What you don’t know can hurt you.
If you have even 1 employee on your payroll, you are subject to more federal, state, and local employment laws than you probably realize. Do you know if you’re in compliance with the law? If one of the many local, state, or federal agencies comes knocking on your door, do you know how to protect yourself? Is your paperwork in order? Do you even have paperwork? There are things you need to know right now to make sure you’re in compliance with the law. You don’t want to risk becoming embroiled in a lengthy court case that could have been prevented by having the proper practices and documentation in place. As soon as you have 1 employee, whether he or she is full-time or part-time, there are at least 13 employment laws that you should be following. If you’ve grown large enough to hire an employee, you’ve grown large enough to need an HR manager. If your company’s small, that person is probably you!
As you add more employees to your workforce, you add more complexity to your HR management, more interpersonal issues, and more employment regulations. As an owner, the pressure increases as you accept the responsibility of providing for more and more people; the money they earn working for you is their livelihood, and it gives them the ability to support their families. The work they do for you can add meaning and purpose to their lives. In turn, you promise to adhere to the regulations that were put in place to protect them.
In my experience, the well-being and safety of employees is at the top of the list of importance for nearly every CEO or business owner. Employers are much more likely to wake up at night in a sweat, saying, “I have to make payroll” than they are to wake up saying, “I have to make profit.” When you worry about payroll, you’re showing that you care about the people that work for you and not just about increasing your profits. Learning about and following the necessary regulations is another way that you can demonstrate true care and consideration for your employees.
Adhering to these regulations truly does help to ensure a safe, productive, and drama-free workplace for your employees, so you’ll want to follow them. It helps to remember that these regulations weren’t put in place to punish employers; they were put in place to protect employees. If you can make that switch in your brain, it will make following the regulations a whole lot easier. Even if a regulation seems arbitrary or arcane, each one has come about because, once upon a time, someone did something bad that hurt himself, herself, or someone else. To prevent that injury or injustice from happening again, a protective regulation was created and accepted and is now enforced.
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