When it came to job-related benefits and safety, much alone promotions and hiring, workers used to be at the mercy of their employers. Nevertheless, a drive for the rights of employees gained pace in the twentieth century, which resulted in a host of critical labor protection laws.
The United States Department of Labor now enforces almost one hundred and eighty worker protection regulations. These advancements in worker protection and employment law were not simple to achieve, which is why employees must comprehend and be aware of the most important federal statutes, which include the eight listed below.
Safety in the Workplace
The Occupational Safety and Health Act (OSHA) was enacted in 1970 with the primary goal of making workplaces safer and healthier. The OSHA was created to safeguard employees from chemical and mechanical risks in the workplace in the United States.
The act ensures that workers work in a safe environment, wear adequate protective gear, and adhere to all safety regulations.
Apart from this, an organization should also assist its employees with non-work-related injuries. For instance, if any of your employees gets injured in a ridesharing accident on the way to the office, you can help them by hiring an Uber accident attorney. With professional help, employees can easily seek compensation for their losses and hardships.
The Minimum Wage
You must understand your legal rights. A minimum salary is a legal requirement for employees. That is why the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) was enacted to ensure that all American workers are paid a minimum wage.
Most public and private firms are required to pay their employees at least 7.25 US Dollars per hour as of 2009, while many states guarantee a higher salary. Also, non-exempt employees must be paid for any overtime hours they work, according to the FLSA.
In 1935, President Franklin D. Roosevelt signed the Social Security Act into law, creating a financial safety net for retired and disabled Americans.
In addition to many measures for the general welfare, the new act established a social insurance program to provide a steady income to retired workers aged 65 and up once they retire.
Previously, the federal government did not provide any such benefits, except veterans’ pensions.
The Affordable Care Act (ACA) introduced the “Established Shared Responsibility Payment,” which compels employers with fifty or more full-time employees to provide workers with a certain health insurance coverage.
If the enterprises do not comply, they may be subject to a significant penalty under the Affordable Care Act. Furthermore, to be considered a “full-time employee,” employees must work at least thirty hours per week.
Benefits for Unemployed People
Unemployment benefits are a vital part of the social safety net, and employees must be aware of their legal rights. Workers must have been laid off or fired due to circumstances beyond their control to be eligible for unemployment benefits.
To be eligible for benefits, laid-off and dismissed workers must also complete all requirements specified by the State. Eligible workers can get unemployment benefits for up to twenty-six weeks if they qualify, although payments might be extended during times of recession or economic instability.
Leave of Absence for Family
President Bill Clinton signed the Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA) into law in 1993. And because of this act, eligible employees will be entitled to up to 84 days of unpaid leave each year. This happens when the employee wants to stay at home following the adoption or birth of their child or in the event of significant family or personal sickness.
You must have stayed in the company for at least twelve months and 1,250 hours in the previous year to be qualified for FMLA benefits.
Protection for Whistleblowers
The Whistleblower Protection Act, which was passed in 1989, was intended to safeguard federal government whistleblowers. A hodgepodge of federal statutes now protects employees who disclose their employers’ wrongdoings. These safeguards are frequently incorporated into other pieces of legislation that govern a particular business.
The whistleblower protection program of OSHA is responsible for safeguarding the rights of employees who may fear losing their jobs if they expose illegal conduct by their employers.
Discrimination in the Workplace
The final law on the list is intended to protect eligible workers from employment-based discrimination, which are critical safeguards. Employers are prohibited from discriminating based on “color, race, sex, religion, or national origin” under Title VII of the Civil Rights Act.
Employees in the United States now have several legislative protections in place. Among these, the eight aforementioned federal laws provide the necessary framework for employee protection.