Workplace Laws Every Employer Needs to Know
You need to know about laws governing the employment relationship.
As an employer, you will have to follow a host of state and federal laws that regulate your relationship with your employees. Among the things you'll be expected to know and understand:
Proper hiring practices, including how to conduct interviews and investigate job applicants without invading their privacy. (See Nolo's Hiring Employees area.)
Rules on hiring and working with independent contractors, including tips on how to avoid misclassification problems. (See Nolo's Using Independent Contractors & Freelancers area.)
Wage and hour laws, including those governing the minimum wage, overtime, and compensatory time. (See Nolo's Compensation & Benefits for Your Employees area.)
How to avoid harassment and discrimination based on a variety of characteristics, including gender, age, race, pregnancy, sexual orientation, disability, and national origin. (See Nolo's Preventing Workplace Discrimination & Harassment area.)
The minimum requirements for sick, vacation, parental, and other types of employee leave. (See Nolo's Time Off & Leave for Your Employees area.)
How to write an employee handbook, conduct performance reviews, and discipline employees. (See Nolo's Performance Management & Employee Evaluation area.)
OSHA and other workplace health and safety laws, including health care reform, workers' compensation, and rules on employee alcohol and drug use. (See Nolo's Your Employees' Health & Safety area.)
How to fire an employee without trampling on his or her legal rights. (See Nolo's Firing Employees & Employee Resignations area.)
How to protect your business and respect employees' rights when they leave. (See Nolo's Firing Employees & Employee Resignations area.)
What the law allows if you want to run a background check, do a workplace search, or monitor employee conduct. (See Nolo's Your Employees' Right to Privacy area.)
For the most complete guide to your legal rights and responsibilities as an employer, get The Employer's Legal Handbook, by Fred Steingold (Nolo). It explains how to handle every part of the employment relationship, from hiring to firing, fairly and legally.