Illinois Employment Law 101: What Every Small Business Owner Needs To Know

 
Any place in which you open a business will have employment laws, and if you’ve grown enough to hire employees, you should take note. Certain employment laws are advantageous to startups, while others could land you in trouble if you do not follow them. With rules covering everything from how to classify employees to what you should cover regarding workers’ compensation, it can be tedious getting familiar with all of the laws. Listed below are some of the more important Illinois employment laws of which to be aware.
 

 
The Unemployment Insurance Tax

One of the costlier components of payroll involves the provision of unemployment insurance, and under Illinois law, employers are required to provide coverage. The Guide To The Illinois Unemployment Insurance Act outlines the ruling in its entirety, along with its implications. “An employing unit, except certain types of nonprofit organizations or local governmental entities, that has one or more persons in employment in Illinois on any one day within each of 20 or more calendar weeks in any calendar year is required to pay contributions for that calendar year and for at least the following calendar year, even though it did not or does not have one or more employees in as many as 20 weeks in that second year.” When you hire your first employee, make sure you know the requirements, so you can be in compliance.

 
Fidelity Bonding

The State of Illinois has enacted fidelity bonding to insure businesses against fraudulent employee practices, including theft, embezzlement and other acts of dishonesty. The Illinois Department of Employment Security offers the benefits of fidelity bonding: “Insurance to protect employer against employee dishonesty and covers any type of stealing: theft, forgery, larceny, and embezzlement.” By insuring the employer, the state hopes to help employees whose past experiences may prohibit them from getting hired, while providing employers with a safety net against dishonest employees, which is critical for a small business whose livelihood may be impacted by such acts.

 
School Visitation Rights Act

To ensure that employers don’t penalize parents who take time off to participate in their children’s school activities, Illinois enacted the School Visitation Rights Act, which is defined by the Illinois General Assembly. “The intent of this Act is to permit employed parents and guardians who are unable to meet with educators because of a work conflict the right to an allotment of time during the school year to attend necessary educational or behavioral conferences at the school their children attend.” Small businesses often have employees who perform key critical business functions, and this act protects these employees from feeling obligated to miss their children’s school conferences. As the owner, you should prepare to cover for these potential absences.

 
There are many more Illinois business laws that may impact your small business. Before hiring your first employee, it may be wise to meet with an attorney who specializes in these laws so you know how to comply with them.

 

 
This article was written by Alaina Brandenburger for Small Business Pulse
 

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