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Legal: federal employment laws detail employee thresholds.

Q: Our association has 10 employees. Is it subject to all federal employment laws?

A: No. Many federal employment laws apply only when an employer has a certain number of employees. In this instance, the association would not meet the threshold for coverage under several laws, including the

* Americans With Disabilities Act (applies to employers with a minimum of 15 employees);

* Civil Rights Act of 1964 (Title VII) (15 employees);

* Age Discrimination in Employment Act (20 employees);

* Consolidated Omnibus Budget Reconciliation Act (20 employees); and

* Family and Medical Leave Act (50 employees).

Other employment laws generally apply to all employers. These include, among others, the Fair Labor Standards Act, Occupational Safety and Health Act, Consumer Credit Protection Act, Employee Polygraph Protection Act, Immigration and Nationality Act, and Uniformed Services Employment and Reemployment Rights Act. If the association operates a retirement savings or pension plan, the Employee Retirement Income Security Act also probably would apply.

State statutes or local ordinances may also affect your association. These statutes and ordinances often are similar to federal employment laws, but they sometimes have lower employee thresholds.

The U.S. Department of Labor provides an online resource to assist employers with federal employment law questions at www.dol.gov/elaws/firststep. Specific issues need to be discussed with legal counsel.

--Patrick J. Schmitz, deputy director of legal services, Ohio School Boards Association, Columbus, and member of the ASAE Legal Section. The "Legal" item is not intended as legal advice but rather as an educational overview.
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Article Details
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Title Annotation:News & Know-How
Author:Schmitz, Patrick J.
Publication:Association Management
Article Type:Brief Article
Geographic Code:1USA
Date:May 1, 2004
Words:250
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