Below is a list of federal labor laws that typically apply to employers, based on a number of employees. The list is not exhaustive and does not include state or local requirements, but it will help get you started.
- Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) of 1938. Sets federal minimum wage, overtime, record-keeping and child labor laws.
- Immigration Reform and Control Act (IRCA) of 1986. Requires that employers use Form I-9 to verify each new hire’s eligibility to work in the United States.
- Equal Pay Act (EPA) of 1963. Employers must provide equal compensation to men and women who perform identical or substantially equal work for the same establishment.
- Consumer Credit Protection Act (CCPA). Protects employees from being discharged because of a single wage garnishment against them and limits the amount that can be garnished from their paychecks in any given workweek.
- Employee Retirement Income Security Act (ERISA) of 1974. Private-sector employers with group health and welfare plans must adhere to ERISA’s minimum standards.
- Federal Insurance Contributions Act (FICA). Authorizes employers to withhold Social Security and Medicare taxes from employees’ wages, as well as pay their own share of these taxes.
- Occupational Safety and Health Act (OSHA) of 1970. Requires that employers provide a safe and healthful workplace for their employees.
- Fair Credit Reporting Act (FCRA) of 1969. Regulates how employers can obtain and use consumer reports, including background checks.
- Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA) of 1996. Employers that offer employee benefit plans must adhere to HIPAA’s privacy, anti-discrimination and security rules.
- National Labor Relations Act (NLRA) of 1935. Allows employees to create a union and participate in concerted activities in order to improve their working conditions.
Employers With 15+ Employees:
- Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA). Prohibits discrimination against disabled individuals when making employment decisions.
- Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964. Forbids employment discrimination based on race, color, national origin, sex, and religion.
- Pregnancy Discrimination Act (PDA). Bars employment discrimination based on pregnancy, childbirth or related health conditions.
- Genetic Information Nondiscrimination Act (GINA). Employers cannot discriminate against job applicants and employees based on their genetic information.
Employers With 20+ Employees:
- Age Discrimination in Employment Act (ADEA) of 1967. Protects job applicants and employees age 40 or older from discrimination based on their age.
- Consolidated Omnibus Budget Reconciliation Act (COBRA) of 1985. Gives eligible employees who lose their group health coverage the right to continue their coverage for a limited time.
Employers With 50+ Employees:
- Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA). Eligible employees are entitled to 12 weeks of unpaid job-protected leave.
- Affordable Care Act (ACA). Employers must offer affordable, minimum essential health coverage to full-time employees or risk paying a penalty.
Employers With 100+ Employees:
- Annual EEO-1 Reporting. Employers must send employment information for certain categories — including race, gender, and wages — annually to the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC).
- Worker Adjustment and Retraining Notification Act (WARN) of 1988. In the event of plant closings and mass layoffs, employers must notify employees 60 days in advance.
Posted February 2020 – Copyright 2020
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