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Installment 2 - Protecting Your Business through Compliance with Employment Laws

Welcome back to our series about employment laws and how you can protect your business through compliance! This week, we’ll be covering those laws that affect businesses with 11 or more employees, 15 or more employees and 20 or more employees.


11 or More Employees

Occupational Safety and Health Act (OSHA) – Governed by OSHA

Employers of 11 or more must maintain records in compliance with OSHA by posting an OSHA 300 log that details any accidents, injuries, or deaths that occur on the job (not applicable to all businesses; some are exempt). As an employer that observes OSHA requirements, you are responsible for adhering to OSHA safety regulations, OSHA training, and responding to any OSHA complaint.


15 or More Employees

Title VII Civil Rights Act of 1964 – Governed by the U.S. Department of Labor

This is perhaps one of the most important employment laws, as it prohibits discrimination in employment and hiring practice. The current list of protected classes includes race, color, sex, religion, national origin, genetic information, age, veteran status, and physical and mental disabilities.

The penalty for noncompliance requires that employers back pay their employees the amount they are owed due to discrimination they faced.

American Disabilities Act (ADA)

This prohibits employers, recruiting agencies, and unions from discriminating against qualified candidates with disabilities in the job application, hiring, firing, advancement, compensation, and other employment processes. Monetary penalties for violating ADA range from $55,000 to $150,000.

Genetic Information Nondiscrimination Act (GINA) – Governed by the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission

GINA prohibits employers from discriminating against employees or applicants based on genetic information such as genetic risk factors, family medical history, or disease susceptibility.


20 or More Employees

The Consolidated Omnibus Budget Reconciliation Act (COBRA) – Governed by the U.S. Department of Labor

Employers must offer covered employees and their families the option to continue health insurance for 18-36 months after ceasing employment (duration depends on voluntary or involuntary job loss, reduction in the hours worked, transition between jobs, death, divorce, and other life events). Qualified individuals may be required to pay the entire premium for coverage up to 102 percent of the cost to the plan.

Age Discrimination Employment Act (ADEA) – Governed by the EEOC

The Age Discrimination in Employment Act of 1967 is a US labor law that forbids employment discrimination against anyone at least 40 years of age in the United States regardless of gender.


While every law that we have covered in the last two weeks is important to know and understand, Title VII is extremely critical – it acts as the basis of most all employment law. A firm understanding of Title VII will protect your business from potential employee lawsuits and claims.

As always, these blogs exist to help you navigate the human resources side of running your business, but they are only a starting point. We would be happy to help you with any questions regarding these and the laws we discussed last week.

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