When your business is profitable enough to bring on an employee for the first time, or to add to an already existing staff, reviewing employment laws and regulations can save you time in the long run. It’s likely, if you’re ready to hire people, that you have an employee handbook, but if not, now is a great time to create one as well. Whether you’re starting from scratch or updating a handbook, taking a look at employment law as it pertains to your business is worth the effort.
Employment law can seem complex and overwhelming. Knowing where to look takes away most of the confusion, in addition to remembering that these laws exist to protect both your employees and your business.
Hiring Your First Employee
Even before you advertise an available job posting, you have to make preparations--and we don’t mean setting up a desk or getting a locker key for your prospective new hire (although this is a nice thing to do for someone before they join your team). The SBA outlines eight steps you should take before hiring your first employee with details on setting your business up to handle taxes, employee eligibility, worker’s compensation and record keeping to name a few.
Employment Laws Specific to Your State
The US Department of Labor provides a listing of state labor departments--including contact information and a website address. If you follow the website address for your state (for the sake of an example, we’ll choose Utah), you can view helpful FAQs, read recent news and reports, access forms and publications, and of course, learn more about Utah’s state employment laws and regulations. (For example, in Utah, Title 34A Chapter 2 Section 104 defines “employee,” “worker,” and “operative” to grant a better understanding of the Workers’ Compensation Act.)
Regulations and Laws Specific to Industry
When it comes to protecting employees and employers, certain industries merit individual mention because of the nature of the nature of the work. For example, the agriculture industry is governed not only by the employment laws governing every other industry, but there are additional laws that speak to worker protections, child labor protections and temporary workers. The three industries that have specific laws and regulations are:
You can find details about the laws and regulations pertaining to employment in these industries on the Department of Labor website.