Employment Laws According to Number of Employees

Employment Laws According to Number of Employees


ALL Employees- regardless of number of employees


  • FICA– Federal Insurance Contributions Act- 1935.  This Act established a federal payroll tax to be paid equally by employers and employees.  The payroll tax  was intended to fund Social Security and Medicare
    • Social Security- 6.2% of wages, up to $127,200 for 2017
    • Medicare- 1.45% of wages, with no limit on income
  • Fair Labor Standards Act- FLSA was passed in 1938 and regulates the status of employees (exempt/nonexempt) and provides for a minimum wage and overtime compensation unless the employee meets an exempt classification.  Also regulates employee versus independent contractor status.
    • Labor Sec. finally confirmed- look for revised Exempt/Nonexempt wage levels to somewhere around $33,00 instead of $47,476 after Congressional review
  • Immigration Reform & Control Act- passed in 1986, requiring all employers to complete the Form I-9 on all new hires to confirm they are hiring employees who are eligible to work in the United States.
    • Expect new law requiring all employers, regardless of size, to use the E-Verify system to confirm new hires are eligible to work in the US.
  • Uniformed Services Employment & Reemployment Rights Act (USERRA).   Originally passed in 1994 and has been amended (see FMLA section).  Prohibits employers from discriminating against military service members because of past, present, or future military service.  Protects military service workers, employment rights and benefits of employment.
  • OSHA- Occupational Safety & Health Act, enacted in 1970.  Mandates compliance with federal health and safety standards. Employers with fewer than 10 employees are exempt from certain reporting requirements.
  • Title VII of Civil Rights Act of 1964.  Law says for 15 employees or more, Ned says for all employees!  Prohibits employers from discriminating against individuals on the basis of race, color, religion, sex, national origin
    • Rapidly evolving to include gender, trans-gender, gay, lesbian. Focus on treating people right and fair, and stay tuned for additional groups.
  • Equal Pay Act- 1963.  Prohibits wage discrimination by requiring equal pay for equal work with the same skills, effort and responsibilities.  Ledbetter Act in 2007 expanded this coverage.


  • Consumer Credits Protection Act- 1968.  Establishes a national maximum limit on the amount of an employee’s weekly wages that can be withheld to satisfy wage garnishments.
  • ERISA- Employee Retirement Income Security Act, passed in 1974.  ERISA established standards and requirements in administering employee benefit and retirement plans, to ensure employees are actually receiving the money they set aside for a retirement plan.  Covers full time employees and part time employees working more than 1,000 hours a year.
  • Uniform Guidelines of Employee Selection Procedures- 1978.  Prohibits selection policies and practices from having an adverse impact on the employment opportunities for any race, sex, or ethnic group unless it is a business necessity.
  • Employee Polygraph Protection Act of 1988.  Prohibits employers from requiring pre-employment polygraph examinations.
  • Health Insurance Portability and Accountability  Act (HIPAA)- 1996.  Provides confidentiality in all employee health information, limiting access to management on a “need to know” basis.
  • Jury Systems Improvement Act- Prohibits employers from adverse employment action against employees who are summoned to jury duty in federal court.  Most state have employment laws regarding jury duty.


15-19 Employees


Employers required to comply with all of the previously mentioned Acts, plus the following six Acts:


  • Title VII, Civil Rights Act– 1964 and 1991.  Prohibits discrimination in all terms and conditions of employment, including pay and benefits, on the basis of race, religion, ethnic group, sex, national origin, or disability.  Listed in the “All employees” section but legally applies only to employers with 15 or more employees.  Ned says forget that and apply to all employers!
  • Pregnancy Discrimination Act- 1978.  Protects pregnant employees from being forced to resign or take a leave of absence.
    • Expect 2017 legislation requiring maternity leave, perhaps 12 weeks, with some exclusions for small businesses of less than 20 employees.
  • Title 1, Americans with Disabilities Act– 1990.  Protects qualified individuals with disabilities from unlawful discrimination in employment.  Discrimination is prohibited if the individual can do the essential job function.  An employer must make reasonable accommodations for such individuals unless doing so would place an undue hardship on the employer.
  • Fair Credit Reporting Act- 1970.  Defines employees and potential employee’s rights regarding employers using information obtained by third party credit reporting agencies as the basis for employment decisions.
  • Fair and Accurate Credit Transactions Act– 2003.  Requires employers to take reasonable measures to reduce the risk of identity theft and other harm to their employees, resulting from the employer’s failure to properly dispose of confidential records.
  • Genetic Information Nondiscrimination Act (GINA) 2008.  Prohibits employers from discriminating against employees or applicants based on their genetic information.


20-49 Employees


Employers required to comply with all of the previously mentioned Acts, plus the following two Acts:


  • Age Discrimination in Employment Act (ADEA)– 1967.  Prohibits discrimination against employees or applicants who are age 40 or older based on their age.  Prohibits mandatory retirement ages.
  • Consolidated Omnibus Budget Reconciliation Act (COBRA). – 1985.  COBRA requires employers to permit employees to extend their health insurance coverage at group rates for up to 36 months following a qualifying event.  Employee pays the full cost of the insurance continuation.  Employers with fewer than 20 employees comply with State Continuation plans, similar to COBRA.


Employers with 50 or more Employees


Employers required to comply with all of the previously mentioned Acts, plus the following Acts:


  • Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA) – 1993.  Requires that employees who have worked at least 12 months and have worked at least 1,250 hours in the previous 12 months are eligible to take up to 12 weeks of unpaid leave during any 12 month period for the purposes of birth, adoption, or foster care of a child; caring for a spouse, child, or parent who has a serious health condition; or serious health condition of the employee.  Additionally, the National Defense Authorization Act of 2008 amends FMLA to allow a spouse, parent, son, daughter or next of kin up to 26 weeks to care for a member of the armed services suffering from injuries or illness sustained while on active duty. Allows 12 weeks of unpaid leave for a “qualifying exigency” for a son, daughter, parent or spouse on active duty.  Employer must have 50 employees or more for 20 or more workweeks in the current or preceding calendar year, and work within a 75 mile radius.
  • Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act of 2010.  (PPACA)-Applicable large employers (over 50 employees) must offer affordable, minimum value health coverage for their full-time employees and dependents or risk paying a penalty.
    • HR 1644 passed in the House 05/04/17 to replace PPACA with American Health Care Act.  Legislation will now go to the Senate, which will most likely make significant changes to the House version.  My hope is the D’s and R’s will listen to each other and to the American insurance consumers and eventually craft a health care act that meets the needs of American families. This will be a long, drawn-out process.


Employers with 100 or more Employees


Employers required to comply with all of the previously mentioned Acts, plus the following Acts:

  • Worker Adjustment and Retaining Notifications Act (WARN). Employers required to provide a 60-day advance notice to employee4s of imminent covered plant closings and covered mass layoffs.
  • EEO-1 Report filed annually. The Employer Information Report (EEO-1) requires employers to submit employment data categorized by race/ethnicity, gender, job category, and wages and hours to the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission.





Contact Ned Frazier at ned@frazierintl.com or call 303.875.5078 with any questions.


Comments are closed.