Employment laws change often, and workers face uncertainty about the latest rules and how their rights are protected. Below are some of the most up-to-date, reliable, and informative sites online for employment law advice. Use these resources to research regulations and find answers to questions on issues arising in the modern workplace.
US Department of Labor (DOL)
The US Department of Labor (DOL) administers federal employment laws. In the US, wage, hour, and employment laws are set at either federal or state level. What happens when differences arise between federal regulations and those of the state(s) a company operates in? In these cases, company policy should reflect the laws that are in the best interest of the employee. They can investigate applicable regulations with the DOL such as the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA), the Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA), and the Americans With Disabilities Act (ADA).
State Employment Laws
States can set and change their own employment laws. These do not supersede federal laws unless workers’ rights are better protected by the state. For example, when state law stipulates a minimum wage higher than the federal hourly rate, state law takes precedence. Moreover, issues like employee drug testing are often regulated at the state level. So companies should have clear policy guidelines under applicable state rules.
Companies should obtain a breakdown of other labor laws of their state from the DOL.
Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC)
The Equal Employment Opportunity Commission is charged with ensuring equality in employment opportunities. The EEOC is the on issues related to discrimination. This includes:
- Sexual harassment
- Race discrimination
- Age discrimination
- Disability discrimination
- Discrimination based on national origin
- Genetic information
The EEOC outlines laws about retaliation too. This makes it unlawful for employers to retaliate against workers that file a claim based on EEOC regulations. They also provide information on employment rights. They can advise on how an employer should handle charges made against them as well as record-keeping requirements.
Understand the implications of labor laws with Cornell University law school. Government websites outline the rules, but it is often up for interpretation how those rules are applied. Cornell has a comprehensive list of alphabetical links to each state's department of labor website. They offer information on employment-related issues such as:
- Collective bargaining
- Employee Retirement Income Security Act (ERISA)
- Workplace safety
- Unemployment compensation
- Worker's compensation
Access a legal encyclopedia on Cornell University’s website for explanations of workplace legal terms.
National Labor Relations Board (NLRB)
The NLRB researches federal labor law and gives advice on unionized work environments. They administer the National Labor Relations Act, which governs how employers and labor unions work together. The agency protects employees’ rights to organize and choose unions to represent their needs. They also protect workers from unfair labor practices and you can learn about the process they follow to settle cases.
U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA)
The SBA is an independent agency that protects the interests of small businesses. Advocacy, an office within the SBA, is a watchdog for the Regulatory Flexibility Act (RFA). They communicate concerns of small businesses before Congress, the White House, federal agencies and courts, and state policymakers. Access numerous resources on associations, laws, and regulations through their website.
Employment Law Information Network (ELIN)
The Employment Law Information Network is primarily a free resource for lawyers and HR personnel. However, it monitors the latest developments in employment law at the federal and state levels. Their aim is to connect people who need counsel on labor issues with professionals who know the regulations. They have an inclusive library of articles discussing outcomes of a range of labor issues such as benefits, discrimination, and general labor laws.
Employers protect their interests with law experts. But it's now easier for employees to know the law too. The availability of substantial online resources allows workers to know their rights. They can decide on the best course of action when they gain all the relevant information. This safeguards employees from unfair labor practices and facilitates conflict resolution.