A Complete Guide to Employment Law

Do you know your rights as an employee? And how long do you have to file a suit? Whether you’re a new hire or have been on the job for years, it’s important to be aware of the laws that protect you.

This complete guide to employment law outlines everything you need to know. This includes minimum wage, overtime regulations leave entitlements and discrimination protections. Planning on making a career change and curious about what your employer can and can’t do?

Read on for all the info you need!

National Labor Relations Act

The National Labor Relations Act (NLRA) is a federal law. It protects the rights of employees to engage in unionization and collective bargaining. It covers most private sector employers and some public sector employers. Under the NLRA, employees have the right to:

  • Form or join a union
  • Engage in collective bargaining with their employer
  • Work together to improve their working conditions
  • Refuse to work together to improve their working conditions

Employers cannot interfere with, restrain, or coerce employees who exercise their rights. The NLRA protects employees from retaliation by their employer.

If a violation of your rights under the NLRA happens, file a labor law charge with the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB). The NLRB handles the enforcement of the NLRA.

National Labor Relations Board

The National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) is the federal agency responsible for enforcing the National Labor Relations Act (NLRA). It oversees union elections and investigates allegations of unfair labor.

Passed in 1930 and amended in 1947, the National Labor Relations Act codifies federal policy that favors industrial relations. It is also known as the Wagner Act.

The National Labor Relations Board has two functions:

  1. To prevent and remedy unfair labor practices
  2. To administer the provisions of the National Labor Relations Act through adjudication and rulemaking

The National Labor Relations Board’s authority prevents and remedies unfair labor practices. This includes the power to:

  • conduct investigations
  • issue complaints
  • hold hearings
  • order witnesses to testify
  • take evidence
  • order the production of documents

The National Labor Relations Board also has the power to issue cease and desist orders to stop unfair labor practices. It does so when the NLRB finds that an employer or union has committed an unfair labor practice and will continue to do so in the future.

The National Labor Relations Board orders reinstatement and back pay for employees who are unlawfully discharged or discriminated against by their employer.

The National Labor Relations Board has the authority in administering the provisions of the National Labor Relations Act. This includes the power to conduct elections, certify unions, and investigate allegations of improper union conduct.

The National Labor Relations Board has the power to issue rules and regulations to carry out the provisions of the National Labor Relations Act.

The National Labor Relations Board has its headquarters in Washington, D.C., and has regional offices located throughout the United States.

Issues Handled by the NLRB

The NLRB investigates complaints of unfair labor practices by employers and unions. It also conducts union elections to determine whether employees want representation from a union.

They oversee the process of collective bargaining between unions and employers and handle disputes over the interpretation and enforcement of collective bargaining agreements.

Minimum Wage and Overtime Regulations

The Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) is a federal law that sets minimum wage and overtime pay for those in the private sector. The FLSA also sets standards for child labor.

Under the FLSA, employers must pay covered employees at least the federal minimum wage for all hours worked. Employees who are eligible and work more than 40 hours in a week are to get overtime at a rate of 1.5 times their regular pay rate. Some employees may be exempt from the overtime pay requirements, such as executive, administrative, and professional employees.

If you believe your employer has violated the FLSA, you may file a complaint with the Wage and Hour Division of the U.S. Department of Labor.

Leave Entitlements

The Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA) is a federal law granting those eligible up to 3 months of leave with no pay per year for certain family and medical reasons. The FMLA applies to employers with 50 or more employees.

Under the FMLA, employee entitlements include leave for the following reasons:

  • The birth of a child or to care for a newborn child
  • The placement of a child for adoption or foster care
  • To care for a spouse, domestic partner, child, or parent who has a serious health condition
  • A serious health condition that makes the employee unable to perform their job
  • An impending call to active duty in the armed forces

Employees are also entitled to take leave to care for a service member with a serious injury or illness.

To be eligible for FMLA leave, employees must have worked for their employer for at least 12 months and must have worked at least 1,250 hours in the 12 months before taking leave.

Discrimination Law

Federal and state discrimination laws make it illegal for employers to discriminate against employees based on certain characteristics. These laws prohibit discrimination in all aspects of employment, including hiring, firing, promotions, pay, and benefits.

The main federal discrimination laws are:

  • The Age Discrimination in Employment Act (ADEA)
  • The Civil Rights Act of 1964
  • The Equal Pay Act (EPA)
  • The Pregnancy Discrimination Act (PDA)
  • The Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA)

These laws prohibit discrimination based on race, color, religion, sex, national origin, age, disability, and pregnancy. Some state laws may also prohibit discrimination based on sexual orientation and gender identity.

If you believe you have been the victim of discrimination, you may file a charge with the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC). The

Wrongful Termination

When an employee is dismissed for an illegal cause, it’s known as wrongful termination. There are many federal and state laws that protect employees from being terminated without reason.

Some of the most common reasons for wrongful termination are:

  • Discrimination
  • Retaliation
  • Breach of contract

Sexual Harassment

Sexual harassment is a form of sex discrimination that violates federal and state laws. Sexual harassment can occur between coworkers, between an employer and an employee, or between a customer and an employee.

There are two types of sexual harassment:

Quid pro quo: This type of sexual harassment occurs when an employee is asked to engage in sexual activity in exchange for a job benefit, such as a promotion or raise.

Hostile work environment: This type of sexual harassment occurs when an employee is subjected to unwelcome sexual advances, comments, or gestures that create a hostile or offensive work environment.

Who Is Not Protected Under the NLRA?

If you were told you were not protected by certain laws, here’s why. The NLRA does not extend to certain employees, including:

  • Independent contractors
  • Agricultural workers
  • Domestic workers
  • Supervisors
  • Government employees

The NLRA also does not extend to certain types of businesses, including:

  • Railroad and airline workers
  • Federal, state, and local government employees
  • Employees of religious organizations

Complaints That Do Not Fall Under the NLRB

Some complaints do not fall under the jurisdiction of the NLRB. We’ll detail these here so you know where to turn.

Complaints against employers who are not covered by the NLRA. The NLRB only has authority over private sector employers who are covered by the National Labor Relations Act. This includes most private sector employers, but there are some exceptions.

Complaints against unions. The NLRB does not have jurisdiction over unions. If you have a complaint against a union, you will need to file it with the Department of Labor.

Complaints against government employers. The NLRB does not have jurisdiction over government employers. If you have a complaint against a government employer, you will need to file it with the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission.

The Fair Labor Standards Act

We’ve touched on this before in regards to minimum wage and overtime pay. Here are some other things you’ll find under this act.

The Fair Labor Standards Act applies to all employers who are engaged in interstate commerce, including businesses that sell goods or services across state lines, businesses that use the mail or internet to sell goods or services, and businesses that produce goods that are shipped across state lines.

The Fair Labor Standards Act also applies to all employers who are engaged in the production of goods for interstate commerce, including businesses that produce goods for other businesses, businesses that produce goods for the government, and businesses that produce goods for export.

The Fair Labor Standards Act does not extend to all employers. Some employers are exempt from the provisions of the Act, including small businesses, religious organizations, and certain types of non-profit organizations.

Role of an Employment Lawyer

An employment lawyer helps if you have been the victim of discrimination, sexual harassment, or wrongful termination. An employment lawyer can also help you if you are an employer and you need to comply with employment laws.

An employment lawyer helps you:

  • Understand your rights under the law
  • File a charge of discrimination or sexual harassment
  • File a lawsuit for wrongful termination
  • Negotiate a severance agreement
  • Comply with employment laws as an employer

Know Your Employment Law Facts

That’s a quick overview of employment law in the United States. There are many protections in place for employees. If you have been the victim of discrimination, sexual harassment, or wrongful termination, you can contact an experienced employment lawyer to help you protect your rights.

For more ways, you can protect yourself and your family, keep browsing this blog.

We will be happy to hear your thoughts

Leave a reply

Lawyd is for people actively seeking legal information or advice and connects them with qualified attorneys or law firms. Get the best Law, Lawyer and Legal Resource. Lawyd.com doesn't offer any legal advice. The info PROVIDED ON THIS SITE is solely for individual education & understanding of the legal issues involved and shouldn't be considered as legal advise. Don't rely upon or act on the said info without taking pro legal advice relating to your own particular situation. You must consult with your own legal counsel for guidance on the application of this info to your own specific case. The site owner/content writers or anyone associated with this site isn't responsible for any errors or omissions in the contents.
Lawyd
Logo