Online Legal Tools for Employers
by CharlotteW, Former Moderator
- Created: April 7, 2009, 2:37 pm
- Updated: February 9, 2011, 4:13 pm
Hiring and managing employees involves complying with a number of labor laws – from discrimination to workplace safety. Business.gov and the U.S. Department of Labor provide a number of online tools and resources to help small business owners understand their requirements and how to comply.
Listed below are a few of the most important e-tools available for employers to ensure they are complying with applicable labor and safety laws.
Understanding Labor Laws
FirstStep Employment Law Advisor provides a short, interactive introduction to employment law. This tool asks you a series of questions, and provides specific guidance which laws apply to your business and how to comply.
Business.gov’s Ten Steps to Hiring New Employees provides the legal steps employers must take to comply with federal and state labor laws when hiring employees. This page includes links to forms and tools to help you comply.
The U.S. Department of Labor’s eLaw Advisors are interactive tools that offer easy-to-follow guidance on issues commonly facing employers, including the Fair Labor Standards Act, Drug-Free Workplace information, and safety and health advisors as well.
Equal Employment Opportunity Laws
Equal Employment Opportunity Laws affects all employers and employees. Laws protecting employees from discrimination against race, gender, age, disability, and national origin are enforced by the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC).
EEOC offers a specific web-page dedicated to small businesses without a designated Human Resources department. The purpose of the page is to answer common questions and make it easier for small business employers to comply with the anti-discrimination laws.
The EEOC Training Institute offers on-site training and webinars to help employers understand EEO laws. Instructors are subject experts and use training materials prepared by EEOC's attorneys, administrative judges, investigators, managers and policy experts.
It is the responsibility of employers to understand and comply with all employment discrimination laws. Visit the Discrimination and Harassment page for additional information on employer requirements.
Employee handbooks are essential for on-boarding new employees, and communicating your company’s policies and the legal rights of your employees.
The Employee Handbook Template allows employers to automatically assemble a formatted employee handbook that can then be customized with your company’s specific policies. Using this tool is a great way to get started creating an employee handbook but it is also a good idea to verify the final version of text with a labor lawyer before distributing it to new employees.
Recordkeeping & Poster Requirements
Most employers are required to display posters in the workplace that inform employees of their rights under federal and state labor laws. These laws require employers to display official DOL posters where employees can readily view them.
FirstStep Poster Advisor is an interactive tool designed to help employers easily comply with the poster requirements of several Federal laws. There are many online scams that attempt to charge employers a fee to print and send these posters.
Printable workplace posters are available online from Federal and state agencies at no cost to employers. Visit the Workplace Posters page to find out where to download and obtain posters.
FirstStep - Recordkeeping, Reporting, and Notices Advisor provides detailed explanations of each Federal recordkeeping, reporting and notice requirements.
OSHA eTools are interactive training tools developed by OSHA that cover various occupational safety and health topics. A few of these tools even ask business owners to answer questions to receive advice on how OSHA regulations apply to their specific business.
OSHA Safety and Health Topics Pages provide access to selected workplace safety information to ensure safer workplaces, including general work hazards as well as industry-specific information.
For more information on small business safety and health regulations visit the Workplace Safety and Health guide.
Additional Tools & Resources
This tool allows you to get a listing of federal, state and local permits, licenses, and registrations you’ll need to run a business, including requirements for employers.
These resources provide information about U.S. employment laws and regulations and how employers should comply with them.
Find essential forms for complying with Federal employment and labor laws.
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