As an employee, you should always know your rights. For starters, you ought to know that there are several federal and state laws that are in place to protect you in your workplace. Sadly most employees often end up suffering because they don’t know their rights.
Now, there are about 180 federal laws protecting employees enforced by the Department of Labor and the U.S Equal Employment Opportunity Commission to support you as an employee. They range from payment and safety requirements and leave benefits. Let us look at some of the key federal laws that you ought to know as an employee.
Here are the laws
Workplace safety law
In 1970, the Occupational Safety and Health Act was implemented as an initiative of minimizing workplace dangers. The act provision and guidelines pertain to maritime, construction, and agricultural jobs, to mention but a few. The Act also guides against any practices in the workplace that endanger the wellbeing of an employee. Your employer has a right to protect you against hazards in the place of your work. If you suffer injuries in line with your duties as a result of your employer’s negligence, you can file a lawsuit for workplace injuries. You need to be compensated by your employer for the injuries that you incurred due to their negligence. However, this law exempts self-employed individuals and persons running small family businesses.
Minimum wage law
The Fair Labor Standard Act governs the minimum wage law. It ensures that you receive the minimum wage for your work. As of 2009, the Fair Labor Standard Act had a provision that every employee should receive a minimum of $7.25 per hour. However, this rate has changed over time, with Columbia having the highest minimum wage of $14 as of January 2020.
The Fair Labor Standard Act has a provision that the non-exempt workers should receive overtime pay for an extra hour above the standard 40 working hours in a week. You have a right to be receiving one and a half times your pay rate for the overtime. This guide titled, Exploring employment law in Orlando, covers more about the minimum wage laws. The Fair Labor and standard Act also protects minors by limiting the number of hours that they should work and by prohibiting employers from hiring minors into high-risk jobs.
Health Coverage law
The health Coverage law is under the Affordable Care Act of 20110, also known as Obama Care. Under this Act, there is an Employer Shared Responsibility Payment, which requires companies with more than 50 full-time employees to provide them with minimum level health insurance cover. To qualify as a full-time employee, you must work for an average of 30 hours a week. According to the Affordable Care Act, employees who disregard this law are entitled to a penalty.
Whistle-blower protection law
You also have rights as a whistleblower. The OSHA whistle-blower protection program will protect you from any adverse repercussions from your employer like reprisal or loss of a job. If you face any penalty from your employer after reporting an unlawful incident, you should file a complaint with OSHA within 30 days.
Family and medical leave act
In 1994, President Bill Clinton signed the Family and Medical Leave act. Under this Act, you are entitled to 12 weeks of unpaid leave after childbirth, child adoption, or if you or your close family member gets unwell. This Act was implemented as an effort to balance work and family responsibility. However, you are only eligible for this law if you have worked for not less than 12 months in a company and at least 1250 hours in the past 12 months. The law applies to businesses that have employed at least 50 employees within a radius of 75 miles.
These are but a few Federal laws that are on your side as an employee. There are many other Federal and State laws that protect your rights. As a rule of thumb, it is always good to speak to an attorney should you have any major legal issues cropping in your line of duty.