Small companies can face big problems as their success leads to growth and expansion. While most anti-discrimination employment laws do not apply to private companies with only a few employees, what happens when a business adds employees or sets up an office in another state? The simple answer is that everything can change – and quickly. This problem can be compounded by the fact that small employers, even very successful ones, are rarely owned and managed by people who are well versed in the variety of employment-related rules that apply to larger employers. If a growing company is not prepared to adjust, it can find itself over its head.
Most federal anti-discrimination laws do not apply to employers with fewer than 15 employees. But the Pennsylvania Human Relations Act applies to any employer with 4 or more employees. The NJ Law Against Discrimination applies to any employer in the State of New Jersey, regardless of its size. Under these state laws, being small is not an excuse for failing to provide a workplace that is fee from discrimination.
So keep in mind that even small companies may be required to comply with complicated, often technical, laws and regulations. If your company does not have a qualified Human Resources professional on its staff, it would be well advised to have legal counsel at the ready for when legal compliance issues arise.