Federal Labor Laws

Labor Law Training Series – Federal Labor Laws

Becoming familiar with the federal labor laws is extremely important if you have a thriving business with several employees. You will want to do this before you’re contacted by one of the many federal agencies enforcing them. Regulatory agencies, such as, OSHA (Occupational Safety and Health Administration), EEOC (Equal Employment Opportunity Commission), OFCCP (Office of Federal Contract Compliance Program), and many others.















Labor Law Training Series – Federal Labor Laws - California’s AB 1825 Sexual Harassment Law that requires training for employees that goes way beyond any federal law



Many of the federal labor laws tie right into state labor laws as well. In some cases, the state labor laws are more stringent than many of the federal laws. An example of this would be California’s AB 1825 Sexual Harassment Law that requires training for employees that goes way beyond any federal law.


Federal labor laws also mandates a number of federally required posters…


Federal labor laws also mandates a number of federally required posters that must be displayed in your workplace. If you go to the government sites you should be able to download the posters, or order them for free. However, there are many vendors out there that can also provide them for a very small cost. The FSLA poster (Fair Labor Standards Act) that covers topics such as overtime. It also will indicate that there is a difference between exempt and non-exempt employees, i.e., salaried versus hourly. This is very important since the last thing you want to do is define an employee as exempt and then three or four years later find out that you owe them back pay for overtime.


If you are controlling the person doing the work from dictating their time…


Just as an example an exempt employee generally has to be able to make business decisions for the company, such as, hiring, firing, budgets, purchasing decision. Keep in mind though that this is not absolute. The other factor to be considered when dealing with the federal labor laws is who can be considered a contracted employee. As an example of this, if you are controlling the person doing the work from dictating their time, schedule, how they work, supply the equipment and tools, etc., there is a good chance they are not a contracted employee. Again, the last thing you need is to find out after an audit by a federal agency.

Other federal labor laws would include things like the Family Medical Leave Act. This act allows for employees that meet certain requirements to take several weeks off to attend to a personal or close family member’s medical condition. Often times we think of this for a woman having a baby. However, it may be for someone that must care for their very ill parent. This leave can also be taken in small increments. As an example they may need to take two hours a day to take a family member for dialysis treatments.


Employment decisions based on race, religion, age, sex, or national origin…


Other parts of the laws dictate that an employer can not discriminate, not only against their employees, but against anyone applying for a position as well. This means that you can not make employment decisions based on race, religion, age, sex, or national origin. In today’s world people are very sensitive to this issue and will contact the EEOC when they feel that they have been discriminated against.

This will give you just a taste of the requirements that the laws are. It is very wise to include them in your employee handbook and cover them thoroughly in your initial orientation. I would also strongly advise you to cover you employee handbook annually so that if ever questioned by a federal regulatory agency you can defend you policies, and prove that your employees are aware of them. This will come in especially good if someone ever claims sexual harassment.

Good Luck and May God Bless You!

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