Types of Employment Laws


A number of federal and state employment laws in the United States regulate labor relations issues. Some laws apply depending on the number of employees within the business enterprise. Federal employment law matters may also be addressed by a state law with its own caveats. Public and private companies may be subject to regulations based on a number of factors, such as the number of employees they have.

Civil Rights

There are an assortment of both federal and state laws related to civil rights that ensures equal protection of employees by outlawing discrimination based on race, color, religion, sex or national origin.

Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, along with its subsequent amendments expanding its scope, is one of the major civil rights laws to impact recruitment, hiring and other employment practice areas.

The Age Discrimination in Employment Act is another federal regulation against employment discriminaton based on age.

The Americans with Disabilities Act, ADA, also forbids discriminatory employment practices against persons with disabilities. It also sets standards related to an employer's requirement to reasonably accommodate employees within the physical environment.

Workers' Compensation

Workers' compensation laws are state regulations that ensures that an employer can financially cover an employee's loss income and medical expense after a work-related accident or illness. Some states allow companies to self-insure using a cash reserve system specifically allocated for workers' compensation claims. Other states require employers to purchase insurance through a state fund. A combination between insuring through a state fund and a private insurer is used by some other states.

Family and Medical Leave

The Family and Medical Leave Act provides eligible full-time employees with up to 12 weeks of unpaid leave per year for serious health problems. Employees covered under FMLA can also apply this unpaid leave time to the birth of a child; placement of an adopted or foster child; or necessary care of a child, spouse or parent.

Labor Relations and Standards

The National Labor Relations Act regulates negotiations between employers and labor unions representing employees. It generally forbids an employer from discharging an employee solely for participating in union activities. An employee discharge in violation of the act may be required to rehire the employee and provide back pay.

The Occupational Safety and Health Act requires employers to provide a healthy and safe work environment for employees. This is generally a physical environment free from recognized hazards that can cause serious bodily harm or death.

The Fair Labor Standards Act regulates use of child labor, minimum wage and overtime pay.


The Immigration Reform and Control Act of 1986 makes it unlawful for an employer to knowingly hire individuals unauthorized to work in the United States. The act also provides additional covering against discrimination for authorized employees discriminated against based on national orgin or citizenship status.

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