Labor now has employer advice online

FirstStep Employment Law Advisor

The Labor Department launched a new online tool Thursday to help employers determine which laws apply to their businesses and how to comply.

The FirstStep Employment Law Advisor is the latest tool available through Labor's e-laws site. Other Advisor sites include more specific help for issues such as retirement and health benefits.

In the Employment Law Advisor, employers answer a series of about 10 questions to get a list of laws deemed most relevant to their business. Question topics include, among other things, the number of employees and benefits plans; the resulting list links to compliance assistance sites for the pertinent laws, including posters, guides, and further e-laws Advisors.

The list can be bookmarked for later use, but department officials suggest periodically retaking the questionnaire to refresh the list with the latest regulations and mandates.

Many agencies are using questionnaire-based wizards to provide customized information for citizens. Similar tools include the Business Gateway, formerly the Business Compliance One-Stop, and Govbenefits.gov multiagency e-government initiatives.

FirstStep addresses only laws regulated by the Labor Department, but it also points toward sites to fill in information on laws overseen by other federal agencies and state offices. The site also provides contact information for each law.

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