Business Lawyer Arlington VA
Business Lawyers in Arlington, Virginia
While the inner workings of your company’s human resources staff may seem a mystery even to management, in fact, a properly functioning HR department serves an essential role in any well-run organization. As federal and Virginia employment law grows increasingly complex, effective HR managers can help keep your business out of legal hot water with the variety of federal and state organizations that oversee the workplace. An Arlington VA business lawyer understands just how important an HR department can be.
So, what does human resources do? Its functions can roughly be broken down into three categories: human, administrative and strategic.
HR’s Human Function
First and foremost, your HR department is the bridge between your employees and company management. As the federal Bureau of Labor Statistics observes, HR helps your organization attract, develop and retain the best-qualified workers in the positions where they fit best. As the department responsible for recruiting, interviewing and hiring, human resources is the first point of contact between the business and a potential new hire. Often, HR managers conduct initial interviews, thereafter, coordinating with the relevant departments for further meetings. As part of the hiring process, HR handles background checks and drug testing as well. Once a new hire comes aboard, HR takes charge of employee orientation and training.
But HR’s responsibilities do not end with hiring. Your HR staff provides your workforce with a resource for basic company information on an ongoing basis, including supplying employee handbooks. Typically, HR is also involved in performance reviews and disciplinary procedures, as well as employee terminations. Equally important, HR coordinates with management to establish and disseminate equal opportunity employment and sexual harassment policies, and acts as the front line for receiving employee complaints and resolving disputes. It can also be helpful to have an Arlington VA business lawyer working with your HR department to ensure all policies adhere to all state and federal laws.
HR’s Administrative Function
One essential job human resources does is manage your employee benefits programs, and sometimes payroll as well. Further, HR oversees the record-keeping and administration required by the alphabet soup of government regulatory agencies and employment laws, including:
- The Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC)
- The Department of Labor (DOL)
- The Occupational Safety & Health Administration (OSHA)
- The Affordable Care Act (ACA)
- The Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA)
- The Age Discrimination in Employment Act (ADEA)
- The Americans With Disabilities Act (ADA)
HR’s Strategic Function
Finally, the human resources department serves as a resource for management in planning your company’s long-term growth and development strategy. A good HR department will track compensation and benefit packages in your industry to maintain your competitiveness in that arena, and coordinate with company managers to plan pay structures. Additionally, consulting with your HR staff helps maximize efficiency by placing employees in positions where their talents are put to their best use.
Consult an Arlington VA Business Lawyer
No matter what your business issue is, a business lawyer Arlington VA clients recommend is here to help. The seasoned team at May Law, LLP offers years of experience and skill in all aspects of Virginia and federal business law. Call today to schedule a free and confidential consultation.
When You Should Hire a Business Lawyer
When You Choose Your Business Name
After you have a general concept of the business you want to open, you need to choose an appropriate business name. However, you cannot choose a name that is already in use in your state, and you can’t choose names that are used in other states for similar businesses or are otherwise trademarked.
Your business lawyer in Arlington VA can run a search on your business name. Your state should have a database of unavailable names, but your attorney should do an in-depth state and national search to prevent any name disputes.
When You Need To Choose Your Business Structure
If you plan to start a business, it is best to hire a business lawyer in Arlington VA as soon as possible. These professionals can help you with all your startup decisions, including determining what type of business to open. For example, the lawyers at May Law can help you determine if a sole proprietorship, partnership, limited liability company, c-corporation or S-corporation is right for your business based on what it will produce or sell. Your attorney can also share information about taxes, personal liability and ownership requirements and challenges. Each of these structures has advantages and disadvantages, but the type of business you will open can exploit the advantages and minimize the disadvantages of some of these structures.
When You Form Your Business Legally
Although some entities, such as LLCs and partnerships, only require that you fill out paperwork and submit it to the state, which can be done on your own, others require more paperwork. Sole proprietorships may not require any paperwork, depending on the state you live in. However, each state has different business laws, and your locality may also have strict regulations about the types of businesses allowed in specific areas or in the general area. You may even have to produce or acquire professional licenses before the state or city will allow you to open your doors.
However, a business lawyer in Arlington VA can help you navigate both your state and local business regulations. They can guide you on zoning restrictions, bank account requirements and getting an employer identification number from the IRS.
When You Begin Hiring Employees
Human resources is a challenging function. You have to abide by specific laws, such as ensuring that you provide prospective employees with an equal opportunity to work for your company. In addition, you have Department of Labor, OSHA and other federal law and agency requirements that you have to follow. A lawyer from May Law can help you navigate this often challenging area.
Preventing workplace discrimination and harassment is a critically important goal for modern American companies. Safe working environments tend to be productive working environments. In addition, failure to safeguard one’s employees from preventable discrimination and harassment leaves companies vulnerable to serious liabilities. As a result, it is important to seek experienced legal guidance about your company’s discrimination policies from one of the best business lawyers in Arlington, VA who understands this area of the law inside and out. Proactive decision-making now can save both your company and your employees from significant negative consequences down the road.
Avoiding Discrimination-Based Claims and Complaints
If you have just recently founded your company (or are in the process of founding it), you can work with one of the best business lawyers in Arlington, VA in order to ensure that your discrimination policies are comprehensive from the start. You should make sure to discuss the ways in which both execution and enforcement of these policies should be handled and how to create a corporate culture that thrives on safe practices.
If your company is established, it is important to revisit your discrimination policies and practices with an experienced Arlington, VA business lawyer on a relatively regular basis. That way, you can better ensure that your approaches are in-line with the latest regulations. In addition, you will be able to demonstrate to a judge (in the event that a claim is ever filed against your company) that you took all reasonable and appropriate measures to ensure that your working environment was safe for your employees.
Even if you are not scheduled to speak with one of the best business lawyers in Arlington, VA about these policies again for some time, it may be worth scheduling a meeting if you start to witness discrimination and/or harassment “red flags” in your office space. If your workplace seems lacking in diversity (gender, sex, age, race, sexual orientation, etc.) this may be a red flag. Similarly, if employees with certain characteristics regularly get passed over for promotions, pay raises or other opportunities, this may be a negative sign – as is a workplace where individuals with certain characteristics are provided access to certain positions within the company but not others. If minorities do not often voice their opinions, this is also a problematic reality. Inclusive culture is a work in process and must be attended to regularly.
Legal Guidance Is Available
If you have recently started a new company and need to draft discrimination policies or you represent an existing company that may benefit from reexamining its discrimination policies, please do not hesitate to connect with one of the best business lawyers in Arlington, Virginia experienced in this area of law. It is critically important to be as proactive as possible when it comes to discrimination in the workplace. Failure to take necessary steps will leave your company vulnerable to liability and your workers vulnerable to mistreatment. Informed, proactive choices in regards to workplace discrimination can benefit everyone affected by your company’s policies. Consultations are confidential, so please do not hesitate to voice your questions and concerns today. The legal team at May Law, LLP looks forward to working with you.