Whether you’re just now joining the workforce or you are a seasoned veteran, It's essential to know your rights as an employee under the law. Employment laws exist to protect the rights of employees and Employers must comply with them. If they don't, employees may be able to take legal action to protect themselves. The Pearson Butler team is here to provide you with ten employment laws that every employee should know:
The Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA)
The FLSA is a federal law that sets the minimum wage, overtime pay, recordkeeping, and child employment averages affecting employees in both the private sector and in Federal, State, and local governments. The FLSA also regulates what hours and duties a teen employee can work.
According to the U.S. Department of Labor, the FLSA minimum wage is set to $7.25 per hour; however, states also have minimum wage laws. You can find your state's minimum wage here.
In terms of overtime pay, the FLSA requires employers to provide time-and-a-half overtime pay for most employees that have worked more than 40 hours within a workweek.
Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA)
Employers who employ more than fifty employees must comply with the FMLA. The FMLA provides a federally protected right to medical leave to eligible employees. Employees who are eligible for FMLA leave are eligible to take up to 12 weeks of unpaid leave per year for approved personal medical needs or to care for the approved medical needs of their immediate family. Employees who exercise their right to FMLA leave are entitled to return to work after their leave and be immediately reinstated to a position similar to the position they had prior to their leave.
The Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA)
The ADA protects individuals with disabilities by requiring covered employers to provide reasonable accommodations which may be necessary for an employee with a disability to perform the essential functions of their position. It also protects employees with disabilities by making it unlawful for employers to treat them differently than the employer would treat other employees.
For more information and resources on the Americans with Disabilities Act, you can visit its homepage here.
The Occupational Safety and Health Act (OSHA)
OSHA provides stringent safety requirements that employers must adhere to in order to prevent illnesses, injuries, and deaths.
Because nothing is more important than concluding each workday safely and returning home to those you love, knowing your rights under OSHA and reporting unsafe work conditions is a duty all employees share. OSHA recognizes this reality by prohibiting retaliation against those who file complaints of unsafe working conditions.
[JH1] Age Discrimination in Employment Act (ADEA)
The Age Discrimination in Employment Act prohibits employment discrimination against people who are 40 years of age or older. It also makes it unlawful to retaliate against anyone who has complained about unlawful age discrimination practices in the workplace.
Pregnancy Discrimination Act (PDA)
The PDA is meant to prohibit employment discrimination against women who are pregnant or who have recently given birth. The Pearson Butler team recently wrote a blog discussing what pregnancy discrimination in the workplace looks like—you can check it out here.
The Civil Rights Act
Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 prohibits discrimination in employment on the basis of race, color, sex, religion, or national origin. If you are being treated differently because of any of these protected characteristics, you should speak with an employment lawyer right away.
Equal Pay Act (EPA)
The Equal Pay Act requires employers to pay men and women equally for doing the same job. As an employee, it’s okay to be transparent with your fellow employees about your pay and role. If you feel as if you are being paid less than a person in the exact same position, speak up. Ask your employer to launch an investigation, and if they refuse to, consider hiring an employment attorney.
National Labor Relations Act (NLRA)
The National Labor Relations Act protects the rights of employees to join together, with or without a union, to improve their wages and working conditions.
Why Do I Need to Know These Laws?
Knowledge is power. As an employee, it's essential to be aware of your rights under the law so that you know where you can draw the line. If your employer is not complying with these laws, give the Pearson Butler team a call to see how we can help you protect your rights.
Don't hesitate to contact us today to schedule a consultation. We're here to help you protect your rights and get the justice you deserve. Contact our legal firm at (800) 265-2314 or fill out this form to request a consultation with one of our employment attorneys.