3 Laws Every Business Owner Needs to Know

Utah criminal attorney

There are 3 Laws every business owner should know. This legal framework impacts and in many ways the relationship between the owner and his or her employees. Understanding and become well-versed in this legal framework is essential for business owners to understand the rights of his employees and avoid costly pitfalls and legal disputes.


As evidenced by the fallout of the 2008 financial crisis, it is critical that workers’ hard-earned benefits are properly invested and adequately protected.

ERISA is a set of legislative measures that applies to private employers, and covers pension plans as well as healthcare benefits. Under ERISA, employers are required to adhere to several standards, including:

  • Providing employees with their benefit plan information
  • Creating a reporting and appeals process for employee grievances and appeals related to benefits
  • Complying with HIPAA, which prohibits discrimination in the selection and administration of healthcare plans

For employees, it’s critical to understand the differences between the pension plans that your employer offers. Not all plans are the same, and the plan you accept can play a major role in your retirement security.

The two primary types of pension plans are defined-benefit and defined-contribution. Defined-benefit plans guarantee that employees will receive a specific amount of pension funds when they retire.

Since paying into your pension fund entails specific investments, however, defined-contribution plans can vary based on how the investment itself performs.

In cases where employers offer defined-contribution plans, exercise special care in selecting your investment portfolio.


Private employers have some flexibility in setting wages, but there are certain parameters that have to be followed. The FLSA determines the national minimum wage, with a variety of adjustments based on the industry and job function in question.

One of the legal challenges with the FLSA is that, as a federal law, the minimum wage it sets may differ from state laws. In those cases, employees are entitled to earn the higher minimum wage.

For example, the federal minimum wage is currently $7.25 per hour. If you live in New York State, however, the state minimum is $9 per hour for most industries. By 2018, the state minimum wage will be $15.

That means that private employers in applicable industries will have to pay a minimum of $15 per hour, even if the federal minimum wage remains at $7.25 per hour.

The FLSA also covers overtime pay, a critical issue that many employers unfortunately overlook in order to cut costs. Overtime regulations apply to all “covered nonexempt employees”; exemption is determined by several factors including:

  • The industry
  • The size and revenue of the company
  • The employee’s income level
  • The nature of the employee’s job duties
  • Whether the employee is paid a set salary or an hourly wage

The FLSA requires that any nonexempt employee who works over 40 hours each week is paid at least their usual wage plus one half of that rate (commonly referred to as “time-and-a-half.”)

Remember also that when calculating eligibility for overtime pay, your employer is not allowed to average time worked over a two-week pay cycle. The rules apply to each individual workweek, regardless of when during the workweek those hours occurred.


Workers’ Compensation laws differ in each state, but they are based on the same general principles nationwide. This type of legislation protects employees in the event that they because injured or ill at their place of employment, due to the functions of their job.

Businesses who meet certain criteria are therefore required to pay into workers’ compensation insurance. Employees do not have to pay any contribution to this insurance and should never be asked to do so. Workers compensation coverage reduces legal risk and liability for employers, so paying into it can provide significant protective benefits.

In most cases, workers compensation coverage does not cover situations for an employee intentionally became injured on the job or engaged in negligent behavior such as substance abuse, which led to an on-site injury.

Another standard exception is when an employer’s egregious negligence has led to significant harm to the employee. For example, if a business knowingly exposes its employees to illegal toxic chemicals, employees who develop illnesses as a result can still reasonably pursue a lawsuit.

Businesses and employees should always check their state’s Workers’ Compensation laws to determine which exceptions could apply to their circumstances.


These employment laws, in addition to the many others that have been enacted, are there to protect both employers and their employees. Legislation differs by state and varies significantly based on industry and job function.

Free Consultation with a Business Lawyer

If you are here, you probably have a business law issue you need help with, contact Ascent Law for your free business law consultation. We want to help you.

Leave a comment

Kermit R.

I like these guys, they worked as a team to get my lawsuit resolved. As far as my divorce and child custody case, they know their stuff. I really wanted to settle quickly. It wasn’t as fast as I wanted, but it got done and I am so much happier for it.

George H.

Mike Anderson and Greg Lyle have really helped me with a real estate quiet title action. These guys know real estate law. If you are in South Jordan – you should see them for real estate litigation.

Tre G.

I want to thank you for assisting me through this difficult times of going through bankruptcy. I was at the hearing today. Mr. Weekes was there for me. I was scared, but he re-assured me. It went on smoothly. There was a time I became emotional, and started to sob quietly, and looked sad. I want to thank you again kindly.

Adam J.

[Ascent] Law was professional, helpful, and easy to work with. They kept us informed on what was going on and helped us to make sure we understood what was being done and what was expected of us. We were glad we chose them!

Stephanie M.

[Russell Weekes] helped me through my bankruptcy I was so nervous about my situation they were so great in answering all my questions. I recommend them to anyone they are fast and a professional team who care about there clients and what they are going through.


Russell and his team made my situation nothing short of amazing for the situation I was in.  All of my questions were always answered and I never was made to feel as if I was dumb to have gotten in the financial situation that I did. I have already referred a friend and would refer any family and friends to him and his team.

Dan D.

I had a great experience. The people were friendly and helpful. They went above and beyond to help me.

Tommy B.

Great service. I appreciate their kindness and making me feel at ease.


I highly recommend [Russell Weekes]. Filing Bankruptcy isn’t fun for anyone, and these guys were there for me every step of the way. I always got quick responses, they answered every question and put me at ease. I am extremely happy I chose them!

Tim F.

Everybody should go to [Ascent} should they have any bankruptcy matters at hand. They’re 100% legit, intelligent and friendly. They will do whatever it takes to see that your case is successfully discharged! They stay on top of it 100% of the way even if you get too caught up with lifes hurdles, they’re behind the scenes still steady at work for YOU!! (Their 1st priority). I fully recommend and support [Ascent] Law!!!

Aaron F.

I’m filing for bankruptcy right now and they have been great so far answering my questions and everything.


[Ascent] Law helped me out during a tough time. They took care of everything and were super friendly.

Aaron M.

If you’ve gotta go through the mess of financial bankruptcy, these guys are the best. My attorney as well as all of the paralegals and staff made going through hell much easier than I could have ever asked. Any questions I had they responded to immediately. They were always timely and gave me great legal advise. They aren’t the cheapest option, but the payment plans provided were unbeatable.

Justin T.

Great service. They answered all of my questions and made me free comfortable. The staff and attorneys are knowledgeable.

Annon Y.

I am extremely happy with [Ascent] Law. First, no one ever wants to be in a position to have to file for bankruptcy, but if you do, you need someone who knows what they are doing, and will keep you informed. I was very nervous that I wouldn’t pick the right lawyer, or we would end up with someone who just wanted to get paid, and left us hanging. Our lawyer has been AMAZING. He is always fast to respond to any of my questions, and is very good at making sure you understand what is happening, and that you are comfortable with the process.

The Perrys

Wonderful Attorney in Michael Anderson. Just what we were looking for in a Family Trust. Very knowledgeable, trustworthy, dependable, smart and kind. Recommend him or this law firm to everyone.

A Satisfied Client

My experience was unlike all of the stories one hears of attorneys. Mike and his team were absolutely spot on with their communication, follow-up, understanding and ultimately the results. They were aware of my budget and worked hard to keep me there.

I am truly appreciative of there complete caring and handling of my situation.

Jeffery L.

I want to take a moment and tell you about Michael Anderson – I will try to keep it short. Mike is not only a family man that is good to his wife and kids, but he is an amazing lawyer. I have learned that when you have to choose an attorney to fight for you and your child’s life in court, you should review the prior successes of the attorney. But honestly, not only did I need an aggressive pit-bull type of attorney, I also needed an attorney with a kind heart, someone that could handle an over-aggressive ex and also be caring to me. That’s exactly what Mike Anderson is. A caring family law attorney and also an aggressive advocate in court. I highly recommend Mike, Colt and Greg and all of their professional staff (I’ve spoken with all of them over this child custody dispute and divorce mess). Not only does Mike have the life skills of being a loving husband and father to his 3 kids, but he knows the law and is able to help you look forward and help you with the problems here and now. He’s good. Really good. Mike really helped me through this stressful time in my life. When it’s your turn to have to fight in West Jordan or Salt Lake (I’ve been in both courts) you better make sure Michael Anderson is on your side. If he’s on the other side – look out! Thanks for everything Mike.

Elise J.

My experience with [Ascent Law] was the most painless of all the many horrible things that a DUI charge will bring with it. The reason I say it was painless was because he knows exactly what he is doing. You know once you talk to him that this isn’t his first rodeo. [My attorney] has confidence in what he is doing witch really helped me during this hard time. This was not the case with other lawyers that I talked to. They told me things that I wanted to hear to try to sell me. That just made my situation worse and lengthened the process and cost. I had some priors so this wasn’t a simple case, but after hiring Mr. Rush he got everything worked out and he found flaws in the prosecution’s case against me. He found their mistakes and their missing information which made all the difference. Other lawyers don’t even read the reports but [My attorney] knew all the details. So, if you have criminal case, I give you my testimonial that he is professional, ethical, smart, and has a good team working with him and you never find yourself trying to track him down for stuff. I can’t tell you how happy I am. Thanks!!!”

Free Consultation