ComplianceWhile there are many laws that apply to businesses of all sizes, others are based on the number of employees you have. As a small business owner, it’s hard to keep up with these changing laws—especially if your business is going through a rapid growth and hiring phase. But while you’re hiring additional staff, make sure to verify you’re in compliance with the law. Not following it could result in fines, a loss of business license, or even a lawsuit.

Staying in compliance demonstrates that you know what is right and take the responsibility seriously. You not only protect your company but your employees as well. If you are fined significantly, you may not be able to retain employees and your resources may become depleted.

What Laws Apply to All Businesses?
Regardless of the size of your business, some laws apply to everyone:

  • Child labor laws
  • Crime victim’s leave
  • Domestic violence leave
  • Employee safety
  • Immigration Reform and Control Act
  • Independent contractor rules by the IRS
  • Jury duty time off
  • Military service leave
  • New employee reporting
  • Hanging appropriate notices and posters
  • Privacy
  • School appearances leave
  • Unemployment insurance
  • Following wage and hour rules by the Department Of Labor
  • Workers’ compensation

As you can see, there are plenty of laws you have to follow. But based on how many employees you have (or add), additional laws may be applicable to your business. It’s best to check on local laws through your state’s department of employment or labor or your state and local Chambers of Commerce. For example, the California Chamber of Commerce has a comprehensive list of laws that apply based on the number of employees.

As we delve deeper in this article, we’re going to take a closer look at California laws as an example of variations in laws with which small businesses must comply.

Following the Law is Critical

While you may think some of the laws required are minor, the last thing you want to do is ignore them. From letting employees leave for their children’s school activities to providing your staff with a safe working environment, all applicable laws are critical.

  • Americans With Disabilities Act

The Americans With Disabilities Act (ADA) does not apply unless your company has fifteen or more employees. But that doesn’t mean your business cannot be ADA-compliant. If you have customers using wheel chairs or other assistive devices entering your place of business, you still want to accommodate them.

  • Affirmative Action

According to the California Chamber of Commerce, Affirmative Action laws in California don’t apply until a business has fifty or more employees. This law refers to your admission policies regarding unrepresented groups—such as women and minorities.

  • Pregnancy Disability Leave

If you have five or more employees, California requires you to provide pregnancy disability leave to any expectant mothers working for you. This does not just include the legally mandated time-off. It could also include additional disability leave for complicated pregnancies.

  • Organ and Bone Marrow Donor’s Leave

Employees who want to donate to family or others often have to do so on their own time. However, in California and several other states, if you have fifteen or more employees you are required to provide the employee with adequate leave in order to donate.

Make sure you perform a thorough evaluation of state and federal laws before you open your doors, and each time you add more staff to the payroll. That way you can ensure you’re in compliance and you minimize your small business’ risk of fines or lawsuits down the road. You also create a great work environment for your employees, one they want to be in.