Hiring new employees is an obstacle you’re likely to cross at some point in running your business. It can be scary to think about, and even scarier to start with the worries of finding the right employee. If you don’t have an HR team or any HR background, you may be unaware of how to hire a new employee legally.
Here are three crucial laws you need to know:
- Discrimination – There is a basic law that says you cannot discriminate against race, color, religion, sex, national origin, disability (including pregnancy) and age. What is not common knowledge, are the questions you cannot ask during an interview. These questions are illegal because they solicit information from candidates that could be used to discriminate against them for one of the categories above. For instance, “When did you graduate high school?” is an illegal question. The only time an age question would be acceptable is when the establishment has an age requirement, like a bar. Even asking about weekend work availability is leaning towards the illegal side of questioning because it could be a proxy question for religious observance.
- FLSA – The Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) is a federal law focusing on wages such as the minimum wage and overtime pay, recordkeeping, and child labor standards in federal, state, and local governments. You should become familiar with this law before hiring to be fully prepared to handle payroll documents for your new employee.
- State Leave Laws – These laws are not to be confused with the Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA). State leave laws overrule FMLA when there are more generous benefits. For instance, FMLA requires unpaid parental leave time, but there are currently five states that have mandated paid parental leave. The five states are New York, California, New Jersey, New Hampshire and Washington D.C. If your business operates in one of the five states listed, you would be required to follow the mandated state law over the FMLA.
It’s important that you are familiar with these three crucial laws before you hire your first employee. Any small violation of these laws can land you in a courtroom. It is in your best interest to have a team of HR experts that can handle hiring for you. Not only are you responsible for being familiar with the current laws, but these laws are updated frequently, state to state and federally. These laws also change according to the amount of employees you have. This can be overwhelming, but Career Image Solutions can handle all things HR so you don’t have to!
About the Author: Hennither Bianca Gant is a Human Resources expert with over a decade of experience in recruitment, DEI, leadership coaching, selection, compensation, and employment law experience in the non-profit, private, Fortune 500 and government sectors. Hennither’s exposure to the “hiring and firing” world has provided inside secrets on employing the right people and the sustainment of a business.
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