The dance between state and federal labor laws is one in which all sides play their individual roles. The states, the federal government, the employees, the corporations, the individual employers, human resources (HR), and all the organizations built over the country’s history in order to protect everyone’s rights. There are a lot of moving parts, and sometimes the law becomes difficult to understand or uphold. Here are a few of the most important labor laws under federal regulation.
- The Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) is all about wages and hours. It outlines minimum wage regulations, and guarantees overtime pay for certain hourly jobs. It also establishes guidelines regarding the labor of minors. It ensures that children under 16 cannot work during normal school hours of operation. It also restricts underage kids from engaging in dangerous work activities.
- The Longshore and Harbor Workers’ Compensation Act (LHWCA) helps cover workers’ compensation costs of medical care to maritime workers. The Energy Employees Occupational Illness Compensation Program Act (EEOICPA) provides a benefit to certain employees who have been exposed to radiation, and subsequently gotten cancer. The Federal Employees’ Compensation Act (FECA) establishes compensation benefits for federal employees. The Black Lung Benefits Act (BLBA) provides a monthly benefit to former coal miners who were disabled by black lung disease or beneficiaries.
- The Occupational Safety and Health Act (OSH) is where the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) derives most of its authority and power. OSHA helps preserve safety and health guidelines for workers in certain states that have approved OSHA programs.
- The Labor-Management Reporting and Disclosure Act (LMRDA or Landrum-Griffin Act) provides protection benefits for union organizations and their finances. The LMRDA is also responsible for standardizing guidelines during the election of union officers.
- The Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA) guarantees a leave benefit for new parents if their employer has more than fifty employees. New parents are granted up to twelve weeks of pay.
- The Worker Adjustment and Retraining Notification Act (WARN) guarantees employees that they receive warning from employers who plan to close a plant or layoff workers. WARN is only enforced through federal court, as no federal department has authority as part of the act’s regulations.
- The Consumer Credit Protection Act (CCPA) regulates the garnishment of wages for all employees subject to this legal action.