There are many things that make running a business a painstaking and exhausting endeavor. One of the more complex aspects of business ownership is ensuring that you are in compliance with all state and federal regulations for businesses in your industry. Many of these regulations kick in once you hire a certain number of employees. Here are some of the most important thresholds for you to be aware of as you expand your operations and hire on more employees.
The Fair Labor Standards Act
This Act applies to your business no matter how many employees you have, as long as your company is engaged in interstate commerce or grosses $500,000 or more per year.
This is the statute that establishes things such as the minimum wage that you must pay your employees, the compensation that you must give them for overtime hours worked, and the conditions under which you can employ minors.
Once you reach fifteen employees, you will have to comply with Title VII of the Civil Rights Act. This Title prohibits discrimination in hiring, promoting, or other privileges based on race, sex, religion or other federally protected characteristics.
The Family Medical Leave Act (FMLA)
Once your company employs 50 people, you will have to extend the benefits of FMLA to them. This means that, if they require unpaid leave to attend to health problems or family medical emergencies, you must protect their position and give them their job back after their leave, as long as it does not extend to more than 12 weeks in a year. You must also maintain their health insurance coverage while they are on leave.
These are just a few of the federal regulations that apply to small and medium-sized businesses. There are many more labor regulations that you will have to comply with as you continue to grow. It’s always a good idea to consult an experienced employment law attorney to ensure that you are not inadvertently opening yourself up to fines for violation.