Federal Employment Laws and Regulations

If you have an employment issue, you should contact an attorney, as the law and its requirements for filing a case, depending on the type of employment case, include filing with a specific agency prior to filing a lawsuit in federal court. The federal court allows an individual to file a case himself, but you must follow its rules of procedure, or your case could be dismissed.

Anti-Racist Action fight

Employment law is often complicated, especially when more than one issue is involved, such as the firing of an older employee who did not receive all of her final pay. Not only will the Department of Labor become involved because of the non-payment of wages issues, but there could potentially be an age discrimination issue.

Another issue is the Family Medical and Leave Act. Certain employers are required to comply with the act, while most small businesses do not have to comply. Compliance depends on the number of employees a business has, among other things.

Discrimination in the workplace comes in many forms, including sexual harassment, sexual discrimination, race and/or creed discrimination and age discrimination. All of these are covered under federal law, and the conditions of your case must meet certain requirements as defined by Federal Statute and case-law, or your case will be dismissed.

Retaining an experienced discrimination attorney is the best way to save money in the long run. The attorney will be able to tell you whether you have a case, and if you do, if it is a strong case or one that is difficult to litigate.

Whistleblower Laws

A whistleblower case involves an employee that “blows the whistle” on his employer, who is usually a contractor for a federal agency. For example, if a branch of the military hires a firm to do contract work, then that firm steals from the military and employee of the firm alerts the military to the theft, the contracted firm cannot fire or commit other retaliatory actions against its employee.

Family and Medical Leave Act

The Family and Medical Leave Act provides for unpaid time off for employees of qualifying employers of up to 12 weeks. The most common use for this is maternity leave. A parent can take the time off without fear of losing his job if a child or spouse is ill, or if the employee is ill with a long-term illness.

Discrimination in the Workplace

Several forms of discrimination exist in the workplace, all of which are covered by state and federal laws, including sexual harassment, age discrimination, race and creed discrimination and weight discrimination. Discrimination can cause poor work moral and other problems in the workplace. Discrimination could also take place during the hiring procedure.

“At Will” Employment

Most states hire employees on an “at will” basis. This means that the employee can fire the employer and the employer can fire the employee without a good reason. Most employers will put an “at will” clause in their employment agreements, but those companies that do not require an employment agreement do not have such a clause. In this case, each employer and employee should know the employment laws regarding at will employment. While these laws are state-based, the U.S. Department of Labor often gets involved in these disputes.

Overtime Laws

Laws regarding payment of overtime are federally mandated, and include when an employer must pay overtime. Certain employees are exempt from overtime, usually those in white-collar jobs.

Employment Breaks

Employment breaks are good for employee morale and are not covered in federal law. Breaks are covered by the U.S. Department of Labor rules in that an employer cannot “charge” an employee for a 15 minute break — it must pay the employee for those breaks, but is not required to pay the employee for a meal time. Also, if an employee abuses break time by taking more than the allotted break time, the U.S.D.O.L. will step in.

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