It’s no secret that running a startup is a lot of work. In addition to the product or service you’re trying to perfect, you also have to worry about hiring, HR, and compliance with employment laws. To help you out, here’s a compiled list of the five essential HR laws your startup needs to know about. From anti-discrimination laws to minimum wage regulations, ensure you’re up-to-date on all the latest rules and regulations by reading on!
The Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC)
The EEOC is is essential for giving people equal opportunities when it comes to hiring. This includes laws that prohibit discrimination based on race, color, religion, sex (including pregnancy, sexual orientation, and gender identity), national origin, age (40 or older), disability, and genetic information. As an employer, it’s your responsibility to ensure that your hiring practices and company culture comply with EEOC guidelines.
The National Labor Relations Board (NLRB)
If you have unionized employees or seeking to unionize, then you need to be aware of the National Labor Relations Act (NLRA). The NLRA protects employees’ rights to engage in certain activities related to unionizing, including joining a union or engaging in collective bargaining. It’s important to note that the NLRA applies to unionized and non-unionized workplaces. So even if you don’t have unionized employees, you still need to be familiar with the law.
The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA)
OSHA is a federal agency responsible for ensuring that workplaces are safe and free from hazardous conditions. As an employer, it’s your responsibility to provide a safe working environment for your employees. This includes ensuring that there are no safety hazards in the workplace and providing employees with proper safety training. OSHA also has a reporting system so employees can anonymously report any unsafe working conditions.
The Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA)
The Family and Medical Leave Act is a law that gives employees around 12 weeks of unpaid leave for family and other medical reasons. These reasons include the birth or adoption of a child, the serious illness of an employee or immediate family member, or an employee’s need to take care of a family member with severe disease. For an employee to be eligible for leave under the FMLA, they must have worked at least 12 months for your company and 1,250 hours during those 12 months.
Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA)
The Fair Labor Standards Act is a establishes the wage and overtime pay standards for covered workers. Currently, the federal minimum wage is $7.25 per hour—however, some states have enacted laws establishing a higher minimum wage. As an employer, it’s your responsibility to ensure that all of your employees are paid at least the federal minimum wage for all hours worked—unless they are exempt from the FLSA’s coverage requirements.
Running a startup is hard enough without worrying about employment laws—but unfortunately, ignoring them isn’t an option. The list above contains the essential HR laws your business needs to know. However, not knowing and not implementing them can lead to drastic consequences. One of them comes in the form of compliance visits.
One of the consequences that can occur if you don’t implement employment law is a compliance visit. If an employment agency or government representative decides to do a scheduled home office compliance visit, they’ll likely be looking for any potential safety violations and evidence of discrimination against employees. So it’s essential to make sure you are familiar with all the different laws and that you are adhering to them.
No matter how well you run your business, there is always the potential for an employee to file a lawsuit against you or your company. If you are familiar with HR law, you can take steps to avoid situations that could lead to a case. For example, if you know that it is illegal to discriminate based on race, gender, or religion, you can ensure that your hiring practices are fair and unbiased. Additionally, if you know the proper procedures for handling sexual harassment complaints, you can take action immediately if an incident occurs. Being familiar with HR law can help protect yourself and your business from costly lawsuits.
Complying with HR laws can help save your business money in the long run by preventing lawsuits and creating a more efficient workplace. In addition, many state and federal agencies offer incentives to businesses that comply with employment law requirements. For example, the Occupational Safety and Health Administration offers free on-site consultations for companies that request them. These consultations can help identify potential safety hazards in the workplace and assist businesses in developing safety plans to prevent accidents and injuries. By taking advantage of these programs, you can save your business time and money while keeping your employees safe. It can also help you avoid legal fees!
HR laws are essential for any startup to follow, but they can be challenging to keep up with. By becoming familiar with them, you can ensure that your business runs smoothly and legally.