Ensuring Your Business is Labor-Law Compliant

If you employ workers, chances are good that your business is subject to a number of labor laws enacted by the United States Department of Labor as well as the California Department of Industrial Relations. Failure to comply with these labor laws can cause a lot more than disgruntled workers; non-compliance can result in sanctions by the federal or state government and/or potential legal actions from employees to recover damages. Business owners are often not aware that they are violating the law until it is too late and they are facing costly legal consequences. The best way to preemptively avoid any labor law dispute is to consult with an experienced employment law attorney to ensure all of your policies and practices are in line with the law.


Topics Covered By Labor Laws

Labor laws such as the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) and the California Labor Code cover a wide variety of topics related to employees, compensation, and more. The following are only a handful of issues that labor laws may affect:


  • Child labor
  • Minimum wages
  • Gratuities and tips
  • Overtime pay
  • Paycheck deductions
  • Paid sick leave
  • Vacation time
  • Holidays
  • Mandatory meal and rest breaks
  • Time and pay reporting
  • Pay periods and paydays
  • Final paychecks
  • Safe and healthy work conditions
  • Accommodations for breastfeeding
  • Personnel records and files
  • Workers’ compensation


As you can see, there are a number of requirements under the law for businesses with employees and it is often easy to lose track of all of the laws or new updates to the law. Claiming ignorance will often not help to protect you from the penalties that may result from violation of labor laws.


Labor Law Exemptions

Not every employee is entitled to all of the protections under the various labor laws, however. For example, numerous types of employees are not subject to wage and hour provisions, including overtime wages. Some exemptions include:


  • Executives
  • Certain creative or learned professionals
  • Certain administrative employees
  • Qualifying computer employees
  • Outside salespeople
  • Employees with high compensation
  • Independent contractors


Each exemption has specific requirements and you must ensure that you have correctly classified an employee for an exemption to apply. Mis-classification exposes you to governmental penalties and lawsuits brought by your employees.

If you have any questions regarding labor law compliance, exemptions, or any other employment law matter, the attorneys at Structure Law Group in San Jose can provide answers and guidance. Please feel free to call our office today at (408) 441-7500 for assistance.


About Structure Law Group, LLP

Structure Law Group is a San Jose based law firm that serves its clients’ business, employment and real estate needs, including but not limited to business formations, debt and equity investments, employment agreements, commercial leasing and purchases, commercial contracts and related litigation.