Due to the global pandemic, it has been increasingly difficult for startups to attract and retain employees. As an entrepreneur, you probably know that the people you choose to hire are the most important assets your company has, however, you should never move fast to build a strong workforce, especially since you might overlook some employment laws that you must comply with.
To help you avoid getting into some massive legal trouble, in our article below, we’ll discuss some of the top employment law challenges that you might face in the future. But, before we take a look at that particular list, let’s first look at how you can determine which specific laws apply to your organization:
Which Laws Apply to My Organization?
The very first thing that you must know is that you’ll have to figure out which employment laws apply to your organization by yourself. Why? Well, for starters, there are local, federal, as well as state regulations and laws that you must comply with, and these can literally be anything – from paid leaves to maternity leaves. Because local laws can vary from one location to the next, you need to figure out what applies to your company.
But, besides the laws that apply to your state, there are other ones that revolve around various factors including the size of your company, the number of people you employ, and so on. For example, if you hire less than fifty people, you won’t be covered by the “Medical and Family Leave Act”, however, they might be covered by state laws regarding this matter. Thus, before anything else, you should learn what regulations and laws apply to your organization.
What Challenges Could I Face?
Not Enforcing Anti-Harassment Policies
As the name implies, these policies revolve around showing interest in preventing harassment in your workplace. Such policies are the most important element of the “Faragher/Ellerth” defense, which could become available in harassment litigations. Now, you might not be required to implement them by federal law, however, you should strongly consider implementing anti-harassment and anti-retaliation policies within your organization.
Though anti-retaliation policies are frequently included in anti-harassment policies and the equal employment opportunity, you should consider implementing them separately, mostly because retaliation could happen in different situations other than someone being harassed or discriminated against – including situations where someone files a complaint about wages or working hour violations that might have happened.
Hiring Individuals That Aren’t Authorized by Law to Work in The Country
The second challenge that you might face is hiring individuals that aren’t legally authorized to work in the United States. The IRCA prohibits all companies from hiring individuals that aren’t authorized to work in America, and they also restrict employers with 4 or more workers from differentiating based on the nationality of an individual. To concede with these regulations, there are several things that you must do.
For starters, you must have all new workers complete “Section One” of the Form I-9 employment authorization verification. Second, you must review all the documents given to you by potential employees, so that you can establish identity. You should also complete “Section Two” of the I-9 Form within 3 days of hiring someone. Besides this, you should retain each document and make them available for inspection by the government. You can check out Levitt LLP to learn more about Form I-9.
Hiring Someone, But Not Signing a Contract With Them
Whether you’ll hire your close friend or your mother, you need to always, I repeat, ALWAYS, resist the temptation to verbally agree on the terms and requirements of the position. This is something that could be a massive issue for you as an employer and you should avoid it at all costs. Hence, no matter what industry your company operates in, you must always ensure that you document every single interaction.
This means that you should have documents revolving around employing individuals, and working with partners, executives, and service providers, thus, you should always have a written agreement with them. This will help you with managing the other party’s expectations, they’ll know exactly what to expect from your organization, and if done properly, having a written agreement will help you resolve any problems before anyone files a complaint or lawsuit.
Not Conducting The Hiring Process Properly
Though you might not realize it, the riskiest time for your organization will be the time for hiring new employees. If you wish to make sure that you minimize liability or litigation risks throughout the entire process, there are several things that you’ll need to do. Firstly, you have to ensure that you carefully conduct every single interview with a potential candidate. More specifically, you need to make sure that the questions don’t ask for any info that is protected under federal/state/local laws.
Second, you must guarantee that all postings or advertisements soliciting employees don’t have a discriminatory factor against any protected classes. Third, you should make sure to conduct due diligence about the individuals you’re interviewing so that you can guarantee that they haven’t taken confidential information from their previous employers and that they aren’t subjected to restrictive covenants with the company they previously worked in.
Lastly, you should enforce background checks so that you learn whether or not an individual has a criminal or another history that could seriously harm your organization. Now, when it comes to performing this type of check, you must make sure that you comply with the regulations and laws enforced by the state you reside in since if you don’t do this, you could be facing some serious legal issues in the future.
Whether you’ve just opened the doors to your business or if you’ve been in the industry for quite some time, not complying with specific employment laws and regulations can easily destroy your business. Because of this, you must make sure that you comply with federal, state, and local laws, and by doing so, you’ll protect your organization.
Since you now know what you need to do in order to avoid facing some legal issues, you shouldn’t waste any more of your time reading guides similar to this one. Instead, you should go through our list one more time, determine what you might need to implement within your organization, and from there, start improving your organization!