Many of our clients, whether employers or employees, are shocked to learn that certain Orlando employment laws apply to their businesses or employment relationships. Generally, smaller businesses are not subject to most federal employment laws, but there are certain “magic numbers” which employers and employees alike should be aware apply to their employment relationships. While other criteria may be required for each of these laws to apply, below is a numerical threshold for some of the laws which apply to businesses which employ 1 – 14 employees. We will summarize the laws which apply to larger businesses in future installments:
1 – 14 Employees:
- Employee Polygraph Protection Act – This law prohibits employers from requiring pre-employment polygraph examinations. While most small businesses would not consider the use of such tests during pre-employment inquiries, those that do would be in violation of the Act.
- Employee Retirement Income Security Act (“ERISA”) – ERISA sets forth uniform standards and requirements for the administration of employee benefit and welfare plans. It also ensures employees will receive the money that is designated or set aside for retirement/pension plans. Of course, such law only applies if an employer offers an employee benefit plan.
- Equal Pay Act (“EPA”) – The EPA is intended to prohibit wage discrimination by requiring equal pay for men and women for equal work of the same skills, effort, and responsibilities. Notably, unlike other discrimination laws, intent is not required to violate this statute.
- Fair Labor Standards Act (“FLSA”) – The FLSA is the federal law which regulates the legal status of an employment relationship (i.e., employee v. independent contractors), and it established minimum wage and overtime requirements and exceptions.
- Federal Insurance Contribution’s Act (“FICA”) – FICA is a federal payroll tax imposed on both employees and employers to fund Social Security and Medicare. The intent of such tax is to provide benefits to retirees, those who are disabled, and children of deceased workers.
- Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (“HIPAA”) – HIPAA protects plan participants and beneficiaries in group health plans. It also establishes privacy protections for employees against unauthorized disclosure of personal health information.
- Immigration Reform & Control Act – This Act requires all new employees provide specific documents to employers showing that they are who they say they are and have the legal right to work in the United States.
- Labor-Management Relations Act – This Act protects management rights by prohibiting certain unfair labor practices by unions.
- National Labor Relations Act (“NLRA”) – The NLRA prohibits employers from engaging in certain unfair labor practices.
- Occupational Safety & Health Act (“OSHA”) – OSHA was established to ensure compliance with federal health & safety standards. Notably, employers with fewer than 10 employees are exempt from certain reporting requirements.
- Uniform Guidelines of Employee Selection Procedures – This procedure ensures that the selection policies and practices of an employer do not have an adverse impact on the employment opportunities of any particular race, sex, or ethnic group unless it is out of business necessity.
- Uniformed Services Employment & Re-employment Rights Act (“USERRA”) – USERRA prohibits discrimination against military service members and reservists because of past, current, or future military service.
If you are unsure whether or not your business or employer is in compliance with the above-referenced law, you should consult with an experienced employment and labor law firm. By doing so, you may be able to limit your potential exposure and develop policies and procedures which ensure compliance. If you are an employee who suspects that your employer has violated any of the above-referenced laws, you schedule a consultation with an experienced employment and labor law firm to preserve your rights and determine whether you are owed any damages.