OSHA is a law that is there to protect the safety of employees. If you are going to be on a roof working, we want to make sure that you don’t fall off, and that the employer is out there providing some reasonable level of safeguard. Because of that, OSHA applies to almost every single employer. There are some exceptions for certain types of industries, but what I would say to you as a small business person–you have to go into your business expecting that OSHA is going to apply to you unless you find a very specific reason why it doesn’t.
If you start a business and hire employees, there can be several employment laws that you should be aware of. Generally speaking, employment laws are on a sliding scale approach. If you only have 1 or 2 employees, your company will generally be exempt from many employment laws; however, as your company continues to grow and expand, it will start to become subject to more and more of these employment laws.
Employee Retirement Income Security Act. If your company offers employment benefit plans or health plans you could be subject to ERISA. ERISA governs these plans and makes sure that they are offered and implemented in a fair and financially sound manner.
Occupational Safety and Health Administration. OSHA governs workplace safety and applies to most businesses.
Americans with Disabilities Act. The ADA generally prohibits employers from discriminating against qualified employees or applicants with disabilities.
Family and Medical Leave Act. FMLA requires certain employers to provide for job protection or unpaid leave for employees facing certain medical- or military-related events.
There are many employment laws that could apply to your business, but knowing which ones your company is subject to is very important.