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The Truth About Hiring Your 50th Employee

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About to hire your 50th employee? Congratulations! Reaching 50 employees is an important milestone for any organization. Now you need to make sure you’ve got the following four HR bases covered so you can celebrate with confidence.


The Affordable Care Act (ACA)

The ACA has some major impacts for organizations with 50 or more employees. The biggest — you’re now required to offer affordable group health care to all full-time employees or full time equivalents (FTEs), or pay a tax penalty. This is known as the Employer Mandate.

You’ll be required to comply with the Employer Mandate the year following that in which you hired your 50th FTE. So, if you reach the 50 FTE threshold in 2019 and maintain or exceed it for the majority of the year, then the ACA Employer Mandate will take effect in 2020.


The Family Medical Leave Act (FMLA)

FMLA is a federal leave law that allows employees to take up to 12 weeks of unpaid leave for a serious health condition, parental leave, family leave and other reasons.

This applies to private employers with 50 or more employees who work at least 20 workweeks in the current or preceding calendar year.

This means that if you had at least 50 employees working at your company for 20+ work weeks in 2018, the FLMA provisions would apply to for all of 2019.


Demographic Reporting (EEO-1)

If your organization has 50+ employees and is also a federal contractor, then the Equal Opportunity Employment Commission (EEOC) requires you to file an EEO-1.

The report is a compliance survey that requires company employment data to be categorized by race/ethnicity, gender and job category.

If your company isn’t a federal contractor, then this requirement only kicks in once you reach the 100 employee mark.


State and local laws

While the first three are federal statues, there are many state and local laws governed by employee count, some of which apply at the 50 mark. For example, several state and city minimum wage laws take effect at 50 employees. Another example, California employers with 50 or more employees are required to provide sexual harassment prevention training to all supervisors once every two years. 


Bottom line, most employment laws apply to organizations based on the number of people they employ, so as you grow, it’s vital to keep up-to-speed on any laws that newly apply or will soon apply to your organization.


Legal Disclaimer: This article does not and is not intended to contain legal advice, and its contents do not constitute the practice of law or provision of legal counsel.

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