Basic Benefits

Basic BenefitsThe word “benefits” implies that they are an extra bonus that employees receive. Although the term can include this idea, the truth is that federal and state laws require employers to provide certain benefits to all employees upon employment, making them no more of an “extra” than is a salary.

Unemployment Insurance

Any business who has employees is required to pay unemployment insurance taxes through the state. The amount of these taxes varies from state to state. Registering your business with your state workforce agency is the first step you need to take to comply with this requirement. By doing so, your employees will be assured unemployment benefits under certain circumstances of termination.

Disability Insurance

Disability insurance is mandatory in the following states:   Hawaii, New Jersey, Rhode Island, New York, California and the territory of Puerto Rico. This type of insurance provides income to employees in the event they miss a significant amount of work due to an illness or injury that is not related to work.

Social Security Taxes

By paying social security taxes for your employees, you are contributing to their state-mandated retirement plan. This tax also benefits widows, widowers, orphans and people who become disabled. As the employer, you are required to pay taxes at the same rate as your employees.

Worker’s Compensation

Worker’s compensation insurance provides employees with compensation should they become injured or disabled due to an incident that occurred while on the job. There are several ways to obtain worker’s compensation insurance for your employees. You can purchase insurance through your state’s Worker’s Compensation Insurance program or talk to your agent about purchasing insurance from a commercial carrier. If your company has revenues that enable you to post a minimum of $300,000 security deposit, you can self-insure, which means your company will be responsible for paying any worker’s compensation claims.

Family and Medical Leave

Your employees might be happy if you offered them two weeks of vacation time every year, but you are not required by law to do so. Under the Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA), however, you are required to offer each eligible employee 12 weeks of unpaid leave to care for a child after a birth or adoption, care for a family member with a serious health condition or to recuperate from his own serious health condition. During this time, the employee’s job must be secure.

It is important to comply with these requirements immediately upon hiring an employee, even if your business is in the early stages. Not doing so puts you in violation of the law, which opens the door to fines and lawsuits – a certain way to derail your business’s success.