Important Labor Laws to Be Familiar with for Your Company

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These days, more employers have become concerned about labor law and whether they comply with government regulations. It’s important to have a general understanding of labor law and why it exists.

Labor law is the body of law that governs the relationship between employers and employees. This includes everything from hiring to firing, paychecks, and workplace safety. Labor laws are in place to protect both employers and employees. It helps ensure that everyone is treated fairly and is protected from unfair labor practices.

Understanding Labor Law

Labor law has its roots in the United States with the passing of the National Labor Relations Act (NLRA) back in 1935 during President Franklin D Roosevelt’s administration. The NLRA set out to establish labor rights for workers and protect them against unfair labor practices performed by employers, such as employer threats, intimidation, and coercion.

Labor law covers a broad range of topics in the workplace. This includes hiring employees, firing employees, and wage and hour regulations. Labor law firms are quite different from other law firms like law firms for Elder Law, an estate planning law firm. This is because labor law focuses on labor unions and labor contracts. In other words, labor lawyers focus their legal practice around union activities such as contract negotiation with employers.

Labor laws are created by Congress to protect employees from unfair labor practices performed by the employer or management of a business/company against its staff members that work there. Unfair labor practices can include the following:

  • Discrimination

Discrimination is defined as unfair labor practices based on race, sex, age, or ethnicity. A law created by Title VII defines discrimination in the workplace and prohibits employers from doing so.

Discrimination is prohibited by labor laws because it is considered unfair for employees of a company/business who are not being treated equally. Discrimination can cause tension and conflict in the workplace, and it is important to have a law that prohibits it from maintaining a fair and productive work environment.

  • Harassment

Sexual harassment is another type of discrimination that is prohibited by labor laws. Harassment can be defined as any unwanted behavior or communication that makes the recipient feel uncomfortable.

Harassment can be further broken down into sexual harassment and quid pro quo. Sexual harassment is any physical, verbal, or nonverbal behavior that would be considered inappropriate by the recipient’s standards. An example of this could be touching an employee to make them feel uncomfortable without their consent.

work sexual harassment

Quid pro quo occurs when someone in power over another person offers that person an opportunity, benefit, or privilege in exchange for sexual favors. This type of harassment is especially dangerous because it can be difficult to prove.

Employers are required by labor laws to prevent and address any instances of harassment in the workplace. This includes creating a policy against harassment, training employees on what constitutes harassment, and taking immediate action to stop any harassment that occurs.

  • Retaliation

The most common type of retaliation in the workplace is when an employer fires or disciplines an employee after they speak up about discrimination. Retaliation falls under labor laws, and it’s prohibited because it discourages employees from speaking up about labor laws violations.

Retaliation can take many forms, including termination of employment or withholding privileges such as bonuses and promotions. An employer is not allowed to retaliate against an employee for making any complaints under labor laws protected by whistleblower protections.

  • Failure to bargain with employees

Employers must bargain collectively with employees who are part of labor unions instead of dealing directly with them when it comes down to labor disputes.

If an employer doesn’t bargain in good faith, they can be charged with an unfair labor practice. Employers must also notify employees of their intention to terminate a collective bargaining agreement. This way, employees have a chance to voice their concerns and potentially prevent the termination from happening.

Employers are also prohibited from discriminating against employees of labor unions. This includes firing, harassing, or intimidating them because of their union membership.

  • Threats

Threats are another common labor law violation. Employers are not allowed to threaten employees with termination or any other punishment if they don’t agree to a certain condition or demand. This is because labor laws exist to protect employees.

Protecting Employees and Employers

Unfair labor practices discriminate, coerce, intimidate, and interfere with labor rights and protections. Employers must provide employees with a safe and healthy work environment. This includes ensuring that the working conditions meet all safety standards and that employees are properly trained on how to do their jobs.

Labor laws were put in place to protect workers and ensure that employees’ rights are upheld. Employers must adhere to labor law requirements to avoid legal consequences.

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