If you’re like most people, you probably think of employment law as a system that protects workers from being exploited by their employers. And while that’s certainly true, employment law actually does much more than that. In fact, employment law is a complex and ever-evolving area of the law that covers a wide range of topics, from discrimination and harassment to wages and hours. Here’s a quick overview of some of the key ways in which employment law protects workers:
Discrimination and Harassment
There are a number of federal laws that prohibit employers from discriminating against employees on the basis of race, color, religion, sex, national origin, age, disability, or genetic information. These laws make it illegal for employers to treat employees differently based on any of these protected characteristics. Additionally, these laws protect workers from being harassed on the job because of their membership in a protected class. If you believe that you have been the victim of discrimination or harassment at work, you should consult with an experienced employment law attorney to discuss your options.
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Retaliation and Victimisation
Another key area of employment law is retaliation. Federal law prohibits employers from retaliating against employees who engage in certain protected activities, such as filing a discrimination complaint or testifying in an investigation. Additionally, state laws may also protect employees from being retaliated against for engaging in other activities, such as requesting reasonable accommodations for a disability. If you believe that you have been the victim of retaliation at work, you should consult with an experienced employment law attorney to discuss your options.
Wages and Hours
Employment law also governs the wages and hours that employees are entitled to receive. For example, the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) establishes minimum wage and overtime pay requirements for covered workers. Additionally, the FLSA sets forth rules regarding when and how employers can deduct money from an employee’s paycheck. If you have questions about your rights under the FLSA or any other wage and hour law, you should speak with an attorney who specializes in this area of the law.
Safety and Health
Employment law also requires employers to provide their employees with a safe and healthy work environment. The Occupational Safety and Health Act (OSHA) sets forth a number of regulations designed to protect workers from potentially harmful work conditions. Additionally, OSHA requires employers to provide employees with information and training about potential workplace hazards. If you believe that your employer has violated OSHA’s rules, you should contact an experienced OSHA attorney to discuss your situation.
Social Security and Unemployment Compensation
In addition to the protections provided by federal and state law, workers are also entitled to certain benefits, such as social security and unemployment compensation. Social security is a government-provided retirement program that workers contribute to through their payroll taxes. Unemployment compensation is a government-provided program that provides financial assistance to workers who lose their jobs through no fault of their own. If you have questions about your rights to social security or unemployment compensation, you should speak with an attorney who specializes in this area of the law.
These are just a few of the ways in which employment law protects workers. As you can see, employment law is a complex and ever-changing area of the law that affects workers in a variety of ways. If you believe that your employer has violated your rights under employment law, you should consult with an experienced attorney to discuss your situation. This article is intended to be informational only and does not constitute legal advice. You should always consult with an experienced attorney for specific advice regarding your situation.