• RSS feed
  • LinkedIn
Call: 310-826-5202
Publications and News at HWC


Human Resources: The Basics for a Small Business

The often-murky area of human resources generally consists of laws and regulations, which is probably part of the reason many small businesses often put off dealing with it. Avoidance is not the answer. Steer clear of legal hot water and potential employee claims with by keeping a close eye on these three HR areas.

1. Employee Files

Federal law clearly states that employers must keep three specific files for each employee in your business. These files are:

  • I-9 File: Used by the U.S. Government to identify and verify that an employee is eligible to work in the U.S., you can keep all I-9s in one folder.
  • Employee records: Includes resumes, reviews, disciplinary action, training verification, evaluations, W-4 forms, payroll details, etc…
  • Employee Medical File: Includes notes from doctors, disability information, and any medical information that you have on an employee. Because you are dealing with medical information, you 1470173852_Lawyermust protect and secure these files.

2. Employee Handbook

Having an employee handbook is a non-negotiable. Need help drafting one? An experienced small business lawyer can help. A handbook 1) clearly lays out to your employees what is expected of them, and 2) protects your business in case there is a dispute.

Some elements to consider incorporating into an employee handbook include:

  • Non-disclosure agreements
  • Anti-discrimination policies
  • Responses to data and security breaches
  • Compensation and benefits
  • Vacation, paid, and sick leave
  • Standards of conduct
  • General information

A policy that your employee has not read, understood, and signed is not useful. Make sure your employees receive a copy and sign a statement acknowledging that they received, read, and understand the employee handbook (this signed statement goes in their employment file).

3. Display Required Posters

State law requires that certain posters be displayed in common work areas, such as a break room. Discuss which posters are needed at your place of work with an experienced business attorney.

While this does not cover the realm of HR as it relates to running a business, having a firm handle on these 3 areas will be a great start. For more information on necessary human resource-related considerations when forming a small business, contact the business lawyers at Hart, Watters & Carter today.