I was recently comparing the unemployment insurance benefits that are offered by each of the 50 states. I know this information is available on the Oklahoma Complete Labor Law poster ,that encompasses all of the state, federal, and OSHA requirements but I decided to write a bit about it because Oklahoma tends to be the norm for their unemployment insurance policies.
Oklahoma unemployment benefits run about median, compared to the benefits in other states. Some states have weekly payments, for example, in the $200-300 range while others have benefits in the $400-500 range. Oklahoma’s weekly benefits can be up to $275.
In Oklahoma, individuals wishing to file unemployment claims must have earned at least $1,500. The total base amount of time one must work for the year also needs to equal 100 hours. The unemployment weekly rate is then 1/23 of the base pay rate. The minimum compensation is $16 and the wages that are subject to tax is rather high (at $14,300.)
As in any state, if an individual wishes to apply for unemployment benefits, he or she must have first been employed according to the guidelines put forth in the Oklahoma Employment Security Commission. Then the unemployed individual needs to have been unemployed through no fault of his or her own. Following acceptance for unemployment benefits, the individual needs to file on-going claims each week and needs to make him or herself available to questioning by the state. The person must also actively be looking and applying to jobs dring the period of unemployment. If the person is offered a job that he or she refuses, she or he is expected to have a valid reason.
While Oklahoma’s unemployment benefits are in the low-to-medium range compared to the other states, the amount of work that one needs to do prior to receiving unemployment benefits is rather minimal, therefore, the program can benefit people who have only worked a total of less than three weeks. Employers with companies larger than 15 workers are required to have unemployment insurance for their workers. Smaller companies are exempt.
The New Jersey Child Labor Law enforces what jobs children can hold, at what ages, and how long they can do them. There are, of course some jobs that children are prohibited from doing at all, and there are some regulations for employers who employ children.
As we have all seen a child of any age can be an actor. At 11 or 12 years of age, children can deliver newspapers, work on a farm or in a garden or nursery, raise animals, and do forestry. At 14, they can work in offices, stores, and hotels, deliver packages, work in restaurants and theaters, and sell and distribute merchandise. They can also be hospital workers, camp counselors, lifeguards, cooks, and baby-sitters. At sixteen, most teenagers can drive, so their duties can include driving and operating power-driven machinery such as lawn mowers. At 18, teens have reached an age where they are legally considered an adult – therefore, they have the option of working almost any job.
There are some prohibited occupations for children, and most are common-sense exclusions. Children may not be exposed to toxic materials, lead, pesticides, flammable substances, or explosives. Children may also not use most heavy industrial machinery that could harm them. And children may not work in mines and quarries, places that serve alcohol, prisons, or be asked to do anything illegal or immoral.
Employers have an obligation to post a child’s work schedule in plain sight. Along with the schedule it is also mandatory for the employer to post the labor law posters for both the state and federal laws. The New Jersey Complete Labor Law poster provides all of the specified child labor laws along with all other state and federal laws. Employers must also provide a 30-minute meal break after five hours of work. Children can’t work more than three hours a day during school days, and more than 18 hours a week on school weeks. During vacations and summers, children may not work more than 8 hours a day or 40 hours a week. There are also restrictions on how early and late a child may work (7am – 7pm for 14 and 15 year olds, 6am and 11pm for 16 and 17 year olds.).
Under New Jersey State Law, employers who violate these conditions may be charged as much as $250 for the first violation and $500 for subsequent violations. An employer may also be fined up to $10,000 for every violation that is proven in a federal court.
Every state government has laws that protect workers from discrimination of any sort. In particular, the law focuses on discrimination in the areas of disability, pregnancy, national origin, race and sexual orientation. When it comes to upholding the discrimination law, these aforementioned five subjects are frequently the source of a plaintiff’s concern.
I look to two laws when it comes to upholding the California Discrimination Law protecting people with disabilities. The first is a federal law: the Americans with Disabilities Act. The second law is California’s own Fair Employment and Housing Act. Both laws are meant to protect people that are qualified to do a certain job, but have a disability that may require some special accommodations.
When it comes to pregnancy, California has enacted the California Pregnancy Disability Leave Law, which stipulates that a pregnant woman must receive comparable benefits and treatments as other employees. The law also states that an employer must give pregnant women pregnancy disability and leave.
I discovered that both federal as well as California laws prohibit an employer from discriminating against a potential employee or an employee based on his or her national orientation or ancestry. When I researched this particular segment of the law more, I found that an employer may not instate a rule that requires employees to speak English at all times while at work because such a law would disadvantage employees that do not speak English as a primary language.
While I know that federal and state laws differ when it comes to sexual orientation, I found that in California, an employer may not discriminate based on an employee’s sexual orientation or appearance, even if that employee is transgender. Likewise, an employer is prohibited from discriminating based on the race of an employee or potential employee. Additionally, age, religion and gender are also characteristics that employers may not discriminate against under the set California discrimination law. To better acquaint employees with all of the necessary information the Complete California Labor Law poster reflects all of the information regarding discrimination as well as any federal information.
Labor laws concerning discrimination experience changes nearly every year. Minnesota’s employers are required to put up posters at the business explaining discrimination if they have at least one employee. The Minnesota Complete Labor Law poster is available to reflect all the most current state, federal, and OSHA laws. Most Federal labor laws concerning discrimination against age, disabilities, child labor, worker’s compensation, and other types of discrimination were put into place in the 1970s. But these laws undergo revisions all the time, and employees must be made aware of their rights.
In addition to the Federal Discrimination Acts, there are Minnesota state requirements that must be followed by every employer. OSHA requires posting of these state labor laws as well, so employers must display both in order to be in compliance. After all, there may be differences in the way the state and Federal laws read.
I noticed that Minnesota’s law prohibits employers giving preference to older workers over younger ones. This is often called reverse age discrimination, and under Federal law it is not prohibited. The Federal government’s Age Discrimination in Employment Act protects workers over age 40. But the state chose to cover younger employees under the Minnesota Human Rights Act, which has been in existence since 1955. This is an interesting example of the way the state and the Federal government can treat the subject of discrimination in the workplace.
The discrimination notice says that an employer cannot discriminate on the basis of race, color, creed, religion, national origin, sex, marital status, sexual orientation (including by definition, gender identity), status with regard to public assistance, disability or age.
In my opinion, with over 1.45 Minnesotans being past the age of 50 and 680,000 Minnesotans disabled—and that’s just two examples– a lot of people need to know about discrimination in the workplace. Information about changes in scheduling, job reassignment, or other methods of accommodating employees need to be made available to them, but at the same time employers do not have to suffer “undue hardship” in order to accommodate those employees.
I imagine that anyone who is an employer in today’s world is aware of laws that require employers to offer their employees safe working conditions. Minnesota’s OSHA (Occupational Safety and Health Administration) has the duty of setting health and safety standards on the job and sending inspectors to be sure that those standards are being adhered to.
OSHA insists that workers be protected from hazards that can cause death, injury, or harm. Employers provide that protection through putting safety devices in place, providing protective gear when appropriate, and providing employee training.
In order to keep both employers and employees aware of the existence of the laws, OSHA requires that the laws be posted at the work place in plain sight of all employees. The employees must adhere to all the rules and regulations that OSHA sets forth. In my opinion, just having the laws posted keeps everybody more mindful of safety. The Minnesota Complete Labor Law poster reflects not only the current OSHA laws but also all of the state, and federal laws as well. Plus, workers who feel their safety is threatened by conditions on the job can contact their local MNOSHA office.
It is my understanding that OSHA requires that incident reports be filled out any time there is an accident or illness that happens on site. The reports are just filed in the company’s files, but the important part is that a log, or summary, of all the accidents and injuries over the past year be turned in to OSHA.
The log that employers turn over to OSHA can help them to create better mandates on workplace safety to reduce the chances of accident or injury. I know this paperwork is time-consuming and may be viewed by many employers as unnecessary, but any violations that are found on job sites can cost the employer $7,000 or more. Further penalties can cause the fines to keep going up. So ultimately, keeping track of safety issues can save the company money.