Nobody ever said running a business was a walk in the park. As an employer, you have a lot of balls in the air, and compliance is just one of them. One really, really important one that, if dropped, could cost you a whole lot of money.
In addition to federal regulations, each state has their own share of employment-related laws that business owners need to be aware of. Here, we’re highlighting some of these key state-specific requirements and laws, and offering guidance to help you keep up.
Bear in mind, this list is not comprehensive, and there may be local or industry-specific employment requirements that your business needs to comply with. It’s best to consult with counsel to ensure compliance with all applicable laws, as Justworks does not provide legal advice.
Payroll Tax Accounts
Because Justworks reports state unemployment taxes on behalf of customers who utilize Justworks’ PEO services, employers will need to close their Alabama unemployment and withholding accounts prior to joining the Justworks platform. Linked here are the steps you’ll need to take: Alabama - State Unemployment Insurance.
Recruiting & Hiring Practices
The Beason-Hammon Alabama Taxpayer & Citizen Protection Act requires that all employers in Alabama enroll and participate in E-Verify which allows participating employers to electronically verify the employment eligibility of their employees in addition to their Form I-9.
Alabama Immigration Law: Alabama E-Verify
While there is currently no state-wide ban on inquiring about a candidate’s salary history, under the Clarke-Figures Equal Pay Act, employers in Alabama are unable to refuse to interview or hire an applicant who does not provide current or prior compensation during the hiring process, including salary, wage and benefits history.
Alabama Labor Law: Clarke-Figures Equal Pay Act
Mineral*: Alabama Recruiting and Hiring
When classifying workers as employees or independent contractors, there are a few things to consider, including the different tests that apply under different federal and state employment laws, and potential penalties and other liabilities for misclassifying employees as independent contractors. Certain state laws apply tests that are more stringent than the guidance provided by federal agencies, such as the IRS and Department of Labor, to apply in conjunction with federal laws.
You can read our general Help Center article on contractors, and view information on how to determine if someone is a contractor or employee in Alabama in the relevant section at the link below.
Alabama Department of Labor: Examples of Independent Contractors and Common Law Employees
Mineral*: Alabama Independent Contractors
Minimum Wage & Overtime
The hourly minimum wage and overtime requirements in Alabama are currently the same as the Federal minimum wage and overtime requirements. Alabama employers can find the most up-to-date minimum wage requirements from the Alabama Department of Labor (DOL).
Mineral*: Alabama Minimum Wage and Overtime
Meal and Rest Laws
While Alabama does not have a general law regarding meal and rest periods, any working minor aged 14 to 15 that works 5 hours continuously is entitled to a 30 minute meal or rest break. As a reminder, Justworks requires all users (including employees of customers) to be a minimum age of 16.
Alabama Department of Labor: Child Labor Law Statutes
Mineral*: Alabama Meal and Rest Periods
Family Bonding Leave
The Alabama Adoption Promotion Act provides, up to 12 weeks of unpaid, job-protected leave for both the birth and care of a child during the first year after the child’s birth or adoption placement of the child with the employee, , to eligible employees working in Alabama for a covered employer with 50 or more employees. Where the federal Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA) applies, leave taken under these state requirements leave will run concurrently with FMLA leave.
Alabama Labor Law: Adoption Promotion Act
Mineral*: Alabama Family and Medical Leave
Harassment & Discrimination
In addition to protections under Federal law, Alabama law prohibits employment discrimination based on membership in certain protected classes by employers covered under Alabama’s anti-discrimination laws.
Alabama Labor Law: Age Discrimination in Employment Act
Alabama Labor Law: Clarke-Figures Equal Pay Act
To provide additional support in this area, Justworks has teamed up with EVERFI to offer customers free access to a suite of harassment prevention and inclusion training.
An employee’s final paycheck may be issued on the next regularly scheduled payday. Accrued, unused vacation time need not be paid out to the employee unless the employer’s policy requires it.
Additionally, Alabama employers are required to provide the Notice of the Availability of Unemployment Compensation to all separated employees regardless of the separation reason.
Mineral*: Alabama Separation
Mineral*: UI Notices by State
Business Closings and Layoffs
The Federal Workforce Adjustment and Retraining Notification (WARN) Act imposes certain notice and other obligations on covered businesses before conducting large-scale business closures, layoffs, or relocations. Alabama employers who may be required to file notice can do so with the Department of Commerce’s Workforce Development Division. For more information, visit the links below.
U.S. Department of Labor: Worker Adjustment and Retraining Notification (WARN) Act Advisor
Alabama Department of Commerce’s Workforce Development Division: Rapid Response
Mineral*: Alabama Layoffs
*Be sure you’re logged into your Justworks account with administrative permissions to access Mineral.
This material has been prepared for informational purposes only, and is not intended to provide, and should not be relied on for, legal or tax advice. If you have any legal or tax questions regarding this content or related issues, then you should consult with your professional legal or tax advisor.