Operating and owning a business is not an easy task. There are many things that need to be considered, refined, and maintained, including logistics, financial planning, marketing, and business tech. Most of all, owners need to concern themselves with the lifeblood of any business – their employees.
It’s not only morally expected that employees are treated well, but it is also what the law dictates. Here are the quintessential labor laws that you need to know:
Fair Labor Standards Act
The Fair Labor Standards Act outlines labor and pay-related matters such as minimum wages, overtime pay, and the distinction between part-time and full-time employment. This law is important because it’s the basis for how business owners are expected to compensate their employees.
Family Medical Leave Act
Any private company that has 50 employees or more is required to grant eligible employees of up to 12 work weeks (or four months) of unpaid medical leave per year for specified family and medical reasons. While employers may not deny employees, they may require employees to submit request forms as well as supporting medical documentation.
Title VII, Civil Rights Act
Title VII of the Civil Rights Act prohibits any form of discrmination from employers regardless of whether the discriminatory act is based on race, religion, sex, nationality, and age. Employers are therefore legally required to treat all applicants equally during the hiring, tenure, and exit of the employee.
Equal Pay Act of 1963
The Equal Pay Act of 1963 is a measure that makes it illegal to pay women less than men for performing the same job. While it’s true that the issue of the gender pay gap is far from solved, it should be noted that there are many factors besides gender that influence the disparity in pay. There are far too many variables to account for, and it also goes without saying that no two people have the exact same level of a combination of industry experience, educational attainment, and disciplinary records. These are also the same factors that the law deems allowable when determining differing pays between men and women.
Finally, it’s important to be aware of state-specific labor laws. Some of these laws could mean that employers need to pay a higher minimum wage versus other states, or that they need to have biometric time attendance systems in place in order to ensure that employees are granted the right amount of breaks during the day. The Florida break laws is one example of this. These laws vary per state, so it’s important to review these laws, especially when you plan on expanding or transferring your business to a different state.
Labor laws should not be perceived as a way for the government to limit a business owner’s control over his own business, but rather, they should be treated as guidelines to help business owners establish a good environment for their employees.
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