Employer Responsibility: What Businesses Need to Know
Employer Responsibility: What Businesses Need to Know

Employer Responsibility: What Businesses Need to Know

Employers have plenty of responsibilities on their plates when it comes to managing employees – everything from properly paying them to providing a safe and healthy work environment. With so many requirements (and potential pitfalls), employers would be wise to look for the expertise of a trusted and reputable partner to help shoulder the burden. Whether you’re just starting out with a new small business or you’re responsible for the HR department of a larger company, here are just a few things you need to ensure you’re doing right when it comes to employer responsibility.

Paying Employees

You’re required by federal law to pay your employees at least the minimum wage of $7.25 an hour unless they receive tip income or are otherwise not subject to minimum wage (aka subminimum wage earners). Subminimum wage can be paid to vocational education students and workers under the age of 20, among others. Some states have a minimum wage that’s higher than the federal rate and the higher rate is the one you must pay. If your company has locations in multiple states, it’s important to check with each state’s labor department to make sure you remain compliant with their laws.

You also have to ensure you’re appropriately paying overtime. If an employee is classified as exempt (executive, professional, and administrative employees who are paid a salary), you are not required to pay overtime. However, for non-exempt employees (those workers who are paid on an hourly basis), for all hours worked over 40 in any week you must pay overtime at 1 ½ times their hourly rate. To further complicate matters, if an employee is in an exempt job role but is paid a salary that is less than $455 per week, you must pay that exempt employee overtime.

Reporting Employee’s Earnings

Simply writing a company check to an employee is not enough. Every paycheck you issue must include a statement showing the employee’s gross pay, all deductions and withholding, and a calculation of net pay for both that specific pay period as well as year-to-date pay. You’re also required to provide employees with a W-2, which is their yearly statement of earnings, deductions and withholding. This form must be issued no later than the last day of January each year.

Some states, such as California and Ohio, have additional requirements for paying employees. Again, it’s important to ensure you keep up with each state’s laws if your company has multiple locations.

Treating Employees Fairly It’s a federal requirement that your company treats all employees equitably. For example, the Equal Pay Act of 1963 requires that men and women who perform the same job must be paid at the same rate. Additionally, you are required to treat disabled employees fairly under the provisions of the Americans with Disabilities Act, including:

  • Ensuring equal opportunity when you’re recruiting and hiring qualified applicants with disabilities
  • Providing appropriate job accommodation for applicants and employees with disabilities as long as the accommodation wouldn’t impose “undue hardship” (i.e., the accommodation would cause significant difficulty or expense) on your company
  • Ensuring that you offer promotions and provide benefits equally.

monitoring employer copmliance

Allowing Employees to Take Leave

The Family and Medical Leave Act of 1993 (FMLA) grants 12 weeks of unpaid leave in any 12-month period for family and medical reasons with the assurance that employees’ jobs and health insurance coverage will be protected. Reasons for taking FMLA leave include having a baby; caring for a child, spouse or parent with a serious illness; or having a serious health condition that prevents the employee from performing their job duties. It’s important to keep in mind that FMLA leave is very different from a simple paid time off request. The government requires very specific documentation from the employer, the employee and the healthcare provider.

Providing a Safe Working Environment

It may seem like a no-brainer to understand that you have a responsibility to keep your employees safe at work, but that wasn’t always the case. The Occupational Safety and Health Act (OSHA) was only enacted in 1970. OSHA requirements apply to every employer, even those with only a single employee.

The Department of Labor created an entire website dedicated to helping you understand the hundreds of OSHA rules and regulations; they also provide a Cliff’s Notes outlining the main provisions. Keeping an eye on the rules can be a big challenge because the agency frequently adds new ones.

As you can see, employer responsibility is made up of a hefty dose of monitoring government rules and regulations for changes, which can quickly become a full-time job. Finding a partner who can do the heavy lifting to help you manage each of these requirements is important. Whether it’s offering the right HR & HCM technology to maintain compliance documents and ensure employees are paid properly or getting the expertise and support needed to keep up with changing compliance laws, no organization should manage all that’s required alone.

More to Discover

Paycheck Protection Program (PPP): What You Need to Know About Payroll Protection

Paycheck Protection Program (PPP): What You Need to Know About Payroll Protection

You need payroll protection. The federal government wants to help. Here’s what you need to know. The Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) As part of the $2 trillion aid package unveiled in the Coronavirus Aid Relief & Economic Security (CARES) Act, $349 billion was dedicated to the Payment Protection Program (PPP). This offers federal guaranteed loans to businesses with fewer than 500 employees to cover payroll and other essential costs.The federal government is focused on releasing funds quickly and with as little red tape as possible, giving small businesses a big boost right when they need it. And here’s the best part—if you use the funds to retain (or rehire) your employees, the loans don’t need to be repaid.View Payroll Protection...

Paycor's COVID-19 Command Center

Paycor's COVID-19 Command Center

We're excited to announce the release of Paycor's COVID-19 Command Center, a new analytics solution that delivers instant insights for crisis management. With the COVID-19 Command Center, you'll be able to: Prepare with real time insights Plan with actionable data Respond with the help of HR experts Recover quickly by playing the long game now Discover how your organization can make the best possible decisions with real time data, actionable insights and expert HR counsel.

Families First Coronavirus Response Act: Tips to Manage Employee Leave Scenarios

Families First Coronavirus Response Act: Tips to Manage Employee Leave Scenarios

Coronavirus Response Act On March 18 the Families First Coronavirus Response Act was enacted to help individuals, families and businesses. The legislation requires employers with under 500 employees to give sick leave and paid family medical leave to eligible employees.Eligible businesses are now able to take advantage of new tax credits to offset the costs associated with paid emergency leave and sick leave benefits implemented under the bill, including credit for health plan expenses affiliated with the new leaves. Below is a list of scenarios your employees may experience during this time. Scenario 1 A full time employee is sick and believes they might have COVID-19. The employee is visiting a doctor to seek a medical diagnosis and...

Late Breaking News: Government Approves Remote I-9 Review Due to COVID-19

Late Breaking News: Government Approves Remote I-9 Review Due to COVID-19

Form I-9 Review: Key Details On Friday March 20, 2020, the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) announced it would relax its standards for I-9 document verification amid the coronavirus outbreak.Employers with employees taking physical proximity precautions due to COVID-19 will not be required to review the employee’s identity and employment authorization documents in the employee’s physical presence. This provision only applies to employers and workplaces that are operating remotely. If there are employees physically present at a work location, no exceptions are being made at this time to review and verify documents in person. Remote Inspections Employers taking physical proximity precautions must inspect the physical documents...