Employment Law Checklist For Business Owners and HR Professionals

The phrase “Employment Law” covers a myriad of issues subject to federal, state and local laws and regulations in addition to the common laws established by our courts. It is critical that today’s employer have a general familiarity with these many laws and regulations, and have policies in place to assure legal compliance. What follows is a series of questions that each employer should ask itself and be able to answer in such a way that is right for that particular employer.

  • Employee Handbook – Do we need an Employee Handbook, and if so, has it been updated to stay current with federal, state and local law?
  • Are the persons responsible for hiring and disciplinary decisions familiar with the current state of the law so that we will not unwittingly place ourselves in position to be sued for discriminatory employment practices?
  • Must we comply with the Family Medical Leave Act, and if so, do we have appropriate written policies in place?
  • Are we sufficiently familiar with the Americans with Disabilities Act so that we recognize when an employee or potential employee is entitled to protection under the Act, and what we must do in order to offer a reasonable accommodation to a disabled person?
  • Do we have a sufficient Anti-Harassment policy and do we provide anti-harassment (sexual harassment) training to provide ourselves with an affirmative defense in the event of a claim?
  • Do we have policies in place such that if a discrimination or harassment claim is made we can investigate the claim and take appropriate remedial measures?
  • Have we properly classified our employees as exempt or non-exempt, and are we compliant with wage and hour laws to avoid liability under the Fair Labor Standards Act and/or Pennsylvania Minimum Wage Act?
  • Do we use independent contractors, and if so, do we have adequate independent contractor agreements in place to avoid claims of misclassification?
  • Do we have key employees execute Non-Competition Agreements, and if so, are our current Agreements enforceable under Pennsylvania law?
  • Do we have clear job descriptions and an established chain of command?

If you cannot answer these questions or are unclear as to what the answers should be, you may unwittingly be placing your business at risk and should call Ethan O’Shea, Esquire in HRMML’s Business Advisory Group, Chair of the Employment Law Department.

Questions Every Business Must Ask

Q. Has your business recently reviewed its legal structure to determine whether it is set up in the most advantageous manner for legal and tax purposes, considering recent developments and changes in the law?

Q. Do the owners of your business have a current, updated buy-sell agreement which controls how ownership interests in the business are to be transferred in the event of an owner’s death, disability or termination of employment?

Q. Have the owners of your business developed a succession plan to define how ownership and authority will transition upon the death or retirement of the present owners?

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