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The Importance of Legislation In The Workplace

Monday, August 31st, 2020
labor and employment laws 2019

There are over 180 workplace laws regulated by the U.S. Department of Labor (DOL). Small and large business owners alike should know that following these laws is vital. This is for the benefit of employees, business owners, and the workforce as a whole. Here are some of the most significant laws and regulations in the workplace today.

The Family Medical and Family Leave Act (FMLA)

This law requires employers with fifty-plus employees within a seventy-five-mile radius to provide eligible employees a specific amount of unpaid, job-protected leave. The amount differs depending on the situation.

  • 12 weeks must be given for the birth or adoption of a child.
  • A serious illness of the employee or their spouse, child, or parent also justifies 12 weeks of protected leave.
  • Family emergencies pertaining to active duty military family members (and childcare needs) warrant 12 weeks, too.
  • If an active service member becomes ill or injured as a result of their service, the leave may be extended up to a maximum of 26 weeks in one year.

Employees who are on approved FMLA leave may not be terminated and generally must be restored to their positions when the leave ends. Employers and managers should be aware of the regulations related to this law and any proposed future changes.

The Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA)

The federal FLSA regulates minimum wage, overtime compensation (one-and-one-half-times the employee’s regular rate of pay), and the number of hours, minors can work across the country. Some states have their own laws governing these matters. In these cases, if the state law is more beneficial to the employee, it overrides federal regulations. Wage and hour laws like the FLSA are vital because they provide workers with safe standards for payment and working hours.

The Employee Retirement Income Security Act (ERISA)

This law regulates employers’ pension plans, as well as the disclosure, fiduciary, and reporting requirements associated with them. Not all employers must follow ERISA, and businesses are not to offer retirement or pension plans. ERISA also regulates health and other welfare benefit plans.

The Occupational Safety and Health Act (OSHA)

This law is extremely important for the health of workers. It regulates private-sector industries to ensure that safety standards are met and that work environments are not hazardous. Employers who must follow OSHA are required to display a poster with important information and safety training.

Laws Preventing Discrimination

These laws were put in place to protect employees from discrimination, which can come in a variety of forms. There are both state and federal regulations that prevent employers from discriminating against applicants and employees based on age, sex (including gender identity and sexual orientation), religion, disability, race, and national origin. Here are a few of those laws.

  • The Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) protects employees and applicants from being discriminated against because of a disability.
  • Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of l964 prohibits discrimination against workers on the basis of their religion.
  • The Age Discrimination in Employment Act of 1967 (ADEA) protects employees and applicants who are 40 years and older. This law applies to organizations with 20 or more employees.

Staying Compliant with Workplace Legislation

Businesses large and small need to stay compliant with all workplace legislation that applies to them. With so many laws and regulations, this can be difficult. This is why it is important for business owners and managers to educate themselves on the laws. Training should be conducted to stay up to date. Working with an attorney is a key way to stay compliant.

Do you need the assistance of employment law attorneys?

Whether you need to make an important decision about employees or learn more about workplace legislation, attorneys can be a great resource. At Brown & Fortunato, our Labor & Employment attorneys have the knowledge and experience to help you stay compliant and succeed. Call us at 833-228-6300 or Send us an email for more information.