Employment Laws Every Small Business Owner Should Know

It seems silly to state, but the number of implemented laws in the U.S. at both the state and federal levels is far beyond what any human being could know.  Laws that affect businesses alone are far beyond what any law enforcement, business owner, or consumer could know.  However, there are some that every business owner should be aware of and adhere to in order to prevent committing illegal business practices.  Here you’ll find 4 of those laws and how to comply:

Child Labor

Under the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA), there are certain stipulations when it comes to businesses hiring those under the age of 18.  Said act stipulates that no child under the age of 14 may be employed, unless that job is something like babysitting or meets FLSA established agricultural exceptions.  In regard to non-agricultural occupations, the following are laws implemented by the FLSA:

  • Minors ages 14 and 15 may:
    • Only work in the retail, food service, or gasoline service occupations;
    • Work in a non-hazardous occupation for a total of 26 hours per school week or 40 hours per non-school week.
    • Not work more than 3 hours per school day or 8 hours per non-school day.
    • Not work before 7am or after 7pm; except between June 1st and the first Monday in September, when they may work until, but no later than, 9pm.
    • Minors age 16 and 17 may:
      • Work as many hours a week as they wish, but can only work in non-hazardous jobs.

Unpaid Internships

The U.S. Department of Labor set forth the following 6 requirements for determining if you may legally host unpaid internships at your business:

  1. “The internship, even though it includes actual operation of the facilities of the employer, is similar to training which would be given in an educational environment;
  2. The internship experience is for the benefit of the intern;
  3. The intern does not displace regular employees, but works under close supervision of existing staff;
  4. The employer that provides the training derives no immediate advantage from the activities of the intern; and on occasion its operations may actually be impeded;
  5. The intern is not necessarily entitled to a job at the conclusion of the internship; and
  6. The employer and the intern understand that the intern is not entitled to wages for the time spent in the internship.”

Documentation – I-9s

I-9 forms are required by the federal government to verify that those employed by businesses are either U.S. citizens or have work-visas.  You required by law to keep a completed I-9 form for every employee you hire “for three years after the date of hire or one year after the date employment ends, whichever is later” according to the U.S. Department of Homeland Security.

Employee Classification

For tax purposes you are legally obligated to properly classify those you pay for services.  This means you must know how to differentiate a contract worker from an employee or suffer stiff fines from the government.  According to the Internal Revenue Service, “The general rule is that an individual is an independent contractor if the payer has the right to control or direct only the result of the work and not what will be done and how it will be done. The earnings of a person who is working as an independent contractor are subject to Self-Employment Tax….  You are not an independent contractor if you perform services that can be controlled by an employer (what will be done and how it will be done). This applies even if you are given freedom of action. What matters is that the employer has the legal right to control the details of how the services are performed.”

Alexis Tate is a writer offering us a guest post featuring employment laws that every small business owner should know.  As a writer, Alexis writes on a variety of topics, but her passion lies in law.  After realizing that lawyers represent themselves falsely to citizens in need of legal help, Alexis began writing educational articles to help citizens find a good car accident lawyer.

If your business isn’t on top of these small business laws, change is required.  Find quality Six Sigma Jobs UK at Change Jobs.

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