Three Employment Law Violations Small Business Owners Should Avoid

When you decided to start a business, you probably had no idea just how massive of an undertaking you were embarking on. As if the day-to-day operations weren't enough to focus on, it's also important that you be mindful of your interaction with your employees. Even one mistake could put you at risk of violating local and federal employment laws.

Scheduling Breaks Incorrectly

Surely, you understand that providing employees with breaks is important. However, you also want to understand that there are guidelines pertaining to when these breaks must occur based on state guidelines. For example, in the state of California, a 30-minute break must be provided to an employee at the end of the employees fifth hour of work.

Even waiting until they have worked five and a half hours is a violation. It's important that you create shift schedules for each day, to ensure you are scheduling breaks per the state law.

Failing To Provide Proper Training

Depending on the state where you're operating, discrimination and harassment training might be required training modules for any supervisors or managers that you employ. This is true even if you are serving in that capacity.

When an employee has a grievance, these are generally the people that they will first notify. It is their responsibility to understand not only how to handle these matters, but also how to recognize them, even when the employee involved hasn't made them aware. If this is a requirement in your state, make sure you are setting up a suitable training program.  

Giving Out Payday Advances Incorrectly

When you're a small business owner, you're often a lot closer to your employees than someone who owns a larger business. For this reason, when they are struggling, you're more eager to help. If you have an employee that asks for an advance on their pay, make sure you aren't deducting the loan from the check.

This practice is against the law in many states. The legal requirement is that you sign a promissory note with the employee that outlines the terms of the repayment plan. You then pay the employee their full check and allow them to repay you based on the agreement terms.

When it comes to employee laws, these guidelines can vary widely from state-to-state. Make sure you are doing your research and pairing with an employment attorney to ensure you are operating within the guidelines of the law. Visit a website like to learn more.