Are you hiring seasonal workers to help you get through your holiday rush? Make sure you follow the law. Here are some important reminders from the Small Business Administration:
- Labor laws also cover seasonal workers. Laws addressing harassment, employment discrimination, and workplace health and safety still apply to seasonal workers. And part-time as well as full-time employees are covered by the Fair Labor Standards Act, which includes laws on minimum wage, overtime pay, record keeping, and child labor.
- Check with your state labor office about unemployment laws affecting your seasonal employees. While employers generally aren’t exempt from these laws, there may be exceptions for seasonal employers who employ temporary workers for 10 weeks or less.
- Make sure the new employee completes a W-4 so that you can properly withhold Social Security, Medicare, and all federal, state, and local taxes. Don’t forget to deposit and file all payroll taxes in a timely manner.
- Carrying Worker’s Compensation is not optional. Businesses with employees are required to carry worker’s compensation either through a commercial carrier, a state program, or by self-insuring.
- Be sure to follow the laws if you hire independent contractors to perform seasonal work. While you may not be required to provide benefits, withhold payroll taxes, or pay unemployment taxes, using independent contractors can be tricky. For instance, if you dictate the contractor’s work hours or provide tools for the job, the IRS may consider that person an employee, which could land you in hot water. And, you must report all payments to independent contractors of $600 or more to the Internal Revenue Service on Form 1099-MISC.
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