The Department of Labor (DOL) administers and enforces more than 180 federal laws. These mandates and the regulations that implement them cover many. Wages and hours · Workers' compensation · Government contracts, grants. An official website of the United States government.
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These mandates and the regulations that implement them cover many activities in the workplace for about 150 million workers and 10 million workplaces. The following is a brief description of many of the main DOL statutes most commonly applicable to businesses, job applicants, workers, retirees, contractors and concessionaires. This brief summary is intended to familiarize you with the main labor laws and not to provide a detailed exposition. For reliable information and references to more complete descriptions of these laws, you should refer to the statutes and regulations themselves.
The Fair Labor Standards Act prescribes standards for wages and overtime pay, which affect most public and private jobs. The law is administered by the Division of Wages and Hours. Requires employers to pay covered employees who are not otherwise exempt at least the federal minimum wage and overtime pay at one and a half times the regular rate of pay. For non-farm operations, it restricts the hours that children under the age of 16 can work and prohibits the employment of children under 18 in certain jobs considered too hazardous.
For agricultural operations, it prohibits the employment of children under the age of 16 during school hours and in certain jobs considered too hazardous. The Division of Wages and Hours also enforces the provisions of the labor standards of the Immigration and Nationality Act that apply to aliens authorized to work in the U.S. UU. Under certain nonimmigrant visa programs (H-1B, H-1B1, H-1C, H2A).
The Occupational Safety and Health Act (OSH) is administered by the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA). Safety and health conditions in most private industries are regulated by state programs approved by OSHA or OSHA, which also cover public sector employers. Employers covered by the OSH Act must comply with OSHA health and safety regulations and standards. Employers also have a general obligation under the OSH Act to provide their employees with work and a workplace free from recognized serious hazards.
OSHA Enforces Law Through Workplace Inspections and Investigations. Compliance assistance programs and other cooperative programs are also available. If you worked for a private company or state government, you should contact the workers' compensation program of the state where you lived or worked. The Department of Labor's Office of Workers' Compensation Programs does not have a role in the administration or oversight of state workers' compensation programs.
The Dockworkers and Dockers Compensation Act, administered by the Office of Workers' Compensation Programs (OWCP), provides compensation and medical care to certain maritime employees (including a dockworker or other person in port operations), and any dock worker, including a repairman shipbuilder and ship dismantler) and qualified dependent survivors of such employees who are disabled or die due to injuries that occur in navigable waters of the United States, or in adjacent areas that are commonly used to load, unload, repair, or build a vessel. The Federal Employee Compensation Act (FECA), 5 U, S, C. FECA, administered by OWCP, provides benefits for compensation for loss of wages due to total or partial disability, programs awards for permanent loss or loss of use of specific body members, related medical costs and vocational rehabilitation. The Black Lung Benefits Act provides monthly cash payments and medical benefits to coal miners who are totally disabled by pneumoconiosis (black lung disease) arising from their employment in the country's coal mines.
The statute also provides monthly benefits to survivors of a deceased miner if the miner's death was due to black lung disease. The Employee Retirement Income Security Act (ERISA) regulates employers who offer pension plans or welfare benefits. Title I of ERISA is administered by the Employee Benefit Security Administration (EBSA) and imposes a wide range of fiduciary, disclosure and reporting requirements on pension and benefit plan trustees and others who have relationships with these plans. These provisions preempt many similar state laws.
Under Title IV, certain employers and plan administrators must fund an insurance system to protect certain types of retirement benefits, with premiums paid to the federal government Pension Benefit Guarantee Corporation. EBSA also administers reporting requirements for the continuation of health care provisions, mandated by the Comprehensive Budget Reconciliation Act of 1985 (COBRA) and health care portability requirements in group plans under the Insurance Portability and Accountability Act Physician (HIPAA). The Labor Administration Reporting and Disclosure Act 1959 (also known as the Landrum-Griffin Act) deals with the relationship between a union and its members. It protects union funds and promotes union democracy by requiring labor organizations to submit annual financial reports, by requiring union officials, employers and labor consultants to report on certain labor relations practices, and by establishing standards for the election of union leaders.
The law is administered by the Bureau of Labor and Management Standards. Most labor and public safety laws and many environmental laws require whistleblower protection for employees who complain of violations of the law by their employers. Remedies may include returning to work and paying back wages. OSHA applies whistleblower protections in most laws.
Certain individuals who serve in the military have the right to return to work with the employer they were with when they entered the service. This includes those summoned from the reserve or the National Guard. These rights are administered by the Veterans Employment and Training Service. This law prohibits most employers from using lie detectors on employees, but allows polygraph tests only in limited circumstances.
It is managed by the Wage and Hour Division. Garnishment of employee wages by employers is regulated by the Consumer Credit Protection Act, which is administered by the Division of Wages. Administered by the Division of Wages and Hours, the Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA) requires employers of 50 or more employees to waive 12 weeks of unpaid and work-protected leave to eligible employees because of the birth or adoption of a child or because of the employee's serious illness or a spouse, child the priest. Veterans and other eligible individuals have special labor rights in the federal government.
They are given preference in initial recruitment and protection in current reductions. Allegations of violation of these rights are investigated by the Veterans Employment and Training Service. Administration and enforcement of these laws is the responsibility of the Wage and Hour Division. The Office of Federal Contract Compliance Programs administers and enforces three contract-based federal civil rights laws that require most federal contractors and subcontractors, as well as federally assisted construction contractors, to provide equal employment opportunity.
The Civil Rights Center in the Office of the Assistant Secretary for Administration and Management administers and enforces several federal assistance-based civil rights laws that require recipients of federal financial assistance from the Department of Labor to provide equal opportunity. The Migrant and Seasonal Agricultural Worker Protection Act regulates the hiring and employment activities of agricultural employers, agricultural labor contractors and associations using migrant and seasonal farmworkers. The Act prescribes wage protections, housing and transportation safety regulations, agricultural labor contractor registration requirements, and disclosure requirements. The Division of Wages and Hours administers this law.
The Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) exempts farmworkers from paying overtime premiums, but requires workers employed on larger farms (farms employing more than approximately seven full-time workers) to pay the minimum wage. The Act contains special rules on child labor that apply to agricultural employment; children under 16 are prohibited from working during school hours and in certain jobs that are considered too hazardous. Children employed on their family's farms are exempt from these regulations. OSHA also has special safety and health standards that can apply to agricultural operations.
The Immigration and Nationality Act requires employers who want to use temporary foreign workers on H-2A visas to obtain a labor certificate from the Employment and Training Administration certifying that there are not enough, capable, willing and qualified U, S. Workers Available to Do the Work. Labor standards protections in the H-2A program are enforced by The Wage and Hour Division. The Federal Mine Safety and Health Act of 1977 (Mine Act) covers everyone who works on mining properties.
The Mine Safety and Health Administration (MSHA) administers this Act. The Mines Act holds mining operators accountable for the safety and health of miners; provides for the establishment of mandatory safety and health standards, mandates training requirements for miners; prescribes penalties for violations; and allows inspectors to close dangerous mines. Health and safety regulations address numerous hazards, including falling roofs, flammable and explosive gases, fire, electricity, rollover and equipment maintenance, air pollutants, noise and respirable dust. MSHA enforces safety and health requirements at nearly 13,000 mines, investigates mine accidents, and provides training, technical assistance and compliance assistance for mining operators.
Several agencies administer programs related only to the construction industry. OSHA has occupational safety and health standards for construction; the Division of Wages and Hours, according to Davis-Bacon and related laws, requires payment of current wages and benefits; the Office of Federal Contract Compliance Programs enforces Executive Order 11246, which requires federal construction contractors and subcontractors, as well as federally assisted construction contractors, to provide equal employment opportunity; the anti-bribery section of the Copeland Act prevents a federal contractor from inducing any employee to sacrifice any part of the required compensation. Most laws with labor provisions that regulate the transportation industry are administered by agencies outside the Department of Labor. However, the safety and health standards of the marine and stevedoring industry are issued and enforced by OSHA.
The Dockworkers and Longshoremen Compensation Act requires employers to ensure that workers' compensation is funded and available to eligible employees. In addition, the rights of employees in the public transportation industry are protected when federal funds are used to purchase, upgrade, or operate a transportation system. Under the Federal Traffic Act, the Department of Labor is responsible for approving employee protection agreements before the Department of Transportation can release funds to concessionaires. Such events may be subject to the Worker Adjustment and Retraining Notification Act (WARN).
WARN Offers Employees Early Warning of Impending Layoffs or Plant Closures. The Employment and Training Administration (ETA) provides information to the public about WARN, although neither ETA nor the Department of Labor has administrative responsibility for the statute, which is enforced through private actions in federal courts. The elaws poster advisor can be used to determine which poster (s) employers should display at their place (s) of business. Posters, available in English and other languages, can be downloaded and printed directly from the Advisor.
If you already know which poster (s) to display, see below to download and print the corresponding posters for free. The United States has hundreds of federal labor and labor laws that affect employers and employees. These laws cover everything from defining what employment is to laws that regulate who can work and what situations they should be paid for. Download our list of the most common federal labor laws affecting small businesses, plus links to each website for more information.
There was a time when workers were at the mercy of their employers with regard to safety and work-related benefits, not to mention hiring and promotions. However, the push for employee rights gained momentum in the 20th century, leading to a series of important labor protection laws trusted by millions of Americans today. The Department of Labor enforces approximately 180 worker protection laws, ranging from wage requirements to parental leave benefits. Other protections are overseen by agencies such as the U.S.
Here are eight key federal protections offered to employees. The law also provides special protections for minors. For non-farm jobs, limit the number of hours children under 16 can work. In addition, the FLSA prohibits companies from hiring children under 18 for certain high-risk jobs.
The Occupational Safety and Health Act of 1970 went a long way in minimizing hazards in the American workplace. The legislation created several specific safety provisions, including industry-specific guidelines for construction, marine and agricultural work. The law also includes a “General Duty Clause” that prohibits any workplace practice that poses a clear risk to workers. These benefits are funded by a payroll tax, which may appear as “OASDI” on your paystub.
Employers and employees each contribute 6.2% of the staff member's earnings, up to a maximum annual amount. Self-employed people bear the full cost of the tax, which represents 12.4% of their income; half of the payment is tax-deductible. To qualify for payments, individuals must have been unemployed for reasons beyond their control, such as a layoff or termination, and meet specific state requirements. In most cases, workers can receive benefits for up to 26 weeks, although payments sometimes extend during periods of economic crisis.
Workers have the right to file a complaint with whistleblowers if their workplace is unsafe during the COVID-19 pandemic. To receive FMLA benefits, one must have been with the company for at least 12 months and have worked at least 1,250 hours during the past year. The law only applies to businesses that employ at least 50 employees within a 75-mile radius. Among other federal labor laws that protect against the workplace, inequality is the Employment Age Discrimination Act of 1967, which applies to workers 40 and older, and the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990 (ADA).
Employers do not automatically transfer a buyer, but this is the case with a stock sale because the employing entity remains the same. Labor laws provide protections for workers and also contain compliance and reporting requirements, including rules for how long payroll records should be kept. For example, the Family Health Leave Act (FMLA) applies to employers with 50 or more workers, but in more than 10 states, part of this leave must be made available to employees as paid time off (PTO). The Uniformed Services Employment and Reemployment Rights Act (USERRA) is a federal law that requires employers to reemploy employees after they have performed and completed service in uniformed services.
Forgetting to complete employee Forms I-9 within the allotted three days may cause problems down the road if your employees are not actually eligible to work in the U.S. Complying with the ADA includes providing a reasonable accommodation to support a disabled person (or a current employee who becomes disabled). The law also stipulates that some workers who work more than 40 hours in a seven-day period must receive overtime pay equal to time and a half of their regular rate for any additional hours. The Employee Retirement Income Security Act (FLSA) oversees employers' pension plans and required fiduciary, disclosure, and reporting requirements.
Mosaic of Federal Statutes Helps Protect Whistleblowers Who Report Law Violations to Their Employer. Labor laws apply differently depending on company size, often adding compliance and reporting requirements for employers. If you are an employer who is concerned about false FMLA leave, contact your company's legal and human resources department. .