The law has always presented a unique challenge for businesses across the nation. Not only are they bound by federal laws but those of the states in which they operate their business as well. But owners and managers not only want to make sure that they are following the law but that their employees are as well. Oftentimes, this requires discussions with a skilled attorney who is able to explain the laws at hand and when a violation has occurred.
In this week's blog post, we'd like to highlight five employment laws we think every employer here in California should know, especially because violating any one of these can lead to serious litigation down the road.
Fair Labor Standards Act
As we discussed in a September post, the FLSA created federal standards for wage and hour laws. Building on this, each state has its own wage and hours laws that establish everything from minimum wage to how overtimes is calculated. The states, including California, have a variety of state specific wage and hour laws that often impose even stricter rules on employers.
Family and Medical Leave Act
This law requires employers of 50 or more employees to provide employees with unpaid, job-protected leave of up to 12 weeks for medical reasons such as illness of self or family member or birth or adoption of a child. California also has a set of similar laws called the Californa Family Rights Act.
Occupational Safety and Health Act
OSHA establishes and enforces safety guidelines in the workplace, holding employers accountable when their negligence puts an employee's life in danger.
Civil Rights Act of 1964
Perhaps one of the most well known of employment laws, this act provides employees with equal protection of the law by prohibiting and employer from terminating or denying employment to an individual based on their sex, race, religion, color or national origin. California's protections are generally found in the California Fair Employment and Housing Act (FEHA).
Americans with Disabilities Act
When applied in the workplace, the ADA prohibits discrimination against an employee with a disability. This also means that employers are also not able to terminate or deny someone employment because of a disability either. This type of discrimination is also prohibited under California's FEHA.
Source: The United States Department of Labor, "Summary of the Major Laws of the Department of Labor," Accessed Dec. 11, 2014