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The Human Resource Law Basics


The Human Resource Law Basics Every Small-Business Owner Should Know

Before you dive deep into the never-ending well that is running a business, it’s important that you familiarize yourself with all the basics of running an organization for your brainchild to have any shot at success. That includes all the laws pertaining to your business that you must adhere to. And no, it’s not limited to taxation and tax laws.

As a business owner, you should concern yourself with laws that include but are not limited to finance, property, environment, advertising, online business, workplace safety, and HR laws. The things you need to focus on are:

Civil Rights

First and foremost, familiarize yourself with the Civil Rights Act of 1964 that clearly outlines legislation against workplace discrimination. This act prevents employers from favoring or discriminating between workers based on their sex, religion, origin, color or race. Because these laws are so intricate and the categories interpreted so broadly, it’s easy to break a law completely unintentionally. As such, it’s always better to be educated and prepared in order to avoid unpleasant circumstances.

Employee Eligibility

Each employee in a firm requires a separate employee file to be maintained. The file includes the employment eligibility verification that is done by filing a complete I-9 form along with being inspected by authorized government officials. Furthermore, each employee file must contain valid documentations to record offer letters, employment agreements, basic data, resumes, and payroll information.

Health and Safety Standards

A business owner must provide a healthy and environmentally safe work environment for its employees as stated under the Occupational Safety and Health Act (OSHA). This federal law has established specific guidelines that need to be followed and standards maintained in certain industries. Failure to comply or to create a protective working environment can and often does result in federal lawsuits against the corporations.

Minimum Wages

Though wages paid to an employee are subject to change depending on the employment agreement you have with a particular worker, The Fair Labor Standards Act of 2012 sets the minimum wage on a federal level as $7.25 on an hourly basis. There are specific rules for workers of different ages that determine their minimum wages and all must be adhered to by the business owner. Moreover, there can be a difference of minimum wage as per local, state, and federal law. As an employer, you have to find the middle ground where the wages you pay your employee meets all the set requirements.


Terminations are an inevitable part of any employee/employer relationship. They are unavoidable and have the capacity and the tendency of spiraling into particularly unpleasant situations for the business owners. As such, it’s important that as an employer you cover all grounds and take steps to ensure the termination takes place on a positive note. Practices such as clearing final payments with a check on their last day of work go a long way in ensuring jeopardizing issues arise in the future.