Today’s labor market has become more complex. An employer could now hire different types of employees all at once. They can hire part-timers, full-time workers, temporary workers, seasonal workers, and many other types of laborers depending on their business needs. Hiring different types of employees allow businesses to adjust their staffing needs according to their productivity requirements and present economic fluctuations.
The law regulates the hiring of employees. So, while businesses can hire different types of employees at any given time, they must comply with the different provisions stated in the employment laws and understand the differences between each type of worker.
The different worker classifications determine whether the employers should be giving their employees certain types of benefits, such as overtime pay, minimum wage, health insurance, leave benefits, retirement, life insurance, and many more. Criteria on how worker classifications are determined may differ slightly between the federal classification standards and the wage and hour divisions in state labor departments, so employers must have an in-depth understanding of the labor laws within their states.
Below are the different types of employment laws that employees should make themselves familiar with.
Workers’ Compensation Law
This law provides a set of rules designed to protect employees when they are suffering from work-related injuries. Under this law, employees can ask for compensation to recover wages they may have lost due to the injury. Employees can also ask to be compensated for expenses spent on medication, rehabilitation, and training. Additionally, they can ask to be paid for any disability they have suffered due to the accident they encountered in the workplace.
The states enact the workers’ compensation law instead of the traditional personal injury litigation. Employees have to file a lawsuit and prove that their employers are to blame when they experience accidents in the workplace. The workers’ compensation law removes the risk for both the employees and the employers. Under traditional personal injury litigation, employees have the possibility of losing their claims in court, recovering nothing. Under the workers’ compensation law, they may recover every penny spent for their recovery and for the wages they have lost.
In some instances, employers may dispute the claims of an employee filing for a worker’s compensation. In this regard, the employees may seek assistance from a judicial arbitration and mediation lawyer to help them contest the employers’ dispute claims. The lawyer can guide them with all the things that need to be done to win their case.
Labor Relations Law
Governed by the National Labor Relations Act, the Labor Relations Law was created to protect the rights of both the employers and the employees, encourage collective bargaining, and prevent the unfair practices of businesses in the private sector. Under this law, employees can stage strikes against the company as long as they present their grievances to a representative of a union before they stop going to work. Employees cannot be punished for staging strikes or for refusing to participate in strikes. They are given the freedom to choose whether they want to engage in striking and picketing regardless of whether they are a member of the union or not.
Workplace Safety Law
Under this law, employers must follow certain standards in their work areas to reduce the risks of illnesses and accidents happening in the workplace. The standards set by the law should be followed diligently by employers so that they will not be subjected to monetary fines, imprisonment, and other criminal penalties. Government agents may sometimes investigate the work areas for violations and compliance with the law.
For employers to ensure that they have complied with all the requirements, they need to have an in-depth understanding of the law and its provisions. They may also seek the assistance of a lawyer to make sure that they can develop the policies required to ensure their compliance.
Family and Medical Leave Law
Apart from their responsibilities at work, employees also have a responsibility to their families. The Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA) is designed to help employees balance their work and family life. Under the Act, employees can enjoy an unpaid, job-protected leave of at least 12 weeks per year. The unpaid leave can be enjoyed for any of the following reasons:
- birth and care of an employee’s newborn
- incapacity to work due to a health condition
- caring for an immediate family member suffering from a serious health condition
- placement of a child for adoption or foster care
Apart from these laws, there are also immigrant employment laws, compensation and child labor laws, and civil rights laws. All these laws are designed to protect not only the employees but the employers as well.
It can be easy for employers to violate any provision under these laws if they do not fully understand them. To ensure that they can comply with every regulation, having a lawyer to assist and represent them is a must.