Most of you, as employers, are covered by numerous laws and
regulations. In addition to industry-specific regulations, your
businesses are covered by many state and federal laws.
Industry-specific regulations such as consumer product safety
requirements, environmental regulations and financial regulations
are usually well known to most of you. State laws and regulations
may also be fairly familiar. But for some, federal regulations may
present a host of questions that are sometimes left unanswered.
Which laws affect my business? What are my obligations as an
employer? As my business grows, am I subjected to even more rules
and regulations? How do I know when and if I need to comply? What
are the consequences of non-compliance?
The majority of you know about withholding for Social Security,
Medicare and FICA taxes. Most of you know about federal and state
Many, if not most of you, also know that the Fair Labor Standards
Act, or FLSA, addresses the minimum wage and the payment of overtime
and establishes a standard 40-hour workweek. The FLSA also sets the
minimum age for employment and exempts some classifications of
employees from overtime requirements. It applies to employers
engaged in interstate commerce with two or more employees.
Other federal regulations that may govern your business,
depending upon the number of employees you have, include: the Equal
Pay Act, the OSHA Act of 1970, Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of
1964, the Americans with Disabilities Act, the Pregnancy
Discrimination Act, the Age Discrimination in Employment Act, COBRA,
the Family and Medical Leave Act, just to name a few.
One of the federal statutes that is sometimes overlooked is the
Immigration Reform and Control Act, which is enforced by the
Department of Justice and the Immigration and Naturalization
Service. This act applies to all employers, regardless of the number
The act was enacted in 1986 and requires that you verify and
document that every new employee is authorized to work in the United
States. The documentation needed is the Employment Eligibility
Verification form, more commonly known as the I-9.
Having been in the human resources field for many years, I am
still amazed at the number of new employees who have not heard of
the I-9 form. This indicates to me that there may be a number of
employers who are not aware of this requirement or simply choose to
ignore it. …