Essential Small Business HR FAQs

What's missing from your handbook?

Download our Employee Handbook Checklist to see if there are any crucial policies missing from your company's handbook.

How should I go about making company rules and regulations?

First, you need to have balance when making rules and regulations. For instance, you need not create a plethora of policies that control the actions of your numerous employees when all you require are sufficient policies to control the actions of a few. You don’t need to cover every contingency -- you need guidance to handle certain situations. In short, ensure that your rules and regulations protect the company and lead to all employees being treated fairly.

Can a company refuse a holiday/time-off request?

As an employer, you can refuse to grant a holiday or time-off request. For instance, many of your workers in the same team or department ask to leave at the same time, particularly over Christmas, Easter or summer. In such a scenario, it might not be practical to allow some requests because you have to make sure that the needs of the company are met. Employers may also need to take into account when a refusal to grant a request for holiday time-off may run into a religious accommodation issue. (Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 prohibits employment discrimination based on religion.)

Are companies required to advertise jobs internally?

There’s no legal requirement on companies to advertise jobs internally. However, advertising a job internally is good business practice because your company can defend a claim against discrimination if existing workers are made aware that a certain post is available and they may apply.

Can a company loan money to employees?

Yes and no. It’s a risky proposition to lend money to an employee because you may be flooded with requests from others. Also, the employee who borrows money may find it difficult to repay. Based on their creditworthiness, you may lend money to one employee and refuse another, which might bring about discrimination concerns. Your tax obligations as an employer may increase if a loan isn’t done properly. So, you need to weigh these options before lending money to employees.

Can a company track its employees?

A company can track its employees to monitor their activities and engagement with workplace-related tasks. The legal scope around tracking employees is murky, and there’s no government privacy law that bars an employer from tracking an employee using GPS. In some states, it’s illegal to track someone’s car without their consent. Modern technology can allow your company to monitor employees’ activities and communications, which can help in making decisions about appropriate salary, product prices, and ideal team sizes among others.

Can a company refuse a resignation?

In strict terms, refusing a resignation isn’t legally possible. An employee should have the final say in the decision to resign - a company can’t decline to accept a resignation just like an employee can’t decline to accept their dismissal from work. In short, an employee has the right to resign at any time.

How can my company enforce non-competes?

A non-compete agreement is there to protect your company’s proprietary information or trade secrets. To make the agreement enforceable, it should be ancillary to another agreement and be reasonable. To enforce a non-compete agreement, you should show that there’s potential harm to your company and its interests need to be protected.

It’s also important to quickly evaluate whether an employee’s work with your competitor threatens your goodwill. Cease and desist letters coupled with demand letters should be sent to non-complying parties. You can also file a lawsuit and ask for a temporary restraining order while a court determines the outcome of the case.

If you’re struggling to keep up with the ever-changing world of human resources, you’re not alone.

Most businesses get to a point when they realize they can no longer manage all of their HR functions on their own — simply put, they need a little help. And while HR may not be your specialty, it is ours.

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Need help with your company's HR?

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Last Updated

05.22.2018