Employment laws not only deal with the rights of employees but the employers as well. Further, employment laws extend to the rights of labor unions and workers.
What is employment law and what is its scope?
According to the U.S. Department of Labor (DOL), enforcement of laws and regulations must satisfy several labor standards. What are these standards?
1) Hours and Wages – Matters dealing with wages, hours works, overtime hours and the like are governed by the Fair Labor Standards Act of 1938 (FLSA) and enforced by a government regulatory agency called the Wage and Hour Division (WHD). FLSA covers all types of workers, whether full-time or part-time and employed in the private or public sector. If an employer is found in violation of the FLSA, the local WHD usually notifies the employer of his/her wrong practice and allows time for the same to rectify the violation and pay the employee back wages. Penalties range from $10,000 plus criminal charges and/or imprisonment for habitual violations.
2) Safety and Health – Standards dealing with occupational safety and health are also included in employment statutes. The Occupational Safety and Health Act of 1970 (OSH Act), enforced by the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA), affects all states plus all U.S. territories. Basically, the law requires all employers to be inspected or audited (programmed or unprogrammed, depending on the type of business or industry) by OSHA to ensure that their workplaces are not only contributory to workers’ total well-being but most importantly that they are safe and free from hazards. Worth mentioning is that the law extends as far as protecting “whistleblowers” when they expose unsafe working conditions.
3) Benefits – Employment laws also cover benefits ranging from health, retirement and even compensations and leaves. The Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA) is one example of such laws also enforced by the WHD. FMLA, enacted in 1993, is an added protection to employees who need to take time off for themselves or relatives with qualified medical conditions, without being terminated from work and/or being deprived of their medical benefit coverage. An employee who has satisfied the minimum requirement for such benefit can get twelve work weeks of leave with the right to return to same or equivalent position upon termination of the medical condition.
These are just a few of the statutes in employment laws and can be found mandatorily in effect in almost all states. When federal and state laws are overlapping in their protection, the courts uphold the most beneficial provisions to the advantage of employees and workers. Many other laws are geared toward the continuous and better protection of all types of workers, from all kinds of backgrounds, age, gender and circumstances. Moreover, these employment laws are repeatedly tested and amended to ensure they also adapt to the needs of the times and the conditions of the workplace.
If you or a loved one need legal advice on employment law, contact Oliver Law Office today at 614-220-9100 to schedule a consultation. Jami S. Oliver looks forward to hearing from you and providing you with excellent assistance in mediation, arbitration or litigation. She represents clients in the Columbus Metro Area and all of Ohio.
Call 614-220-9100 to schedule an appointment.