When running your business, make sure to take some time to visit or revisit your state’s website.
State laws can give you guidelines in shaping your workplace policies even when the Federal Government regulations may differ.
Here are some examples:
- If you have less than 50 employees, state laws on employee leave may apply to you. Each state has different laws (or sometimes no laws) on various types of leave. Types of leave include (but are not limited to): serious health conditions, bonding with newborn or adopted child, military service, care for family member, and school activities, appointments and conferences.
- States may not require you to give time-off, but once you do, they may have laws on how much can be accrued, whether employees “lose” time not taken, or on using time-off to pay for extended absences or leaves.
- State laws can tell you whether or not you’re required to give breaks, the calculation and application of overtime, employee termination, discrimination (and how to avoid it), work hours, etc.
Also, don’t forget to register at your state agency when hiring or starting a business. Payroll agencies can usually assist in this process.
State websites can provide a wealth of information with user-friendly tabs and menus for the subjects you are looking for. If you don’t see these menus, try the search engine. Keywords such as “labor”, “employment”, “employee benefits”, “work or workplace” can get you started. There are usually state agency listings on the homepage as well, but some may not be that obvious. Good agencies to visit are:
- department of labor
- office of attorney general
- workers compensation
- business development
These state websites also make registering a complaint fairly easy and will usually “share” some of this information, so there is an increased chance of being “on the radar” once complaints are filed.
State websites are great place to start when developing or revamping your business practices. Make sure you take the time to check them out.
This is just an overview. This article is for informative purposes only and is not to be construed as legal advice. You need to consult your experts, such as human resource consultant, attorney, to be aware of federal, local and state regulations and exceptions.
Mary Dunlap, CFP®
Mary Dunlap Consulting