Before, employees had no say over hiring decisions or promotion opportunities, let alone safety and benefits related to their jobs. Nonetheless, the 20th century saw a surge in the movement for employee rights, which led to the creation of several significant labor laws that millions of Americans still rely on today.
Approximately 180 worker protection laws, including pay requirements to leave for parents’ benefits, are enforced by the U.S. Department of Labor these days. Organizations like the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission oversee additional protections. Click here to learn more about Employment law guides.
Laws that protect employees’ rights in the United States
1. The Minimum Wage
A minimum wage for labor is guaranteed to American workers by the (FLSA). Although some lawmakers have attempted to raise that amount, the majority of private and public employers have been required to pay employees at least $7.25 per hour since 2009. Furthermore, nonexempt employees’ rights to overtime pay are guaranteed by the (FLSA).
Additionally, minors are granted special protections by the law. It restricts how many hours minors under 16 can work in non-agricultural jobs. The FLSA also forbids employers from employing children under the age of 18 for specific high-risk positions.
2. Workplace Safety
The 1970 OSHA significantly reduced workplace hazards in the United States. The Act established a number of industry-specific safety regulations, such as construction, maritime, and agricultural industry guidelines. A “General Duty Clause” in the Act forbids any workplace practices that blatantly endanger employees.
The law is primarily enforced by the (OSHA), though state agencies may also be involved in carrying out specific provisions. Six While the protections cover most employees, some are not, including self-employed people and those who work on small family farms.
3. Health Coverage
The Affordable Care Act, which was first passed in 2010, promised to guarantee health insurance to most employees of medium- and large-sized businesses. The Employer Shared Responsibility Payment provision requires companies that employ 50 or more people full-time to provide them with a minimum level of health insurance or face a sizable fine. In order to be considered a “full-time” employee, a person needs to work an average of thirty hours per week.
4. Social Security
In 1935, the Social Security Act was enacted by President Franklin D. Roosevelt, offering retired and disabled Americans a financial safety net.9. As of April 2022, approximately 65.5 million individuals were receiving monthly Social Security benefits; the average amount for retirees (i.e., families with a retired worker) was $1,666, and for citizens with disabilities (i.e., families with a disabled worker), it was $1,361.