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Small Business HR Requirements

I am considering taking a HR manager job with a small business in Virginia (around 40 employees). I would like to understand what I am getting myself into and wanted to know if there is a checklist for HR requirements/laws for business with less than 50 employees?

Unfortunately there is no one centralized location where you can find all the laws that apply to a small business. That is partly because every small business is different. For example, many are covered by the federal minimum wage law, but not all small businesses are.

It is usually easier to start learning HR by working for a seasoned HR professional, rather than trying to figure it out for yourself, but we have some suggestions.

A partial list of laws that you should be familiar with would include the federal FLSA and COBRA. You should also be familiar with the FMLA, even though it may not apply to your company at this point. Other relevant laws would include the I-9 hiring requirements and rules for federal contractors. All of these and more are on the U.S. Department of Labor website at

You should also be familiar with all the anti-discrimination laws on Most of them apply to employers with 15 or more workers.

You should also research the various state laws at the website of the Virginia Department of Labor and Industry at and the state anti-discrimination laws at

SHRM, the Society for Human Resource Management at has a wealth of information and resources. Membership is not cheap, but often the company will pay for the HR persons membership. They also sell textbooks and references on Human Resources, as well as books on Virginia employment laws.

And of course you can always ask questions here. We are happy to help.

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This entry was posted on Tuesday, September 14th, 2010 at 10:39 am and is filed under
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