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Employment Laws

Equal Opportunity Employment Laws

Several weeks ago we covered how to write an employee handbook. In our next series, we outline the local, state, and federal laws that you should include in your employee handbook.

Equal Employment

Equal Employment Opportunity prohibits unlawful discrimination based on age, race, color, sex, national origin, religion, disability, and genetic information. This also prohibits employers from retaliating against employees who file discrimination complaints.

On top of this, many states and localities have added additional antidiscrimation laws such as health disabilities, gender equality, diversity, and inclusion. Be sure to firstly check what your state and city’s entitlements are and secondly, include them in your employee handbook.

Leave of Absence Laws

Some leave of absence policies, such as personal time off, are based off employer discretion. Others are governed by state and federal laws. Some examples include medical, military, and jury duty leave.

Additional obligations to consider include:

  • FMLA: The Federal Family and Medical Leave Act (for employers with 50 or more employees)
  • USERRA: The Uniformed Services Employment and Reemployment Rights Act
  • ADA: The Americans with Disabilities Act (for employers with 15 or more employees)

As you can see, number of employees influence some of these entitlements as well as location. Another growing trend is paid sick leave. This varies greatly from state to state, so we recommend checking your own locations state and local laws.

This week was just the beginning of Employee Handbook obligations. Stay tuned for next week where we cover wages and drug testing.

Inspiration for this post came from “Employee Handbook 2.0: Aligning Your Policies With Employment Laws,” by Melisa Morrison, published in the April 2022 issue of American Quilt Retailer.

If you’re looking for more information to guide you in owning a retail business, subscribe to American Quilt Retailer today. Already a subscriber? No worries—join our Facebook group for insights and dialogue from industry specialists like you. And don’t forget, you can always purchase single issues if you prefer that instead.

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Why You Should Shop at Small Businesses

Small Business

I know I’m preaching to the choir here, but this post serves as a reminder to how supporting small and local businesses impacts you and your community. Feel free to share with your customers the next time the topic comes up!

Small businesses define communities

Think back to when you were a child – what stores do you remember and why do you remember them? Likely these stores were a staple of your community, that also happened to have great products. Local businesses add character to a neighborhood, and provide it’s employees freedom that large companies stifle. Thanks to this, innovation is more likely to thrive in a small business. Do you remember the last time you were sad hearing of a business that closed down? Small businesses become more than just an economic driver and add to the well-being of a community.

Small businesses have better service

Local businesses face many challenges to stay afloat in their respective marketplaces, marketplaces that are only becoming increasingly more competitive. Because of this, you’re likely to receive better and more personalized service; this means you’ll never be put on hold when you call and they’re going to know your name when you walk in. You’ll never have to worry about who’s interests are being met, whether it be stockholders, boards, or an algorithm, small businesses have your needs in mind.

According to Forbes, shopping at small businesses is a sign of respect, not only for the product but for the owners, too. It takes a lot of work and heart to get something going, and supporting that benefits all parties involved. Share your tips below on how you encourage others to support local businesses, and what small businesses have inspired you.

Have you heard the news? American Quilt Retailer is hosting the opening session at spring Quilt Market in Kansas City! Their Schoolhouse Series includes breakout sessions and an opportunity to gain firsthand knowledge from the people who make, design, or write about the products you sell. Register to attend today.