LL&D Law
Employment Laws and Their Magic Numbers

by Courtney Powell
5/17/2011 11:37:00 AM

 

    In general, if your business has more than 15 employees, it is subject to certain federal and state laws. Some of these laws require the company to provide certain written policies to its employees. While many businesses shy away from formal policies, some are not optional but are required by law. 
 
    The best defense to any lawsuit is usually to have written policies that comply with these laws, to be able to prove your employees are aware of these policies, and to show you enforce them. It is thus important to consult an attorney to ensure your company handbook contains the information currently required by federal and state laws and you are following the right steps to protect the company from liability.
 
 
 
            Discrimination and sexual harassment. Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 prohibits discrimination in employment on the basis of race, color, religion, national origin, age, sex, marital status and disability. Sexual harassment is a type of discrimination that violates Title VII. Under federal law, employers with 15 or more employees are subject to this provision. State law may include other protected classes or include additional organizations.
 
      Pregnancy Discrimination Act applies to employers with 15 or more employees
and prohibits employers from discriminating on the basis of pregnancy, childbirth or medical conditions related to pregnancy or childbirth.  
 
      Americans with Disabilities Act prohibits discrimination on the basis of disability and ensures equal treatment between the disabled and the non-disabled. Employers who have 15 or more employees are subject to the law. 
 
     Age Discrimination in Employment Act prohibits discrimination on the basis of age in matters related to hiring, job retention, compensation and other terms of employment. Employers who have more than 20 employees for each working day in twenty or more calendar weeks in the current or preceding calendar year are covered.
 
     Although you may feel confident your company does not violate any of these laws, the best protection is to annually review your company policies to be sure you have all the required written policies in place and the law has not changed.

 

 



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