Are you breaking one (or more) of these 5 labor laws?
It’s not easy keeping up with what’s required and what’s optional when it comes to labor/employee laws. Here are the top 5 most costly labor law mistakes your small business could be making:

1. Sick Leave versus FMLA: the federal government does not require any company to offer paid sick leave, but some states do. Does yours? But you are required to be incompliance with FMLA – the Family and Medical Leave Act.

2. Talking about Wages/Salaries: Section 7 of the National Labor Relations Act gives your employees the right to discuss “concerted activities” at work; this includes the right to discuss wages/salaries, employment conditions, promotions, and more.

3. Sexual Discrimination and Harassment: Title 7 of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 prevents discrimination based on sex, so be sure your business has an anti-discrimination and harassment policy and procedure in place. You need more than just a statement that it’s not acceptible; you need a clear protocol for reporting, investigating, documenting, and resolving complains of harassment.

4. Meals and Breaks: like paid sick leave, there is no federal requirement that employers provide meal breaks, but most states DO require at least one meal break for every 8-hour shift. And while employees don’t necessarily have to eat during their break, employeers are advised not to be prescriptive about how employees use their break time.

5. Unpaid Interns: sounds like a great way to get some marketing set up or staff the phone during busy times, but make sure it’s truly an educational internship; companies that use unpaid interns as substitute employees or “grunt” labor risk paying back wages and penalities.

With so many regulations differing by state, here’s a guide to each state’s labor laws.

Read the full article at