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The 10 Employment Laws Every Manager Should Know

Business Management Daily (04/04/12)

Federal class-action lawsuits brought under the Fair Labor Standards Act outnumber all other types of private class-action suits in employment-related cases. The FLSA sets the federal minimum wage and requires time-and-a-half overtime pay for hourly employees who work more than 40 hours in a week.

Companies need to be familiar with additional federal legislation, including Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, which prohibits sexual harassment in the workplace and from discriminating in hiring, firing, or pay based on a person’s race, religion, gender, or national origin. The Americans With Disabilities Act prohibits job discrimination against qualified people with disabilities. Therefore, companies should never immediately reject disabled applicants but instead should work with human resource personnel to help create reasonable accommodations for disabled employees.

The Family and Medical Leave Act says employees with at least a year of service can take up to 12 weeks per year of unpaid, job-protected time off for the birth or adoption of a child or to care for themselves or a sick child, spouse, or parent who has a “serious” health condition. The FMLA applies to organizations with 50 or more employees. The Age Discrimination in Employment Act says employers cannot discriminate against applicants or employees older than 40 because of their age. This means that companies should never take a person’s age or proximity to retirement into account when making decisions on hiring, firing, pay, benefits, or promotions.