Legal Employment for Business
HG.org Legal Employment Center
Interviews, Recruiting and Hiring
- Becoming a Great Job Interviewer
Do you spend several hours preparing for interviews — reviewing resumes, looking over job descriptions, writing and rewriting questions until each one is as finely honed as a razor blade? Or are you the kind of interviewer who starts preparing for the interview when you hear that your candidate has arrived?
- Hire the Right Employee!
It is important that you take special care in hiring the "right" employee for you company. The following guidelines will help you plan and decide who is the "right" employee to hire.
- How To Conduct A Job Interview
A job interview provides a valuable opportunity for you and the candidate to learn more about each other. Learning more about candidates will enable you to predict more accurately how each candidate might perform in the specific position to be filled. Candidates also have a right to learn about the job for which they are interviewed. You can get the most from the interview by carefully planning in advance what you want to learn from candidates as well as what they will need to learn from you.
- How to Hire the Ideal Paralegal or Legal Secretary
The objective of this article is to provide useful and practical tips to attorneys and law office managers on recruiting and selecting the ideal staff.
- How to Interview Potential Employees
The job interview is a powerful factor in the employee selection process in most organizations. While the job interview may not deserve all of the attention that the job interview receives, it is still a powerful force in hiring.
- Legal Implications of Recruitment
Recruiting a new employee to the company is a very complex process. From the interviewing (link to article) and referencing of candidates to the final selection, the process is bound by many laws.
- Ten Steps to Hiring Your First Employee
The good news is that business is booming. The bad news is there's only one of you. It's time to take the plunge and hire some help. There are many good sources of information about finding the right people, writing job descriptions, interviewing candidates, and managing people once they are on board. While those are all important issues, understanding your regulatory requirements as an employer is crucial to the success of your business. This guide lays out ten easy steps for new employers to follow to ensure compliance with key federal and state regulations.
Screening and Background Check
- Back to the Future of Employment Background Checks
Many companies realize that the most important step in the hiring process may be the pre-employment background check. Depending on the industry, some companies have screening requirements mandated by Federal and State agencies, an example is transportation companies, they must perform drug tests and check the status of employee’s commercial drivers licenses and hazardous materials endorsements.
- Background Check Precautions For Pre-Employment Screening
Regardless of the size of your business, pre-employment screening is a necessary hiring practice to avoid lawsuits and costly hiring mistakes. Gone are the days of a simple reference check and a few phone calls to screen new employees. Amid security concerns, corporate scandals, and workplace violence, pre-employment screening has been gaining ground.
- Guide for Small Business Owners
Small business owners and large corporations alike know the value of good employees. But unlike large corporations, small business owners are often unable to absorb the risks and liability that may come from bad hiring decisions. More and more, employers big and small feel the need to know about the background of prospective, even current, employees. For small business owners the question of how to find the best employees without violating privacy rights and other laws can be confusing. This guide is intended to acquaint small business owners with basic information about screening applicants and current employees.
- How To Conduct a Background Check
Lawyers and clients use the phrase, background check, as a catchall for many types of investigative research involving people or companies. To some, it encompasses a criminal background check. To others, it means finding general information about a business' products and services, reputation, legal status and competitors. For this reason, it helps to understand the context of the request or the specific problem that needs to be solved. More importantly, if the research involves a person, there are legal and ethical reasons for knowing why someone wants a background check.
- How to Conduct a Basic Background Check
Background investigations are performed for business or personal reasons, and the depth and breadth of information available can often make the difference between success and failure in a variety of relationships. The reality of 21st century interpersonal relationships requires informed decisions to enable the protection of companies, employees, families, property or investments.
- Pre-Employment Background Checks
When you are hiring new employees, you might need a bit more information to make your decision. However, you do not have unlimited rights to dig into an applicant's background and personal life. Employees have a right to privacy in certain areas, a right they can enforce by suing you. Therefore, it's important to know what's permitted when following up on potential employee's background and work history.
Employees Handbook, Wages, Compensation and Benefits
- Employee Benefit Plans - U.S. Department of Labor
The provisions of Title I of Employee Retirement Income Security Act (ERISA) cover most private sector employee benefit plans. Such plans are voluntarily established and maintained by an employer, an employee organization, or jointly by one or more such employers and an employee organization. Pension plans — a type of employee benefit plan — are established and maintained to provide retirement income or to defer income until termination of covered employment or beyond. Other employee benefit plans, called welfare plans, are established and maintained to provide health benefits, disability benefits, death benefits, prepaid legal services, vacation benefits, day care centers, scholarship funds, apprenticeship and training benefits, or other similar benefits.
- Employee Benefits Institute of America
Employee Benefits Institute of America (EBIA) provides authoritative, in-depth guidance on employee benefits law to professionals in human resources, law, accounting, insurance, and benefits administration. In addition to its eight employee benefits compliance manuals, EBIA publishes the EBIA Weekly, short course booklets and soft cover books, and an electronic health care expenses table, and it presents in-person seminars and web seminars on employee benefits topics.
- Employee Handbook Website
The Employee Handbook website endeavors to be a working model of what an employee handbook, employee policy, employee guidelines intranet website should look like. Whether you are a large corporation or a small business, this handbook should serve as an adequate model for how an intranet website and business handbook should look like. This website features downloadable files as well.
- Helping Employees Understand Their Benefits
As smart and creative as many organizations are in devising competitive benefits programs, their creativity doesn't always carry over to effectively communicating about them. As a result, employers often don't get due credit for the benefits they do provide.
- How to Calculate Employees Payroll Checks
Here’s how to properly calculate your own employees’ payroll taxes.
- How to Write An Employee Manual
A written employee manual is the best way to train employees to do things correctly. This course will help you write an employee manual that your staff will enjoy reading, thoroughly understand and consistently follow. By using this course, you will be able to train employees better and improve customer service.
- How to Write Employee Handbooks
Wondering how to write an employee handbook? Communicating your personnel policies in a professional employee handbook is essential. If you've been tasked with writing an employee handbook, this article is a must-read.
- Minimum Wage Law - Wikipedia
A minimum wage is the lowest hourly, daily or monthly wage that employers may legally pay to employees or workers. First enacted in Australia and New Zealand in the late nineteenth century, minimum wage laws are now in force in more than 90% of all countries.
- National Compensantion Survey - Bureau of Labor Statistics
The National Compensation Survey (NCS) provides comprehensive measures of occupational earnings; compensation cost trends, benefit incidence, and detailed plan provisions. Detailed occupational earnings are available for metropolitan and non-metropolitan areas, broad geographic regions, and on a national basis. The index component of the NCS (ECI) measures changes in labor costs. Average hourly employer cost for employee compensation is presented in the ECEC.
- Unemployment Compensation - Wex
Unemployment insurance provides workers, whose jobs have been terminated through no fault of their own, monetary payments for a given period of time or until they find a new job. Unemployment payments (compensation) are intended to provide an unemployed worker time to find a new job equivalent to the one lost without financial distress. Without employment compensation many workers would be forced to take jobs for which they were overqualified or end up on welfare. Unemployment compensation is also justified in for sustaining consumer spending during periods of economic adjustment.
- Wages - U.S. Department of Labor
The Department of Labor enforces the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA), which sets basic minimum wage and overtime pay standards.
- Worker´s Compensation - Wex
Workers' Compensation laws are designed to ensure that employees who are injured or disabled on the job are provided with fixed monetary awards, eliminating the need for litigation. These laws also provide benefits for dependents of those workers who are killed because of work-related accidents or illnesses. Some laws also protect employers and fellow workers by limiting the amount an injured employee can recover from an employer and by eliminating the liability of co-workers in most accidents. State Workers Compensation statutes establish this framework for most employment. Federal statutes are limited to federal employees or those workers employed in some significant aspect of interstate commerce.
Forms & Agreements
- Business Forms & Agreements
Downloadable Business Forms, Agreements, Checklists, and Other Documents from AllBusiness.com.
- Employment Agreement Form
Agreement of Employment Model.
- Employment and Contracting Legal Forms
Agreements, contracts, personnel data, and more.
- Employment Contracts
With your Free Employment Contracts, Job Agreements and Employee Forms, it is easy to spell out all the requirements for an employee: non-disclosure, non-compete or restraint of trade clauses, working hours, remuneration etc.
- Form Library - U.S. Department of Labor
These are the most frequently requested Department of Labor forms. You can complete some forms online, while you can download and print all others.
- Hiring & Firing Forms
Business forms and legal documents created by attorneys can be downloaded and customized for your own use.
Insurance and Pension Plans
- FAQs About Cash Balance Pension Plans
There are two general types of pension plans-Defined Benefit Plans and Defined Contribution Plans. In general, defined benefit plans provide a specific benefit at retirement for each eligible employee, while defined contribution plans specify the amount of contributions to be made by the employer toward an employee’s retirement account. In a defined contribution plan, the actual amount of retirement benefits provided to an employee depends on the amount of the contributions as well as the gains or losses of the account. A cash balance plan is a defined benefit plan that defines the benefit in terms that are more characteristic of a defined contribution plan. In other words, a cash balance plan defines the promised benefit in terms of a stated account balance.
- New Pension Law and Defined Benefit Plans: A Surprisingly Good Match
Much of the commentary on the new pension reform law suggests that it will be deleterious to defined benefit plans. We describe the economic policy background leading to the new law, the law’s main funding provisions, and analyze the volatility of required minimum contributions, leading us to the opposite conclusion. The new law should improve benefit security, reduce contribution volatility, and encourage responsible management and creative plan design, thereby improving the environment in which defined benefit plans are sponsored by employers and retirement benefits are earned by workers.
- Pension Benefit Guaranty Corporation
PBGC is a federal corporation created by the Employee Retirement Income Security Act of 1974. It currently protects the pensions of nearly 44 million American workers and retirees in 30,330 private single-employer and multiemployer defined benefit pension plans. PBGC receives no funds from general tax revenues. Operations are financed by insurance premiums set by Congress and paid by sponsors of defined benefit plans, investment income, assets from pension plans trusteed by PBGC, and recoveries from the companies formerly responsible for the plans.
- Pension Protection Act of 2006: Ensuring Greater Retirement Security for American Workers
Federal government has created an insurance system for businesses offering private pensions, and the insurance is funded by premiums collected from these employers. When some businesses fail to fund their pension plans and are unable to meet obligations to their employees, it puts a strain on the entire pension system. If there is not enough money in the system to cover all the extra costs, American taxpayers could be called on to make up the shortfall.
- Small Business Guide
If you have a defined benefit pension plan, it is probably covered by the federal pension insurance program administered by the Pension Benefit Guaranty Corporation. That means the pensions of your workers are protected up to certain limits if you should run into difficulty funding your plan. Each year, you pay an annual insurance premium to PBGC and provide certain information when required. This Guide is intended to help you and your professional consultants understand PBGC requirements.
- U.S. Department of Health & Human Services
Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act of 1996.
- Employee Termination Help for Employers
Creating a solid employee termination agreement.
- How To Handle An Employee Termination
When a situation requires you to terminate an employee, it may not be why you are doing it but how you do it that becomes the most important issue. In general, business managers, supervisors and executives do a rather poor job of dismissing employees. Their shortfalls or misteps can sometimes lead to bigger problems.
- Terminating an Employee with Integrity
Terminating an employee with integrity following the Golden Rule in such situations makes sense. If you have to terminate an employee, do it as humanely as possible.
- Termination - US Department of Labor
Upon termination of employment, some workers and their families (who might otherwise lose their health benefits) have the right to choose to continue group health benefits provided by their group health plan for limited periods of time. Employers may also be required to provide notices to their employees under the Consolidated Omnibus Budget Reconciliation Act (COBRA) and the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA).
- What to Do at a Termination Meeting
The actual termination meeting should last 10 to 15 minutes and have the sole purpose of providing a simple and concise statement of the decision to terminate the employment relationship.
- Wrongful Termination Laws
There is no Federal "wrongful termination law" per se. Rather there are a variety of Federal laws that, if violated by employers when discharging employees, might constitute wrongful termination. Collectively, such laws are generally called wrongful termination laws or wrongful discharge laws.
- Employment Law
Employment law is a broad area encompassing all areas of the employer/employee relationship except the negotiation process covered by labor law and collective bargaining. Employment law consists of thousands of Federal and state statutes, administrative regulations, and judicial decisions. Many employment laws (e.g., minimum wage regulations) were enacted as protective labor legislation. Other employment laws take the form of public insurance, such as unemployment compensation.
- Employment Law Information Network
The Employment Law Information Network ("ELIN") is a no charge legal resource web site that is designed for employment lawyers, in-house employment counsel and human resource professionals.
- Equal Employment Opportunity (EEO) - Federal Laws
U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission website.
- Labor Law - Wex
The goal of labor laws is to equalize the bargaining power between employers and employees. The laws primarily deal with the relationship between employers and unions. Labor laws grant employees the right to unionize and allows employers and employees to engage in certain activities (e.g. strikes, picketing, seeking injunctions,lockouts) so as to have their demands fulfilled.
- Taft-Hartley Labor Act
Taft-Hartley Labor Act, 1947, passed by the U.S. Congress, officially known as the Labor-Management Relations Act. he act established control of labor disputes on a new basis by enlarging the National Labor Relations Board and providing that the union or the employer must, before terminating a collective-bargaining agreement, serve notice on the other party and on a government mediation service.
- U.S. Age Discrimination in Employment Act of 1967
Age Discrimination in Employment Act of 1967 (Pub. L. 90-202) (ADEA), as amended, as it appears in volume 29 of the United States Code, beginning at section 621. The ADEA prohibits employment discrimination against persons 40 years of age or older. The Older Workers Benefit Protection Act (Pub. L. 101-433) amends several sections of the ADEA. In addition, section 115 of the Civil Rights Act of 1991 (P.L. 102-166) amends section 7(e) of the ADEA (29 U. S.C. 626(e)).
Recent Legal Articles Related to Employment
- Are Same-Sex Couples Entitled to Share Employment Benefits?Traditionally, one benefit of marriage was being able to share in a spouse's employment benefits, like health, vision, and dental insurance. Unfortunately, many same-sex couples have struggled for years to receive the same level of benefits and even the right to be married. With more and more jurisdictions recognizing same-sex marriages, are employers now required to provide same-sex couples with the same level of benefits as heterosexual couples?
- Securities and Exchange Commission Saved $439 Million For Whistleblower RewardsThe Securities and Exchange Commission has saved money to spend on it's whistleblower rewards program. It is likely that there will be larger rewards in the future as tips have increased recently.
- Can You Fire Someone For Their Social Media Complaints About Work?Social media is everywhere today; from Facebook to Twitter to LinkedIn, it would be almost impossible for an employer not to have someone working for them that has some form of social media presence. While you might be able to keep an employee from updating their Facebook status from the office, can you do anything about what they say or do about you or your company on their social media in their own time? Indeed, can you fire someone for their social media complaints about work?
- What Are America's Minimum Wage Laws?The United States has statutory minimum wage laws intended to ensure that even the least skilled of workers are able to earn enough money on which to live. As of July 2009, the federal minimum wage was set to $7.25 per hour, which equates to weekly earnings of just $290 per week (before taxes) for a full time job. However, many feel this number has not kept up with inflation and that this number is no longer a livable figure.
- Legal Considerations for Office Holiday PartiesEvery year, millions of Americans engage in office parties around the traditional holiday season. Sometimes these are at the boss's house, a country club, a nice restaurant, or even somewhere at the office itself. But, is the party considered a work function? Could there legally be a consequence for not attending, even if it is after hours? And, what happens if someone is injured, either at the party or on the way to or from it?
- Are Credit Checks Legal in a Job Interview?Millions of Americans have found themselves in this situation in the last few years: looking for work, they fill out an application only to find a portion asking for permission to run their credit report. Some refuse because they fear identity theft. Others lose the job, despite being otherwise qualified, because they have bad credit. So is it legal for an employer to ask to run your credit during a job interview?
- Sutter Health Settles Whistleblower Case for $46 MillionSutter Health decided to settle a whistleblower case before trial. The case involved allegations of double billing for anesthesia services at hospitals in California.
- Ninth Circuit Outlines Boundaries of Computer Fraud and Abuse ActIn United States v. Nosal, the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals was asked to determine the boundaries of the Computer Fraud and Abuse Act (CFAA), 18 U.S.C. § 1030. It ultimately concluded that violations of an employer's computer use policy did not amount to "exceeding authorized access" under the CFAA.
- What Do I Need to Know About A Non-Compete Agreement?Many have been asked to sign non-compete agreements or thought they might be a good idea to protect their business interests when hiring someone. But, what do they do? How are they enforced? What legal requirements do they have to follow?
- Whistleblower Reward Programs Could Help Regain Funds From Tax DodgersWhistleblower reward programs could help California recoup lost tax revenue.