What Are the Capabilities of Labor Legal guidelines? | Small Enterprise

Labor laws give the workplace structure and fairness.

Labor laws have one common purpose: they protect the rights of workers and define the duties and responsibilities of employers. They also have multiple functions. The main functions of labor law are to ensure equal opportunities and pay, the physical and mental well-being and safety of employees, and diversity in the workplace. Although many employers without legal mandates would still adopt solid business principles, employers use the structure provided by labor law to ensure that their business operations comply with federal law.

equal opportunity

The combined function of federal labor laws such as Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990, and the Age Discrimination in Employment Act of 1967 is to provide applicants and workers with equal access to employment and fair treatment in the workplace . These laws prohibit discrimination and differential treatment based on factors unrelated to job requirements. These laws also serve as a mandate for employers to show consideration for employees regardless of age, skin color, disability, national origin, race, religion or gender and to guarantee equal opportunities.

Pay equity

The Equal Pay Act of 1963 aims to ensure equal pay. The law prohibits employers from setting different pay levels or applying different pay practices based on the sex of the worker, provided that workers perform duties that require the same duties, share similar responsibilities, and require the same level of effort. For example, two similarly located account managers – a man and a woman – must receive the same compensation. The purpose of the Equal Pay Act is to demand equal pay for equal work, a phrase that is often viewed as a mantra for equal pay.

Family-friendly workplace

Creating a family-friendly workplace requires more than just laws, as in the Family and Medical Leave Act of 1993 – commonly known as the FMLA – enforced by the U.S. Department of Wages and Hours. The FMLA teaches workers that their employers respect the time they take to attend to family matters. The FMLA’s job is to protect workers from being punished by employers when they need time off to attend to their own serious illness or that of a family member. The FMLA requires certain employers to grant eligible employees up to 12 weeks of unpaid, sheltered vacation leave. In certain circumstances, employees can have up to 26 weeks of unpaid, non-work leave when caring for a member of the military. When returning from vacation to work, an employee must be transferred back to the previous job or to an equivalent job with the same pay and similar working conditions.

Concerted activity

The National Labor Relations Act, or Wagner Act as it is often called, serves to protect workers’ rights to concerted activities. The law was enacted to prohibit employers from interfering with workers’ rights in order to seek better working conditions as a self-governing group of workers or workers represented by a union. The rights that the Wagner Act protected when it came into force in 1935 were offset by the rights that were protected when the Taft-Hartley Act was passed in 1947. This law guaranteed that workers could not be compelled to engage in concerted activities and prohibited discrimination in the workplace based on union membership.

Safety at work

Employers have an obligation to create a safe working environment, with special emphasis on workplace safety when workers are exposed to hazardous materials, complex machinery and hazardous conditions. The Occupational Safety and Health Act of 1970 acts as the primary law strengthening this employer obligation. It requires employers to keep a record of accidents and deaths in the workplace and provides severe fines and penalties for employers who ignore their obligations under occupational safety and health principles.


Writer bio

Ruth Mayhew has been writing since the mid-1980s and has been an HR subject matter expert since 1995. Her work appears in The Multi-Generational Workforce in the Health Care Industry and she has been cited in numerous publications, including magazines and textbooks that focus on human resource management practices. She holds a Masters of Arts degree in Sociology from the University of Missouri-Kansas City. Ruth lives in the nation’s capital, Washington, DC

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