Running a business comes with a lot of legal risks, many of which start when you hire employees. Your workers could make mistakes that your business is ultimately responsible for.
You also have to ensure that you comply with specific laws as an employer. You have obligations to your workers even if you only have a handful of paid employees.
What are some of your basic responsibilities to your staff as an employer?
You must pay your workers a fair wage
Every employee should receive at least minimum wage for their time as an hourly worker. The only exceptions for this rule apply to those in tipped positions or when a company meets certain standards by working with employees who have significant disabilities. You also have to pay your employees overtime wages if they work more than 40 hours in a workweek.
You must offer a harassment and discrimination-free workplace
A zero-tolerance policy for discrimination and harassment isn’t just a mandatory line in your employee handbook or contract. It is also your responsibility. You need to be proactive about preventing workplace harassment and respond appropriately if a worker reports discrimination or harassment at work.
You have to offer safe working conditions
Whether you have an office-based business or run a restaurant, there are unique hazards that your workers will face on the job. You have a responsibility to them to minimize those hazards. Complying with workplace safety regulations and providing training to your workers can help reduce their risks of getting hurt on the job.
Understanding your obligations as an employer can reduce the likelihood that your business will face legal claims from previous employees.