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Employment Law for Employees

Employee at work
Employee at work via Flickr: qnr

There are many different employment laws which have been developed over the years in order to provide safety in the workplace for employees. Employers should observe these laws and make available to their employees policies and procedures to follow in the event an employee feels one or more of them have been violated in some way. The workplace should be a safe place for employees and there can be serious repercussions for the employer if employment laws are not followed closely. Here are just a few of the main laws employees should be aware of.


The Family Medical Leave Act provides eligible employees with the right to take time off work for the birth or adoption of a child, caring for a family member who is seriously ill, or for their own medical reasons. It is important to understand the guidelines before the FMLA can protect an employee. First of all, the employer must have at least 50 employees for at least 20 preceding weeks to be bound by this law. Employees must work at a site that is located within a 75 mile radius of the employer and they had to have been employed at least 12 months along with at least 1250 hours to be protected by this Act. The FMLA guarantees the unpaid time off work and that their job position will be protected while they are off attending to these matters. It is a Federal law, but there may also be some states which have equivalent laws.

Discrimination in the Workplace

Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 prohibits employers from committing any discriminatory act in the workplace. Employees should not experience any discrimination in the hiring process, promotion, pay, benefits, or any other aspect of their employment based on their color, race, gender, national origin or religion. The Age Discrimination Act of 1975 prohibits any form of discrimination in the workplace on the basis of age. This law protects those individuals who are at least 40 years old. Employers must have at least 20 employees to be held liable in these cases. No form of discrimination should exist in the workplace and those workers who feel that they have been a victim of discrimination should follow the company’s procedures for reporting these types of instances.

Sexual Harassment in the Workplace

Employees have both state and federal laws that protect them against sexual harassment in the workplace. TitleVII of the Civil Act of 1964 provides protection for employees when the employer has at least 15 employees. Those who work in institutions that have fewer than 15 workers are typically covered by anti-discrimination laws on the state level.

Disability Discrimination

An individual who are capable of performing job related tasks but are otherwise disabled cannot be discriminated against in the workplace. The law prohibits discrimination against the individual and also states that the company must make any reasonable accommodations that might be needed. The only exception to this ruling is if it would cause an undue hardship on the business to provide the accommodations for the individual. A person with a disability has the same right to work as those without. The laws prohibit discrimination based on a disability if the person is otherwise qualified for the job.

Wages and Overtime Pay

The Fair Labor Standards Act falls under the Wage and Hour Division of the US Department of Labor. This Act sets the standards for minimum wage, overtime, record keeping and child labor regulations. There can also be no discrimination in the pay scale between men and women. If they are performing the same job tasks, they must receive the same pay.




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