The U.S. Department of Labor is mandated by law to enforce the
labor laws of the United States. It is a huge job, covering multiple laws, each
of which cover a wide segment of the workforce in the country. Featured below, in
no set order, are the main employment and labor laws enforced by the U.S. Department
of Labor, being reviewed here to provide a smart, strategic selection to learn
The Fair Labor Standards Act, (FSLA)
The U.S. federal law covering a wide group of labor subjects including special minimum wage levels, record-keeping, child labor, overtime pay and its accompanying exempt and nonexempt rules plus income thresholds and minimum wage is the Fair Labor Standards Act. This law covers virtually all private and public employees. The FLSA gives the agency power to punish employers using both criminal and civil solutions and it gives required power to authorize individual employees the right to file a private lawsuit if under the act. Amendments made to the FLSA in 1989 added sections to the act for civil money penalties for ongoing and purposeful wanton violations of minimum wage and overtime requirements.
Davis-Bacon and Relates Acts (DBA) & (DBRA)
These acts protect workers used on Federal
construction contracts and it protects workers on State and local construction
contracts which were funded or help by the Federal government completely only a
percentage. Standards are set for both wages and hours worked by employees that
work on Federal government contracts.
McNamara-O’hara Service Contract Act (SCA)
This act protects workers in the U.S. being used on Federal service contracts.
Walsh-Healey Public Contracts Act (PCA)
This act covers workers in the U.S. being used to provide labor on Federal
Migrant and Seasonal Agricultural Worker
Protection Act (MSPA)
This act provided a set of mandated standards for workers that are either
migrants or seasonal agricultural employees covering transportation, wages and housing.
Under the MSPA, the Federal government requires employers of migrant
agricultural workers register their business with the Federal government and they
are required under the act to directly notified potential works of the wages
that will paid at the job and inform them of the setting they will work under
prior to becoming an employee. Employers that provide housing to workers are required
to provide a place to live that meets a minimum set of living standards with
respect to safety and health. Employers providing transportation to migrant and
seasonal agricultural workers are mandated to provide transportation vehicles
that meet specific safety standards.
Immigration and Nationality Act (INA)
Under this act employers are required to meet specific
standards for wages, hours and labor standard protections. This act applies to
specific temporary nonimmigrant workers allowed in the United States through
several different programs including H-2A Agricultural Workers, H-2B
Non-Agricultural Workers, H-1C, Nurses, H-1B, Professional and Specialty
Occupation Workers and D-1, Crewmembers, and D-1 Crewmembers.
Employee Polygraph Protection
This act makes it illegal for virtually all
private employers (Local government, State and Federal employers are not
included in this act. They can use a polygraph in the employment hiring process)
from making taking a lie detector test during the time of employment or during
the job application screen phase of being hire for a job. No different type of
lie detector test can be used ever, but a polygraph test is allowed provided its
use is done meeting specific restrictions of the act.
Family and Medical Leave
This act provides employees who are
eligible up to 12 weeks of unpaid leave for specific medical and family reasons
where their job is protected during that time period. Eligibility for employees
occurs when the employee has been a worker for a covered employer for a minimum
of one year, worked for a total of 1,250 hours during the prior 12 months, and
if the employer has a minimum of 50 employees within 75 miles of the business. Most
likely the employee wanting leave under the FMLA must give notice in advance and
provide certification of the medical reasons needing the time off. Employers
are required to keep the employees’ health insurance coverage for any group
health insurance plan in place for the complete period of the employees FMLA
time-off. Once the employee comes back to work from their FMLA time-off, a large
portion of employees must be returned to their original or similar position
with similar pay, benefits and job terms.
Consumer Credit Protection Act Wage Garnishment Provisions (CCPA)
Under this act and its garnishment provisions employees are protected from being released by their employer if their paycheck is being garnished for any one debt and the act also restricts the amount an employee’s wages can be garnished in any 7 day period. The CCPA is applicable to employers and the person who is getting paid wages for most types of services (this includes pension bonus and income, commissions, salaries and wages).
It is conclusive there are several Federal acts in place that protect workers of all types for several situations including wages, leave garnishment and immigration, just to name a few. It is paramount employers know these laws and comply with them because if they do not there are both civil and criminal penalties that may come into play. The U.S. Labor Department is charged with enforcing the labor laws of the United States. Chances are if your company is violating these laws or not staying in compliance with them, you will be hearing the U.S. Labor Department sooner or later.