Starting a business in today’s economy is not only exciting but it can also take you and your business for a loop if you aren’t properly prepared for the legal atmosphere that surrounds it. However, when you have completed this short article, you will not only have a better understanding of business laws, but you’ll also have the drive to learn more and prepare your business for success.
In the United States, it is NOT required for a small business to provide insurance, specifically health insurance, to their employees. However, if you do decide to provide this job incentive, there are several regulations you must be aware of in order to avoid a law suit in today’s age. I would highly suggest you read up on the recent Health Care Reform policies and regulations as well as understand the impact of DOMA on health insurance for businesses. If health care is provided for staff and spouses, then the business has to honor those employees with same sex spouses when it comes to benefits such as health insurance.
Unfortunately, sexual harassment is a continuing problem within the workplace especially in workplaces that have a mix of genders within their work force. That being said, as an owner of a business, you should not tolerate any sexual behavior at the work place, be it in the form of sexual harassment or Quid Pro Quo, also known as sexual favors. You should conduct a professional manner at ALL times with ALL employees regardless of sex, and it should be expected that your employees do the same even if they are sexually involved outside of the workplace.
As with sexual harassment, discrimination is also common within the workplace, whether it be racial, age, sex, or religion. Every employee has the right to be treated fairly and equally within the policies of the United States Government. That being said, it is your job, as the owner, to uphold these standards of equality in the work place whether it’s through your own personal discrimination or the discrimination your employees may possess. Remember, all it takes is a quick click or phone call to ruin a business for discrimination. So again, be professional and equal with every employee at all times to avoid this legal problem entirely.
Law within the United States is always changing and it is up to you, the business owner, to be aware and enforce old and new policies alike when it comes to running your business. So, I believe it goes without saying, knowing your business law is just as important as those weekly financial statements.