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Numbers Matter in Employment Law

The number of employees can have a significant impact on the application of various employment laws. Some federal labor laws, such as the Equal Pay Act and Fair Labor Standards Act, apply to all employers, regardless of size. However, many employment laws and regulations include thresholds based on the number of employees a company has. The number of employees often determines whether a particular law applies to a business, and if so, to what extent. Here are a few examples:

  1. Title VII of the Civil Rights Act:
    • Title VII prohibits workplace discrimination based on race, color, religion, sex, and national origin. Generally, businesses with 15 or more employees are subject to Title VII. Smaller businesses may be exempt.
  2. Age Discrimination in Employment Act (ADEA):
    • ADEA protects individuals aged 40 and older from discrimination in employment. Similar to Title VII, it generally applies to employers with 20 or more employees.
  3. Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA):
    • ADA prohibits discrimination against individuals with disabilities. Employers with 15 or more employees are generally covered by the ADA.
  4. Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA):
    • FMLA provides eligible employees with unpaid, job-protected leave for specific family or medical reasons. Employers with 50 or more employees within a 75-mile radius are typically covered.
  5. Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA):
    • FLSA establishes minimum wage, overtime pay eligibility, recordkeeping, and child labor standards. The number of employees may impact whether certain provisions apply, and some exemptions are based on the size and nature of the business.
  6. Affordable Care Act (ACA):
    • Certain provisions of the ACA apply to employers with 50 or more full-time equivalent employees, triggering requirements related to offering health insurance coverage.

It's crucial for employers to be aware of the specific thresholds and requirements set forth by various employment laws in their jurisdiction. Employers with fewer employees may be subject to different regulations than larger employers, and compliance obligations can change as the size of the workforce grows. If you have are interested in learning more, give us a call at (605) 275-5665.