Earlier, employees were at the mercy of employers for the job-related safety and benefits, also regarding hiring and promotions. However, things changed dramatically as people started fighting for employee rights in the 20th century. Many key labor protection laws benefit Americans today. There are around 180 laws protecting employees at work. Check out some key employee-benefiting laws.
The Minimum Wage
The FLSA or Fair Labor Standards Act ensures that Americans should get minimum wage for their work input. Since 2009 there have been employers ( both private and public) who have received the amount of $7.25 per hour. Additionally, the FLSA assures benefits for nonexempt workers such as getting time-and-a-half for any overtime they perform. These laws are protective of minors as well, who are under the age of 16. For specific types of work such as non-agricultural positions. Also, most children under the age of 18 are not employed in high-risk jobs.
The Occupational Safety and Health Act formed in 1970 helps reduce numerous American workplace-related dangers. The legislation ensured several specific safety provisions, such as industry-related guidelines such as maritime, construction, and agricultural-specific jobs. OSHA has the key responsibility to enforce the law, although other state agencies also share the right to enforce the provisions. There are a few exceptions to this rule such as family farms, or self-employed people.
The first health coverage was introduced for employees in 2010, it is known as the Affordable Care Act. The ACA promised to make health insurance a prerequisite for workers for medium- and large-size businesses. The ESRP or Employer Shared Responsibility Payment provision ensures that companies who have 50 or more full-time workers have minimum health insurance or may be subjected to a minimum penalty. An individual has to work for at least 30 hours a week on average to qualify for the term health coverage.
Even though the state unemployment insurance agency offers jobless benefits via a joint federal-state program, the state manages payments to the unemployed but has to cater to meet certain federal guidelines. To qualify for this type of benefit the individuals must state particular reasons for their state of employment such as an unexpected layoff or firing. In specific cases, the workers can get benefits for up to 26 weeks. In certain cases of economic turmoil, the payments are extended.
The American unemployment payments are not even comparable to that of other European countries, they do get several months of security when they leave the workforce. The current American president, Joe Biden has an American Rescue Plan that offers some federal unemployment benefits such as getting $300 per week because of the Covid-19 pandemic.
There is a type of federal statute that can help protect the whistleblowers who can complain to their employer about law violations. Whistleblower protections are built around the other pieces of legislation that rule an industry. There are Clean Air Act safeguards those who talk about environmental law violations, and the other activities are Consumer Product Safety Improvement Act offers protection for those who uncover unlawful manufacturing policies.
The WPB or the Whistleblower Protection Program is one body that is extremely effective in protecting employees’ rights. who may be afraid of job loss or other reprisals if they are worried about speaking up. Workers who have been on the receiving end of complaints against the company violations should complain to the OSHA office within the spate of 30 days of the incident. Workers may even file a complaint if their workplace is deemed unsafe during the Covid-19 pandemic.
It was President Franklin D. Roosevelt who introduced the Social Security Act into law in 1935, offering a proper financial net for retired and disabled Americans. Last heard at least 55.6 million people went on to receive Social Security checks every month.
The 1964 Civil Rights Act was another changing moment of social justice in the USA as far as employment is concerned. Title VII of the Act mentioned that employers should not discriminate based on race, religion, color, gender, or national origin. The Fair Play Act 2009 got another change in 2009 years later. It turned out to be one of the best laws to prohibit wage discrimination against vulnerable sections of society such as women and minorities.
It was President Bill Clinton who introduced the FMLA or the Family and Medical Leave in 1993. In this law, eligible candidates can get 12 weeks of unpaid leave (per year) if they have to stay put at home owing to specific reasons such as a child’s birth or adoption or dabbling with any other family issue.
Did you know about these employee-protective federal laws? Write to us about what you think about them.