with Disabilities Act defines disabilities broadly. The law establishes certain responsibilities towards these workers, so determining if a worker is protected by the ADA is very important.

Many small business owners unintentionally violate applicable statutes with their policies. What they believe to be flexible rules may be considered a violation under state or federal statutes. You might allow your workers to skip a lunch break to leave early. However, some states require that certain workers receive a lunch break in addition to breaks for hours worked during the day and some states mandate when the breaks must occur. Flex-time policies are another way in which small businesses may unintentionally violate applicable statutes. The most common way in which these violations occur is by allowing workers to work longer days but fewer of them each week. Depending on the overtime statutes in your state, you may owe overtime wages, back-pay or penalties. Finally, loaning money to an employee and deducting payments from their checks is illegal in many states. A better way to make a loan is by having the worker sign a promissory note and setting up a regular payment schedule..........................................................................

Fortunately, a great deal of information:

About how to comply with state and federal employment laws is available to small business owners. Check with your local Chamber of Commerce, Better Business Bureau, Small Business Administration or department of labor for advice. These groups may hold seminars, distribute packets of information or have special sections on their website dedicated to relevant statutes to guide the creation of your policies. Alternatively, attorneys who specialize in the field can consult with you about your rules. Investing in a consultation with an attorney to advise you on what rules do not comply with state or federal employment laws may be cheaper than seeing your insurance premiums rise following litigation.

Anyone who has started a business venture knows how much money, time and education is required to be successful. Learning about employment laws before creating policies for your workers is one of the best ways in which you can protect that investment.

By admin