Many small business owners often become overwhelmed with the day to day running of the business. This is especially true if they have employees. With this in mind, I thought I would share some human resource tips and tools that can help you stay current with issues that impact you as you manage your employees.
E-VerifyE-Verify is an internet based system that allows businesses to determine the eligibility of their employees to work in the United States. If you have 10 employees or fewer, you are exempt. For those with 11 or more employees, you can go to http://www.uscis.gov/ and find when you must use E-Verify and how to use it. E-Verify is mandatory for employers with federal contracts or subcontracts that contain the Federal Acquisition Regulation E-Verify clause.
Labor Wage Survey
Ever wonder what the going rate is for a specific type of job? A great resource to use to find out is the Georgia Department of Labor Wage Survey. You can go online to the 2011 DOL Wage Survey at http://explorer.dol.state.ga.us/mis/Current/wagesurveycurrent.pdf and find out the entry, average, and median wage classified by Standard Occupational Code.
One of the first things that you need to do when seeking employees is to have a good job description. If you have ever struggled with writing one, then I recommend you go to http://onetonline.org/. This website contains more than 275 standardized descriptors of skills, knowledge, tasks, occupation requirements, and worker abilities, interests and values to assist you in building accurate job descriptions.
If you don’t know what posters you are required by law to have posted for your employees, then you should go to http://www.dol.state.ga.us/em/required_posters.htm. Not only can you find out what posters are required for Georgia but you can print them too.
Another great website for help with employee posters is http://www.dol.gov/elaws/index.htm. This is an interactive website designed to help employers comply with the poster requirements of several laws administered by the U S Department of Labor (DOL). Don’t forget that the laws require employers to display official DOL posters where employees can readily observe them. DOL provides the posters at no cost to employers.
Worker’s CompensationDon’t forget that if you have three or more employees, by law, you must carry worker’s compensation insurance. For more information, you can go to the State Board of Workers Compensation and read their frequently asked questions at http://sbwc.georgia.gov/portal/site/SBWC/.
Another great source of worker’s compensation information can be found on the Georgia Insurance Commissioner’s website at http://www.gainsurance.org/ConsumerService/WorkersCompensationConsumers.aspx. This page will allow you to view different rates filed by each of the insurance companies that offer workers compensation in Georgia.
An employee handbook can be a convenient source of information for your employees. The employee handbook should be a well-written handbook that communicates your expectations for your employees and describes what they can expect from your company.
Make sure that you have disclaimers that your handbook is not a contract of employment and that practices and procedures may change without notice. It is a good idea to have your handbook reviewed by an attorney before using it with your employees. Don’t forget to obtain signed acknowledgement that your employee has received the handbook.
If you don’t know where to start with an employee handbook, you might want to go to the SBA website for an Employee Handbook Template at http://www.sba.gov/content/employee-handbooks.
Hiring and managing employees can be a very complicated and challenging job for small business owners. It is important that you understand the laws and rules that apply to you. The above information discusses just a few of your potential responsibilities and is not intended as legal advice. When hiring employees you should consider seeking the advice of an attorney or outsourcing your human resource activities.
Lynn Vos is Area Director for the University of Georgia Small Business Development Center. Contact her at 912-651-3200.