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Employment Law

Employment law is a broad area encompassing all areas of the employer/employee relationship except the negotiation process covered by labor law and collective bargaining. See, Labor Law Collective Bargaining and Arbitration . Employment law consists of thousands of Federal and state statutes, administrative regulations, and judicial decisions. Many employment laws (e.g., minimum wage regulations) were enacted as protective labor legislation. Other employment laws take the form of public insurance, such as unemployment compensation.

The Department of Labor enforces the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA), which sets basic minimum wage and overtime pay standards. These standards are enforced by the Department’s Wage and Hour Division, a program of the Employment Standards Administration.

Workers who are covered by the FLSA are entitled to a minimum wage of not less than $5.15 an hour. Overtime pay at a rate of not less than one and one-half times their regular rate of pay is required after 40 hours of work in a workweek. Certain exemptions apply to specific types of businesses or specific types of work.

The FLSA does not, however, require severance paysick leavevacations, or holidays.

In addition to the FLSA, the Wage and Hour Division enforces other labor laws related to wage payment. Among these are:

  • the Davis-Bacon and Related Acts, which require payment of prevailing wage rates and fringe benefits on federally-financed or assisted construction;

  • the Service Contract Act, which requires payment of prevailing wage rates and fringe benefits on contracts to provide services to the federal government;

  • the Contract Work Hours and Safety Standards Act, which sets overtime standards for most federal service contracts, federally funded construction contracts, and federal supply contracts over $100,000; and

  • the Walsh-Healey Public Contracts Act, which requires payment of minimum wage rates and overtime pay on federal contracts to manufacture or provide goods to the federal government.

The Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA) provides for up to 12 weeks of unpaid leave for certain medical and family situations (e.g., adoption) for either the employee or a member of the covered and eligible employee’s immediate family; however, in many instances paid leave may be substituted for unpaid FMLA leave.

The Immigration and Nationality Act of 1990 applies to employers seeking to hire nonimmigrant aliens as workers in specialty occupations under H-1B visas.

Subtopics of interest you may wish to explore are:

Employment Law Information Network

Employment Law Directory

British Employment Law

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