Small Business Brief

Attorneys & Legal, Employees

Employment Legal Advice: What Every Small Business Owner Should Know

Do you own one of the 30.2 million small businesses in the United States? Then you are probably already well aware that there are many laws you need to follow. 

But are you familiar with the laws that relate to hiring employees? You need to make sure you follow employment law when hiring, paying, and firing the people that work for you. 

The best thing to do is to seek out employment legal advice. An employment lawyer can help you navigate the confusing world of employment law. 


The majority of employment positions in the United States are at will. This means that the employer or the employee can terminate the relationship at any time for any reason. 

To retain this right, you need to be careful to avoid promising job security. Or, you can embrace a contract and offer it as security to entice desirable employees. 


You need to have a payroll system in place before you start hiring employees. It is essential to know what information you need from your employees. This includes obtaining their Employer Identification Number and any required state or local tax IDs. 

Next, you need to plan for how you will handle holidays, vacations, sick time, and any other form of leave. Have these policies written and ensure that your employees are made aware of them. 

You can choose to handle payroll internally or hire an outside firm to handle everything for you. Whatever method you choose, you need to report your payroll taxes on a quarterly and annual basis. 

Liability of Discrimination 

There are federal laws that protect individuals with certain characteristics of discrimination. Then state laws broaden this protection. Some characteristics that are protected include sex, race, age, national origin, and religion. 

You also need to be careful of discrimination when firing someone. This could be either intentional or unintentional discrimination. 

Employment litigation can be costly to your small business. Follow the law so that you can prevent this burden on your company. If you do find yourself facing a lawsuit brought by an employee, you’ll need knowledgeable representation such as the employment attorneys at McNeely Stephenson.

Offering Benefits 

There are certain benefits that you are federally required to provide for your employees. This includes workers compensation and unemployment insurance. You’ll also need to pay Social Security taxes at the same rate as your employees. 

You also need to check your state laws for required benefits. Some states such as California, Hawaii, Rhode Island, New Jersey, and New York require that you provide disability pay for your employees. 

Seek out Employment Legal Advice

The law can be detailed and confusing. You don’t want to risk the future of your small business because you didn’t follow employment law. The best thing you can do is seek out employment legal advice.

Having an employment lawyer looking out for your business means you can focus on your company and not on the law. The best time to seek out legal advice is before you have a problem.

Be sure to subscribe to our business blogs to have the best business advice delivered to your inbox.