The relation between employer and employee is influenced by legal provisions and constraints within an organization. If one violates the rights of another, the issue could possibly become a legal dispute. Employment law issues should be resolved in court. However, the growing number of disputes has forced the employee and employers to opt for out-of-court settlements.
There was no concept of job safety and promotions. It was only after the promulgation of the labor laws that organizations accepted the need to have an employee rights framework in place.
The U.S. Department of Labor regulates more or less 180 labor protection provisions that safeguard the rights of employees. These laws also address some important employment law issues. Agencies like the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) also works to protect employee rights against any organizational victimization.
In this article, the eight key federal protection laws are discussed below.
The minimum wage
According to the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA), every American employee must receive a minimum wage of $7.25 weekly. Some states and organizations are paying minimum wage for every hour worked to their employees since 2009. Due to the increasing poverty rate in America, people are compelled to do minimum wage jobs.
The 1970 Occupational Safety and Health Act (OSHA) protects the rights of an American employee at the workplace. The legislation provides various guidelines for safety procedures including industry-specific rules for construction, agricultural safety, maritime and naval security routines.
The 2010 health coverage legislation, Affordable Care Act guarantees that every worker at medium and large-sized organizations will have a health insurance facility. The “Employment Shared Responsibility Payment” act requires that businesses with 50 or more employees provide health insurance facility. But in some cases, it becomes legal for the employer to deny offering health benefits.
President Franklin D. Roosevelt signed the Social Security Law in 1935 that provides financial assistance to the disabled and retired Americans. 64 million citizens with disabilities receive monthly checks of $1,259 and $1514 respectively as financial safety.
It is important to note that every state regulates its own unemployment insurance agency that generally offers unemployment benefits from federal-state programs. To qualify for the benefits, an individual must be unemployed for a reason that is outside his or her control. For instance, layoff due to a pandemic or due to discrimination and should meet the prerequisite state-issued requirements. Depending on different factors that can relate to organizational policy, the payment period can be extended. Some of the major Employment law issues occur when an individual does not meet the mentioned criteria and does not qualify for the unemployment benefits.
The American constitution protects the rights of whistleblowers, who are responsible for reporting any illegal activities to the employers. Whistleblower protection clause is often stated in employment guidelines. For example, the Consumer Product Safety Improvement Act protects those who reveal illegal industrial policies.
In 1993, President Bill Clinton signed the Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA) that states that the eligible employees can afford unpaid leaves for 12 weeks per year, in serious cases like if they want to spend time with their spouse at the time of their child’s birth, or for personal health issues. For getting An employee is entitled to get paid leaves, only if he’s been working for 26 weeks regularly for more than 20 hours weekly.
The 1964 Civil Rights Act became a turning point in America for social justice especially in-terms of employment. Act VII restricts employers to discriminate against employees on race, skin, religion, nation, or gender basis. Employment law issues regarding discrimination are faced by many of the workers at the workplace including harsh words targeting an employee’s inferior social status or job status, offensive jokes referencing body or religion, etc.
“A case of disparate treatment emerges when an employee gets treated differently than other employees.”
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