Employment Law Issues and Policies
The department of labor in the United States is tasked to administer and ensure the enforcement of several federal laws. According to the U.S Department of Labor (n.d.), these laws apply to more than one hundred and fifty million employees in about ten million workplaces. Four of these employment laws are; wages and hours of work, workplace and health safety, family and medical leave Act, and employee whistleblower’s protection. The department responsible for wages and working hours regulation is the Fair Labor Standards Act (FSLA). FSLA determines the minimum wage, payments paid for overtime, and employment standards in both public and the private sector. The FSLA Act is administered by the Wage and Hour Division. The employers are required to pay the employees at least the minimum wage than the federal law had specified. Employees working overtime should be paid one and a half times the regular pay rate. The law forbids the employment of children under the age of eighteen years.
The International Labor and standards (ILO), states that employees sickness and accidents that arise in their line of duty. The International Labor Organization (n.d.) indicates that many deaths occur because of poor working environments. As a result, the ILO has the mandate to establish practices that ensure safety while at the workplace, for both employers and employees. Several key instruments in form of conventions are set to ensure the health and safety standards are followed. These instruments ensure that the existing laws are recognized by all. Also, the convention ensures that action is taken and health policies adopted to improve the working conditions at the workplace. The convention has the responsibility of ensuring both the employers and the employees are educated on ways of maintaining health standards in their working environment. The safety and health convention ensures that those working in mines have protective gear and special instruments to work in those places.
The Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA) is responsible for ensuring employers have unpaid leave every year. The Act states that each employee is entitled to at least twelve weeks of unpaid leave and have his or her job protected for that period. During the leave period, the employee is entitled to receive health benefits from the workplace. FMLA has the responsibility of ensuring the employees attend to both job and family issues. Employees are allowed to take leaves if it’s for a reasonable reason such as family medical issues or childbirth. The Act states that one must have worked for at least twelve months and a minimum of 1,250 hours to be eligible for a leave. The principles set in FSLA determines whether the employee has achieved these requirements (U.S Department of Labor, n.d). As Boesch (2019) indicates, this comprehensive leave does not address other proposals. For instance, the twelve weeks given are not enough for caregiving needs like child care. Also, leave accepted by the FMLA does not cover everybody who needs it.
Corruption in the workplace is a major threat. The existence of a whistleblower is essential to eliminate such occurrences. However, these whistleblowers need protection (Chalouat et al., 2019). According to the Consumer Product Safety Commission (2020), there exist a Whistleblower Protection Act (WPA) which ensures the rights of the whistleblower are observed. Employees who disclose information that is regarded as evidence are entitled to protection. WPA may also withdraw protection from the whistleblower if he or she does not adhere to the rule set in the Act. Protecting the whistleblowers enhances the working environment such that those whistleblowers do not live in fear at their workplaces. Starkman (2017) indicates that these federal employment laws are bound to change year after year. These changes depend on trending issues in a country.
Boesch, D. (2019). Paid family and medical leave must be comprehensive to help workers and their children. Center for American Progress. Retrieved 14 December 2020, from https://www.americanprogress.org/issues/women/reports/2019/07/16/472026/paid-family-medical-leave-must-comprehensive-help-workers-children/
Chalouat, I., Crespo, C. C., Licata, M. (2019). Law and practice on protecting whistleblowers in the public and financial services sectors. International Labor Organization. Retrieved 14 December 2020, from https://www.ilo.org/wcmsp5/groups/public/—ed_dialogue/—sector/documents/publication/wcms_718048.pdf
Consumer Product Safety Commission (2020). Whistleblower protections. Retrieved 14 December 2020, from https://www.cpsc.gov/OIG/WhistleblowerProtections
International Labor Organization. (n.d.). Standards and other instruments on occupational safety and health. Retrieved 14 December 2020, from https://www.ilo.org/safework/info/standards-and-instruments/lang–en/index.htm
Starkman, J. (2017). 9 employment law issues you need to watch. The Business Journals. Retrieved 14 December 2020, from https://www.bizjournals.com/bizjournals/how-to/human-resources/2017/09/9-employment-law-issues-you-need-to-watch.html
U.S Department of Labor. (n.d.). Family and medical leave (FMLA). Retrieved 14 December 2020, from https://www.dol.gov/general/topic/benefits-leave/fmla
U.S Department of Labor. (n.d.). Summary of the major laws of the department of labor. Retrieved 14 December 2020, from https://www.dol.gov/general/aboutdol/majorlaws