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10 Laws Every Employer Must Know

— June 3, 2021

Being compliant as an employer will make your workplace safer, more productive, and a great place to work.

Whether you are a new employer or have a long history as a manager, knowing how your employees are protected is critical. Knowing the laws that impact you and your workers’ safety at work could potentially save your employees being treated unfairly and your business from potential legal trouble. Here’s a list of 10 laws you should be aware of at work in order to protect your interests.

1. Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA)

The Americans with Disabilities Act, which was passed in 1990, prohibits discrimination against people with disabilities and emphasizes equal opportunity. These important HR laws involve being given “fair accommodations” in order to do the job properly.

2. Age Discrimination in Employment Act (ADEA)

People of all ages are usually well-qualified to do most jobs. This legislation, enacted three years after the Civil Rights Act, forbids age discrimination in the workplace, including recruiting, firing, and promotion.

3. Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA)

This act, which was signed into law in 1993, gives your employees 12 weeks of unpaid leave with work security and hospital benefits for some medical reasons. A personal medical condition, an immediate family member with a severe health condition, bonding with a new child, and pregnancy are some of the causes. Keep in mind that this does not apply to all forms of workers, so be sure to know what your company offers before hiring.

4. The Civil Rights Act

This 1964 legislation abolished segregation of public spaces and made discrimination based on religion, ethnicity, or gender illegal. It served as a springboard for other anti-discrimination legislation, such as the 1972 amendment to Title VII, which established the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission.

5. Pregnancy Discrimination Act (PDA)

The Pregnancy Discrimination Act (PDA) was enacted in 1978 as an amendment to the Civil Rights Act in order to end workplace discrimination against pregnant women. Employers should not discriminate against work applicants or workers based on pregnancy or pregnancy-related conditions, according to the PDA.

6. The Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA)

This legislation, which was first enacted in 1938, was intended to remedy the poor working conditions in American factories. The legislation has been revised several times since then, and it also serves to restrict the number of hours worked each week, define overtime provisions, protect child labor laws, and create a national minimum wage.

7. The Occupational Safety and Health Act (OSHA)

OSHA was established in 1970 to establish worker safety standards, resulting in a significant reduction in the number of workplace injuries across the United States. To ensure employee protection, employers must follow safety standards and provide instruction on best practices. Understanding OSHA principles is critical if your employees are injured at work or are worried that you may not be following regulations.

8. National Labor Relations Act (NLRA)

The National Labor Relations Act (NLRA) guarantees your employees’ right to speak openly about their working conditions without fear of retaliation, which includes sharing their salary.

9. Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA)

Negligence Lawsuit Filed Against Hospital, Doctors After Child's Death
Photo by Laura James from Pexels

HIPAA was enacted in 1996 and has expanded steadily since then. This act protects your employees and their dependents from the release of confidential medical records and prejudice based on their medical background, which you should be aware of as an employer.

10. Equal Pay Act (EPA)

As the name implies, this legislation (enacted in 1963 as an update to the FLSA) seeks to eliminate wage disparities based on gender. It guarantees fair pay for equal work for men and women. As one would expect, if wage transparency is not followed, this may be a challenging form of discrimination to show.

It is critical that employers and employees alike know their rights and laws surrounding human resources. Being compliant as an employer will make your workplace safer, more productive, and a great place to work. You will enjoy happier employees who are loyal and will stay with your company for a long time.

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