How Important are Labor Laws?

Federal and state labor laws are very important in the workforce. There are a number of reasons why these laws should know understood by employees. Labor laws are designed to help protect employees from a number of wrongdoings.

You should understand that there are differences in labor laws that pertain to children and those that pertain to adults. Child labor laws are designed to protect children from being exploited in the workplace. Children under a certain age are only permitted to work a specified number of hours each week while they are in school. That number of hours is often extended during the summer months. These laws are in place to encourage children to focus more on their education and their futures.

General labor laws regulate the number of hours that an adult employee can work without being paid overtime. This is to ensure that no employee is overworked and that all employees receive adequate and fair compensation for the work that they provide. When employees work over the specific number of weekly hours, which his typically 40 hours in one week, labor laws mandate that the employee should be paid overtime pay which is normally their average hourly pay plus one-half of their average hourly pay, hence the term “time and a half”.

Many labor laws pertain to safety in the workplace. All employees have the right to feel safe when working and to expect their employers to regard their safety. Those who work in high risk areas are expected to be well educated in their job tasks to ensure the utmost in safety. Employees worrying about dangers associated with their jobs can often cause undue accidents. Proper training and certain safety precautions are required by law for certain jobs that fall into this high risk category. Employers are required to maintain insurance that will pay for the medical expenses of employees who are injured on the job as well. Worker’s compensation provides for an employee when he or she is injured while working. This compensation pays for medical costs directly related to the workplace injury and in most cases will pay the employee a stipend until he or she is able to return to work.

Any employee who feels that they have been treated unfairly by an employer should report those incidents immediately. Labor laws are essential in keeping workplaces fair and safe and when an employee feels that these laws have been violated, he or she should contact an attorney who specializes in labor laws. Attorneys who specialize in this field will be better equipped to help the employee to determine if a violation of the labor laws is evident and advise the employee on what steps should be taken to amend the situation. Labor laws are essential in the workforce and employers are legally bound to comply with these laws. Employers who inadvertently or purposely defy these mandated labor laws could face hefty fines and in extreme cases, they could potentially lose their right to operate their business.

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