Business Lawyer Arlington VA
An business lawyer Arlington VA residents trust understands just how important an HR department can be. 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.
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.
Tips For Business Owners
We understand that for many business owners, their business is an extension of themselves. It is important that you have a team of lawyers to support you and advise you on all things legal. From our standpoint, there are a few tips we often suggest to entrepreneurs to help safeguard what they have spent so much time building and putting their effort into. Whether you are new to having a business or have been doing it for many years, here are a few legal tips that can go a long way in protecting you:
Reduce Personal Liability Risks
By forming a limited liability company or corporation, as compared to a sole proprietorship or partnership, it announces your business as a separate entity from just you. By doing this, you are also setting a precedent to clients that you have taken steps to become a true legal entity.
Use Contracts To Protect your Work
Never overlook the crucial step of protecting your work through having a written contract with every client, regardless of your personal relationship outside of the business. A lawyer from May Law, LLP can ensure that the contract lists the work you will be performing, how much you will be paid, and other ground rules. There is a rule across all states that if you have to hire a lawyer to help you collect on a client’s bill, you won’t be able to recoup your fees from the person who owes you unless there is a signed contract.
Use a Trademark and Copyright
A trademark protects your brand, whether it is your product name, business name, and/or logo. A copyright protects everything you creatively work on. By having both protections, you have rights at common law. You can take these protections further by registering federally through a trademark office, copyright office, or patent. Federal laws better protect you, allowing you to enhance your choices if someone else infringes on what you have built.
Buying Into a Franchise or Going Independent
Another question many entrepreneurs have is whether to buy a franchise or have an independent company. The franchise value is correlated to the brand recognition and systems that are in place for the franchise to be repeated successfully in new locations. When a franchise works, it’s a great way to start a business and have immediate recognition. However, this does come at a cost including franchise fees and charges for being able to use the brand and its current systems.
Consult an Arlington VA Business Lawyer
No matter what your business issue is, a business lawyer 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, so call today to schedule a free and confidential consultation with a business lawyer in Arlington, Virginia.