So you’ve finally decided you’ve got the experience and financial backing to start your own business and be your own boss. This is undoubtedly an exciting time, filled with thoughts about what the future holds for your company in your industry of choice. However, before you start advertising job opportunities, there are several major things you need to address, namely the wages and benefits you are going to offer these new employees. Chances are that if you don’t state what you’re providing up front, it’s going to be the first question you are asked before getting a yes or a no. To know where you currently stand and where you need to be, here are the answers to some of the questions many new employers have about wages and benefits.
1. What Is the Base Wage Workers Must Be Paid?
This is the start of a theme that will come up often in these questions and answers: striking the right balance between meeting minimum requirements and enticing jobseekers to choose you as their next employer. The Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) lays the federal groundwork on the subjects of minimum wage and overtime pay. The absolute lowest an employer can pay a worker is $5.15 per hour as of 1997. However, the average nationwide figure has increased since then, and your state likely has minimum wage requirements as well. While it is ostensibly logical at first to offer the lowest legal labor payment to maximize profits, the nature of our capitalistic economy essentially requires that you pay a fair bit more than the minimum if you are to attract talented workers and thereby get an edge on the competition.
2. Where Does My Business Fall Regarding the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (ACA)?
Once the ACA was made law by the United States federal government in 2010, business owners across the country immediately wondered how they would be affected. If health insurance is already one of the benefits you offer or are planning to offer to your employees, and the coverage is a Qualified Health Plan as defined by the ACA, then there is no need for you to change plans. Your workers are entitled to enroll in a private plan if they choose, but you are not required to contribute to their premiums.
3. How Do I Keep My Employees Informed?
Once you know where you stand in terms of what you will offer your current and future workers, you need to make sure they have access to that information. Under the law, you must give each of your employees a summary of benefits and coverage form that shows details about the payments and the kind of coverage your company’s plan offers. The purpose of this is to allow your employees to compare this coverage plan to those available to them privately, and to then choose between them. Even though this form distribution may seem like an unnecessary labor on your part if you could just make the information available online or upon request, it does have an upside. Compliance with this law not only keeps your company in good legal standing, but it also builds your company’s reputation as a transparent and fair operation, which is invaluable in the competitive job market.
The Long Game
Ironing out the details of the wages and benefits you are going to offer your employees while also ensuring compliance with the law takes a great deal of time, patience and research. However, these are necessary measures if you want your business to be around for a long time. Many of these laws may be to the benefit of the employees, but obeying them can build a sense of loyalty and confidence among your workers that can only help company progress in the future.
The content on our website is only meant to provide general information and is not legal advice. We make our best efforts to make sure the information is accurate, but we cannot guarantee it. Do not rely on the content as legal advice. For assistance with legal problems or for a legal inquiry please contact you attorney.