Legal compliance for employment refers to the legal framework inside which business enterprises must operate and treat their employees. Employers must adhere to a series of federal as well as state laws and regulations covering recruitment, hiring, compensation, safety and health, performance appraisal, and on on. According to Charles Spinelli – violation of legal compliance in the area of employment or workplace-related matters can attract fines, hefty penalties, and lawsuits and thereby impact the reputation and growth of a business severely. This is why knowing about those laws and regulations and compliance with them is vital to avoid those consequences. In this blog, the personality focused on some of the most noteworthy employment laws:
Although, employment in the US is mostly offered on ‘ at will’ terms – enabling employers to terminate an employee without showing any reason at any time, such firing will be treated as ‘wrongful termination’ as per federal law if it involves any illegal reason. Wrongful dismissal takes place if it involves discrimination, violation of employment contracts, harassment, retaliation, violation of public policy, constructive dismissal, whistleblowing, etc.
Discrimination and Harassment
Employment discrimination happens when an employee is treated unjustly than other employees in the process of employment-linked decisions such as hiring, firing, compensation, promotion, training, and so on. Employers should go through the regulations of the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) and state laws and ensure to comply with them with diligence. Discrimination in any form in job-related decisions may occur because the employee belongs to a different race, religion, color, sexual orientation, national origin, disability, including pregnancy, aging (40 years or older), etc.
Most employers in the US are responsible by Federal and State laws to purchase worker’s compensation insurance for their employees. The law is aimed to provide healthcare alongside cash benefits in the form of salary replacement to workers who become victims of work-related injury or diseases.
Minimum Wage, Hour, And Overtime Law
The Fair Labor Standards Act instructs employers to pay the minimum wage to their employees. The federal minimum wage rate is $7.25 / hour while employers who are under state law need to pay their employers the minimum wage as per that state’s rule. Workers should work 40 hours per week, while for the excess hour they work should be paid overtime. Unless exempt, allowing overtime is also obligatory for workers.
All non-exempt employees who receive ‘wages’ and not ‘salary’ are eligible to receive overtime pay as per the Fair Labor Standards Act. The overtime pay should be calculated for every hour over 40 hours a workweek and to be paid one and one half or 1½ times their hourly wage
Any kind of job misclassification, which is a common trick of many employers, and classifying workers as exempt employees or independent contractor is punishable by law says Charles Spinelli. If any worker believes he/she is deprived of their minimum wage or legitimate overtime pay is suggested to report directly to the Department of Labor or sue their employers with legal assistance.
Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA)
Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA) is enacted by the Department of Labor and the act allows eligible employees 12 weeks of unpaid leaves for personal medical reasons or care for their family in 12 months.
Apart from the above, employers should maintain workplace safety as per the Occupational Safety and Health Administration Act, Social Security, Americans with Disability Act, and others