Select one compensation law or regulation and respond to all the following: Using your text or another reliable source, briefly summarize the compensation law or regulation.
Select one compensation law or regulation and respond to all the following:
Using your text or another reliable source, briefly summarize the compensation law or regulation.
Discuss the impact of this law or regulation in a specific organization.
Describe how an environment that supports understanding and adherence can be encouraged; support your response with an example.
Note: In your initial response, change the subject to the specific compensation law or regulation you chose to discuss.
There was a time when workers were at the mercy of their employers regarding job-related safety and benefits, to say nothing of hiring and promotions. However, a push for employee rights gained momentum in the 20th century, resulting in a series of important labor protection laws that millions of Americans rely on today.
These days the U.S. Department of Labor enforces roughly 180 worker protection laws, ranging from pay requirements to parental leave benefits.1 Other protections are supervised by agencies such as the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission. Here are eight key federal protections afforded employees.
The Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) ensures that American workers receive a minimum wage for their work. Since 2009 most private and public employers have had to pay staff members at least $7.25 per hour, although some legislators have tried to increase that amount. In addition, the FLSA assures nonexempt workers’ rights to receive time-and-a-half for any overtime they perform.2
The law offers special protections for minors as well. For nonagricultural positions, it limits the number of hours that children under age 16 can work. Additionally, the FLSA prohibits businesses from hiring those under 18 for certain high-risk jobs.3
The Occupational Safety and Health Act of 1970 went a long way toward minimizing dangers in the American workplace. The legislation created several specific safety provisions, including industry-specific guidelines for construction, maritime, and agricultural jobs.4 The act also includes a “General Duty Clause” that prohibits any workplace practice representing a clear risk to workers.5
The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) has the primary responsibility for enforcing the law, although state agencies may also have a role in implementing certain provisions.6 Though the protections affect most employees, self-employed individuals and those working on small family farms, among others, are exempted from the law.7
When it was first passed in 2010, the Affordable Care Act promised to make health insurance a right for workers at most medium- and large-size businesses. The Employer Shared Responsibility Payment provision requires that companies with 50 or more full-time workers offer them a minimal level of health insurance—or pay a substantial penalty. To qualify as a “full-time” employee, an individual must work at least 30 hours a week on average.8
President Franklin D. Roosevelt signed the Social Security Act into law in 1935, providing retired and disabled Americans with a financial safety net.9 As of Apr. 2022, about 65.5 million people received Social Security checks each month, with an average amount of $1,666 for retirees (family with a retired worker) and $1,361 for citizens with disabilities (family with a disabled worker).10
These benefits are funded by a payroll tax, which may appear as “OASDI” on your pay stub. Employers and employees each contribute an amount worth 6.2% of the staff member’s earnings, up to a maximum annual amount.11 Self-employed individuals bear the full cost of the tax, kicking in 12.4% of their income; half of the payment is tax-deductible.12
Even though each state has its unemployment insurance agency, jobless benefits are offered through a joint federal-state program. States manage payments to the unemployed but have to meet specific federal guidelines regarding how they do so.
To qualify for payments, individuals must have been unemployed for reasons outside their control—for example, a layoff or firing—and meet state-specific requirements. In most cases, workers can receive benefits for up to 26 weeks, although payments are sometimes extended during periods of economic turmoil.13
Though not as generous as unemployment payments in some European countries, the U.S. unemployment system ensures that Americans have at least a few months of security when they temporarily leave the workforce.
A patchwork of federal statutes helps protect whistleblowers who report their employer for violations of the law. Whistleblower protections are often built into other pieces of legislation that govern an industry. For example, the Clean Air Act safeguards those who highlight environmental law violations, and the Consumer Product Safety Improvement Act offers protection to those who uncover unlawful manufacturing policies.1415
OSHA’s Whistleblower Protection Program is the main body responsible for protecting the rights of employees, who may fear job loss or other reprisals if they speak up. Workers who feel they have suffered retribution for reporting company violations should file a complaint with their local OSHA office within 30 days of the incident.16