Worker Rights Protection: Top 10 U.S. Laws You Need to Know

The US Department of Labor supervises and executes over 180 federal regulations regulating job functions for about 10 million businesses and 125 million employees. Here is a concise summary by Philadelphia Injury Lawyers P.C. of laws that govern hiring, pay, hours, and compensation, discrimination, abuse, health care benefits, paid time off, privacy, and perhaps other essential workplace and workers’ rights concerns.

What Exactly Are Labor Laws?

Labor laws act as go-betweens for the government, organizations and employers, and employees and unions. They define workers’ rights and duties in various work environments and require anything from work health and safety to workers’ compensation.

Consider workers’ compensation, for example. Employees who have suffered an injury on the job are compensated under these laws. They can pay healthcare providers directly or reimburse the employee with a flat amount of money. The Longshore and Harbor Workers’ Compensation Act,  the Federal Employees’ Compensation Act, and the Black Lung Benefits Act are examples of workers’ compensation legislation.

Labor Laws in the United States

Businesses are responsible for keeping current on changes to existing labor regulations and learning about the new legislation. The following rules have been put in place to safeguard and promote worker safety and health throughout the nation.

1. The Norris-LaGuardia Act  (1932)

The Norris-LaGuardia Law was implemented at a period when workers had almost a slight right to organize. Workers’ strikes and picketing were frequently prohibited by injunctions granted by courts. These injunctions may be given solely based on the employer’s evidence. Uncooperative workers were punished and imprisoned without a trial.

The Act safeguarded employees’ freedom to strike. It severely prohibited judges from infringing on a worker’s freedom to strike, organize via a union, help someone else engaged in a labor dispute, peacefully picket, and peacefully assemble. Under the circumstances of the modern capitalist system, the Act reasoned that “the individual unorganized worker is often unable to exercise true liberty.”

2. Act Concerning National Labor Relations (1935)

This labor legislation, passed in 1935, controls the conditions of labor relations incorporates companies more than any other. Employees have various rights under the NLRA, including the ability to self-organize, create or join labor organizations, negotiate collectively, and participate in another collective bargaining, mutual assistance, or protection activities.

The NLRA also sets limitations on how employers may handle these rights. It prohibits company-led unions and classifies discrimination against trade union members as unfair labor practices. If a worker’s rights are taken away, he or she has six months to submit a complaint with the National Labor Relations Board in his or her state.

3. The Fair Labor Standards Act of 1938

The Fair Labor Standards Act of 1938, the outcome of a long-fought battle on the side of workers, standardized the eight-hour day and prohibited child labor. Children under the age of sixteen are not permitted to work. In addition, the Act established a minimum wage.

4. The Taft-Hartley Act (1947)

The National Labor Relations Act was amended by the Taft-Hartley Act. The reforms implemented in a more stringent postwar climate were intended to restrict unions from engaging in unfair labor practices. The “secondary boycott” clause and the “right to work” law are two key components that are widely considered anti-labor.

When you boycott someone else’s employer, it’s known as a “secondary boycott.” This is prohibited by the Act, which means that a union worker cannot boycott another union worker’s employer. State legislatures can outlaw “union shops” under the “right to work” clause, which means that new workers cannot be pushed to join a union within a certain time limit.

5. Labor-Management Reporting and Disclosure Act (1959)

This labor legislation was enacted in reaction to corruption and fraud in labor organizations. It ensures that every union member has an equal right to propose and cast a ballot for union leadership, participate in meetings, and participate in debates. It also shields union members from disciplinary action if they sue a union. Furthermore, the Act more strictly controls union elections.

6. Civil Rights Act of 1964

Title VII of the Civil Rights Act says that employers may not refuse to hire or fire or otherwise discriminate against a person because of his race, color, religion, sex, or national origin.

7. Act to Prevent Age Discrimination in the Workplace (ADEA) (1967)

ADEA bans employers from discriminating against individuals over the age of 40. It also prohibits businesses from refusing to recommend someone for employment based on their age. ADEA also applies to unions, preventing them from rejecting to admit members based on their age.

8. Occupational Safety and Health Act of 1970

The Occupational Safety and Health Act applies to private-sector employers with two or more workers. It compels employers to maintain the workplace safe from hazards. The Act establishes and specifies basic options for employees: a “right to know” about the risks of their employment, a right to submit OSHA complaints to limit risks in the workplace, and a right not to be penalized for exercising OSHA-protected rights.

9. Act Concerning Family and Medical Leave (1993)

The Family and Medical Leave Act allows qualified workers to take unpaid leave for specific family and medical reasons without risking their employment or health insurance. Employees are entitled to twelve working weeks of rest after the child’s birth, care for a spouse or kid with a severe health condition, or in case an injury prevents them from doing their job effectively.

10. Rehabilitation Act Section 503 (2013)

Section 503 of the Rehabilitation Act and the Vietnam Era Veteran’s Readjustment Assistance Act were published by the Department of Labor’s Office of Federal Compliance Programs in 2013. These labor rules aim to safeguard veterans and people with disabilities. Employers may ask job candidates to self-identify as veterans or persons with a handicap throughout the application procedure or after being hired.

When To Go For an Attorney

People who feel exposed to unfair or discriminatory treatment may engage an employment lawyer to defend them in claims for damages (monetary compensation) or reinstatement against their employer.

Employment lawyers practice both into or out of court. Negotiating or writing contracts, for example, does not need appearing in court at all. Employment attorneys may also help employees and companies resolve different issues without the need for a lawsuit. On the other hand, employment attorneys may pursue litigation (filing a lawsuit) (bringing legal action).

Today, American workers have many legislative safeguards to guarantee a minimum level of pay and protect them from danger in the job, among other things.

If you feel that your rights as a worker have been violated, you may file a lawsuit with the help of a law firm that specializes in workers’ rights. You can get in touch with Philadelphia Injury Lawyers P.C. for a free consultation.

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