Some Basic Labor Laws that Benefit Employees and Employers

Labor laws are important for employees as well as employers. Labor laws ensure safe workplace practices and an equitable relationship between employees and employers. There are certain basic labor laws that are in force in the United States and we’ll discuss them briefly in this article.

Labor laws and their importance
The goal of labor laws is to bring employers and employees on an equal footing with respect to bargaining power between employers and employee unions. For example, negotiating terms and conditions.

Further, labor laws are important because they specify and define employees’ and employers’ duties and responsibilities. The laws help employers to stay focused on their business rather than fixing issues at the workplace. As for employees, these laws make them stay focused on their jobs.

Benefits of labor laws to employers and employees
Labor laws safeguard employees’ rights and enable employers to have clarity on their responsibilities and obligations. Here are some basic labor laws that benefit employers and employees.

Minimum wage

Benefits to employees

• The minimum wage law ensures employees get fair wage for their work. All covered non-exempt employees are entitled to receive at least the federal minimum wage of $7.25 an hour.

Benefits to employers

• The minimum wage law helps employers avoid issues resulting from unfair treatment of employees with respect to paying wages.

Workplace environment

Benefits to employees

• Labor laws ensure the workplace is safe and secure. Under the OSH Act, employees may notify the employer or OSHA authorities about workplace hazards. Employees may appeal to OSHA authorities to perform an inspection if they believe the workplace is unsafe and unhealthful.

• All employees and job applicants are protected against discrimination based on color, race, religion, age, sex (including pregnancy), disability and nationality when it comes to any aspect of employment including hire, promotion, discharge, pay, job training, fringe benefits, classification, referral and other aspects of employment. The Civil Rights Act, Age Discrimination in Employment Act, Equal Pay Act and Americans with Disabilities Act all ensure the fair treatment of employees.

• Likewise, the Rehabilitation Act of 1973 protects employees and job applicants in the federal government with disabilities against discrimination when it comes to any aspect of employment including hire, promotion, discharge, pay, job training, fringe benefits, classification, referral and other aspects of employment.

Benefits to employers

• By complying with the OSH Act and other labor laws, the employer can make the workplace free of recognized hazards (conditions that employees perceive unsafe and unhealthful such as exposure to toxic substances, accidental electric shock, etc.). This could also show employers’ concern for their employees; thus, employers could gain reputation.

Workers’ Compensation

Rules under Workers’ Compensation vary from state to state. Workers’ Compensation applies to private and state government employers in a State.

Benefits to employees

• Workers’ Compensation provides wage replacement and medical benefits in the event an employee sustains a job-related injury or an illness.

Benefits to employers

• Employers can avoid noncompliance and consequent citations and penalties by complying with rules under the law.

Other working conditions

• The labor laws provide guidelines for employers to ensure the safety of employees in the workplace by complying with the laws. This ensures that employees’ basic rights are not violated.

Penalty for violating labor laws

• Under federal and state laws, employers are required to display applicable labor law posters in a common area that is visited by employees and job applicants. This ensures that these individuals have a complete understanding of their rights.

• Non-compliance of any sort by employers, whether it’s inadvertent or otherwise, places them at risk of a liability such as employee disputes, significant fines and penalties and in some cases, imprisonment.

Accurate compliance with these basic labor laws is important. This will help build employer-employee trust and keep both groups focused.