Critical Labor Laws Business Owners Should Know

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There’s nothing easy about owning a business. From supply chains to sales agreements and payroll, it takes all you’ve got to keep things running smoothly. The luckiest owners are able to hire experienced professionals, like this attorney to help you understand the probate process and what happens to your business once you pass. For others, things are far more difficult. 

One of the most troubling areas a business owner faces in labor law. This aspect gets all too many owners into legal hot water, but it doesn’t have to happen to you. Here are critical labor laws that all business owners need to be ware of. 

Equal Pay Act of 1963

This should go without saying, but it’s illegal to pay a woman less than you would pay a man to do the same job. Yet, the gender pay gap still sits between $0.83 to $0.90 to the dollar. Many employers rely on job descriptions, education experience, and discouraging discussion about pay among coworkers to keep the gap afloat. 

Whatever you do, don’t be that business owner. Follow the law under the Equal Pay Act and ensure there is no wage discrimination in your workplace. Failing to do so, if you get caught, comes with heft penalties. 

Civil Rights Act of 1964, Title VII

This is where many employers run into trouble with discrimination in the workplace. Title VII prohibits discrimination on the grounds of color, sex, religion, race, and national origin. Combined with the Age Discrimination and Employment Act of 1967 as well as the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990, business owners are required to treat everyone equally.

That includes your hiring process and potential employees. It also covers reasons for firing an employee as well as payment practices. Make sure your employees aren’t partaking in discriminatory acts, either, or you could find yourself slapped with a major lawsuit. 

Family Medical Leave Act

This law is pretty straightforward. If you have over 50 employees, then you’re required to grant them up to 12 weeks of medical leave in a 12-month cycle. You’re allowed to ask for request forms under the law that include medical documentation, ensuring the employee’s situation does fall under the act. 

Fair Labor Standards Act

The Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) covers everything from minimum wage to overtime pay and what makes an employee full or part-time. Contractors also fall within this realm. There’s a lot to understand within this act, making it imperative that you take the time to read it. Fail to comply or compensate employees properly, and your business will be in ruins. 

State Laws

Finally, each state can add labor laws to the federal ones above. Take sexual harassment in the Orange County workplace, for instance, which comes with harsher penalties than other areas across the country. 

Each state’s government website can help you learn more about local laws that could impact your business. Learning them now will save you legal trouble while also ensuring your workforce is a happy and healthy one. 

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