Employment law is a complex and ever-changing field. It can be difficult to keep track of all the changes, let alone know which ones apply to your specific company. This article will outline four of the most influential employment laws every company should learn. We’ll also provide some tips for staying in compliance with these laws.
National Labor Relations Act (NLRA)
If your company has plans to expand or reach more than just a handful of employees, then you need to know about the National Labor Relations Act (NLRA). The NLRA was created in 1935 to protect workers’ rights to organize and bargain collectively. It also outlaws certain company practices that could interfere with these rights.
The NLRA applies to companies engaged in interstate commerce with more than $500,000 in annual revenue. If your company falls under this category, then you need to be aware of the following provisions:
- Employees have the right to form or join unions.
- Employees have the right to engage in collective bargaining with their employer.
- Employers cannot take any actions that discourage employees from unionizing or engaging in collective bargaining.
The penalties for violating the NLRA can be severe, so it’s essential to make sure your company complies. You can find more information on the NLRA and how it affects your business on the National Labor Relations Board website.
Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA)
The FLSA is a law that establishes minimum wage, overtime pay, and recordkeeping requirements for employers. The FLSA applies to companies that engage in interstate commerce and have annual revenues of $500,000 or more.
If your company falls under this category, you must pay your employees at least the federal minimum wage of $7.25 per hour. You also need to provide employees with overtime pay of time and a half their regular rate for any hours worked over 40 in a week.
In addition, the FLSA requires employers to keep accurate records of all hours worked by their employees. These records must be kept for at least three years and be available for inspection by the Department of Labor.
Age Discrimination in Employment Act (ADEA)
The ADE is a law that prohibits employers from discriminating against employees who are 40 years of age or older. The ADEA applies to companies with 20 or more employees engaging in interstate commerce.
Companies that fall under this category cannot discriminate against employees based on age. This includes hiring, firing, promotions, wages, benefits, and other employment terms or conditions.
There are a few exceptions to the ADEA, such as age being a bona fide occupational qualification. However, these exceptions are minimal. If you’re unsure whether an exception applies to your company, you should seek legal advice.
Equal Pay Act (EPA)
The EPA is a law requiring employers to pay men and women equally for the same job. The EPA applies to companies with 15 or more employees engaged in interstate commerce.
The EPA demands companies to pay men and women the same salary for doing equivalent work, regardless of their gender. This includes jobs that may not be the same but are similar in skill, effort, and responsibility. The EPA also prohibits companies from paying women less because they are of a certain race or ethnicity.
You may be liable for back pay, damages, and attorney’s fees if your company violates the EPA.
These are the essential laws you need to know as an employer. But what happens if you break one or some of these laws?
Breaking Employment Laws
The consequences will depend on the severity of the violation and whether it was done knowingly or not.
You may be required to pay a fine or make changes to your company policies for minor violations. More severe violations could result in jail time, civil penalties, or both. You can also get sued by the applicant who found that you are breaking these laws. They will file a complaint or form, and then a process server agency will serve you the necessary documents for the case. Then, you have to go to court and defend yourself.
If you are sued, the court will look at the facts of the case and decide whether you violated the law. If the court finds that you did break the law, they will order you to take specific actions to remedy the situation. These actions could include changing your company policies, paying damages to the plaintiff, or both.
It’s important to note that even if you win the lawsuit, you will still have to pay your own attorney’s fees and court costs.
To avoid breaking these employment laws, ensure you are up-to-date on the latest changes. You should also have a lawyer review your company policies to ensure they comply with the law. Finally, ensure you train your managers and employees on these laws, so they know what is expected of them.