Many of the rights that employees enjoy today came into place because of the efforts made by workers’ rights protesters back in the 19th century and the early days of our industrialized economy. Before this, holidays were unheard of, and both children and adults slaved away for more than 16 hours a day, slept in work houses on factory property, and were barely fed enough food to keep themselves sustained.
However, in the 20th century, demands for workers’ rights would eventually lead to a number of landmark laws being passed by Congress. In this blog, we explain what these laws are and how they continue to dictate what is to be expected from employees.
#1: The Fair Labor Standards Act of 1938
Sometimes called the Wages and Hours Act, this law stipulates regulations for minimum wage, overtime pay, equal pay, and child labor. Under the Fair Labor Standards Act, employers are forbidden from retaliating against an employee who reports an employer’s violations of worker rights. The law also prohibits employers from treating freelancers and contract workers as their employees.
#2: The Family and Medical Leave Act of 1993
Considered a landmark in Federal labor law, the Family and Medical Leave Act allows qualified employees up to 12 weeks of medical leave each year to care for themselves or certain family members, without fear of losing their jobs or group health benefits. This law has allowed countless moms and dads to take time away from work to care for their newborns. It is stated in the law that an employee must return the same position or to an equivalent position with equivalent benefits, pay, status, and other terms and conditions of employment after returning from leave.
#3: Discrimination Laws
Since the passage of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, many different discrimination laws have been passed over the years. These laws have made it illegal for employers to discriminate against employees and applicants on the basis of age, disability, national origin, race, religion, genetics, or gender.
Although the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) is the largest enforcer of landmark discrimination laws, states across the country have also created their own laws that exceed the minimum protections provided by EEOC regulations.
At John P. Mahoney, Esq., Attorney at Law, our team of lawyers focus on legal matters related to worker’s rights. If you have been discriminated against or treated unfairly by your employer, you should immediately consult with our attorneys. Contact our DC team of Federal Employment lawyers to set up your free consultation today.