Federal and state legislation, regulation of all labor laws, and government-imposed employment law all contribute to a legal environment. Employment law governs the relationship between employer and employee. Labor laws govern the relationship between employee groups such as labor unions and their employers. Many employment laws have been enacted by the government to protect the financial rights and interests of employees. To protect an individual's employment, the United States Department of Labor has enacted 180 worker protection laws. It also covers financial and workplace safety laws such as minimum wage requirements, parental leave benefits, paid leave benefits, social security, and discrimination.

Types of employment law

Civil right law

Employees are protected from discrimination based on their race, gender, nationality, age, religion, pregnancy status, and disability under civil rights law. Workplace discrimination is generally prohibited by federal law. Treating employees with equal respect and without discrimination in the workplace fosters trust, which leads to increased productivity. To address discrimination, separate acts have been enacted in the United States. Acts like the Age Discrimination in Employment Act, the Americans with Disabilities Act, the Equal Pay Act, the Pregnancy Discrimination Act, and the Genetic Information Non-discrimination Act all help to protect workers in the workplace.

Family and medical leave law (FMLA)

The Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA) regulation allow covered employees to take unpaid leave with job protection for a specified medical condition. Leave can be taken for 12 workweeks in a year for reasons such as childbirth, foster care for an adopted child, caring for dependents with a health condition, a worker's serious health condition that affects his or her ability to work, and so on. The employee is entitled to 26 weeks of leave in a 12-month period to care for a seriously ill or injured service member, who may be the employee's spouse, son, parents, or daughter. Employees who have worked for at least 12 months and for more than 1250 hours are eligible for such leaves. This act is designed for the employee to balance their work-life and family. This employment law regulation promotes gender equality in the workplace by allowing men, women, and transgender people to take leave at the same time.

Worker's compensation law

When an employee is injured at work or develops a disease as a result of their job, the worker's compensation law kicks in. To compensate for the loss of ability to work in a workplace, a lump sum payment is made. The primary goal of the worker's compensation law is to provide medical care and income for work-related disabilities. In the event of death, compensation benefits will be claimed by injured or disabled workers or dependents. Employers who have implemented compensation insurance have a legal advantage in employee lawsuits. According to employment law, the employer receives legal protection and may be held liable for compensatory and punitive damages.

Working conditions

Minimum wage

The Fair Labor Standards Act is one of the oldest labor laws, regulating minimum wage, overtime pay, youth employment, and equal pay for covered employees. In terms of employment, a wage is an important consideration for an employee. It is directly related to the employees' standard of living. Most states have enacted their own minimum wage laws, the majority of which are higher than the federal minimum wage. This law not only protects adult workers but also protects minor workers. Since July 24, 2009, the minimum hourly wage has been $7.25. This minimum wage is required to balance society's unequal power distribution between employers and workers. Maximum working hours are not imposed in American workplace law, but many statutes in various states have mandated daily and weekly rest periods for employees who can take during the course of employment.

Health and safety coverage

An employer's obligation is to provide a healthy and safe work environment. The Occupational Safety and Health Act governs a wide range of workplace conditions in the face of a potentially hazardous environment. It requires the employer to limit an employee's exposure to chemicals, implement safety equipment and specific practices, keep records of workplace injuries and illnesses, and monitor the hazards in the workplace. Employees have the right to file a direct complaint if their employer fails to follow workplace procedures.

Context and Applications

The above content will be helpful for students who are pursuing their degrees in courses like:

  • Bachelors of Laws-International Business Law Specialization
  • Master of Laws-International business Specialization
  • Bachelor of Law-Global Business
  • Master of Law in Corporation law

Practice Problems

Question 1: Regulation of employment law helps employees to protect __________.

  1. From high payment
  2. Against discrimination, exploitation, and rights
  3. Police

Answer: Option 2 is correct.

Explanation: To protect employees, a number of laws have been enacted. Any action that constitutes discrimination, exploitation or a violation of an employee's rights may be legally challenged using employment law regulations.

Question 2: Mr. A works in a company where 60 employees have been working along with him. Mrs. A is a service member in the military and was injured badly. Mr. A needs leave to take care of his spouse. As per __________ law, he can avail leave to take care of his spouse.

  1. Regulation of occupational safety and health act
  2. Worker’s compensation regulation
  3. Family and medical leave act

Answer: Option 3 is correct.

Explanation: Mr. A will be able to take care of his wife under the Family and Medical Leave Act. He can take 12 to 26 weeks of unpaid leave to care for his injured wife.

Question 3: The current minimum wage per hour is _______.

  1. $7.25
  2. $7.57
  3. $7.85

Answer: Option 1 is correct.

Explanation: Since July 24, 2009, the minimum wage per hour for an employee has been set at $7.25 per hour under the Fair Labor Standards Act.

Question 4: Janova is an employee of the YXA company. During work, he was injured badly and lost the ability to work. In case which act will have an effect to overcome the loss of income.

  1. Worker’s compensation act
  2. Employer compensation act
  3. Family compensation act

Answer: Option 1 is correct.

Explanation: Because Janova is unable to work due to an injury sustained at work, the worker's compensation act will be appropriate. He can seek compensation through this act, which is governed by labor laws.

Question 5: The united states department of labor has created more than ______ labor and employment law.

  1. 18
  2. 100
  3. 180

Answer: Option 3 is correct.

Explanation: In the United States, the Department of Labor has implemented more than 180 laws. These employment laws have had a significant impact in protecting an employee's rights.

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