Almost every worker is aware that there are labor laws. Most people don’t really think too much about them or how such laws on the job affect them. There are both federal and state laws at work governing and regulating employment and workplace issues. I was surprised to learn that with such a diverse population of people and cultures that the labor laws in Florida were not much different from that of the other states. Probably the strictest laws pertain to discrimination in the workplace and the employment of minors.
Under Florida (FL) Labor and Employment Laws, employers are prohibited from discriminating against an individual because of race, color, religion, , national origin, age, handicap, marital status or familial status. They cannot refuse to hire nor terminate someone based on these traits.
Florida (FL) labor and employment laws do not discourage minors in the workforce, however they are most concerned with the well being of the youth and their education. Employers are limited in the jobs and/or tasks that they may give to minors and these are different for different age groups. The hours that they may work are also limited especially when school is in session and it is up to the employer to be aware and comply with these restrictions.
Florida (FL) labor and employment laws also address wage issues. The minimum wage in FL is currently $5.15. Tipped employees may be paid at a lesser rate of $3.38 per hour. Employers may require overtime but all hours worked in excess of forty in a given week must be paid at a rate of one and a half times the normal rate of pay.
Florida (FL) labor and employment laws are not limited to workplace issues or active employment alone. Unemployment, disability and Workers Compensation are also covered under these laws.
The list of federal laws dealing with employment issues is vast and varied. The federal laws usually act as a basis for the laws that the individual states create. In some cases the states do not have a law pertaining to a certain issue and then the federal law would apply. The federal laws in some form or another affect all employers and workers. Usually in cases where state and federal law differs the stricter of the two would apply.
There is a lot of confusion when it comes to Federal labor and employment laws and what is required of employers and what is not. I have done some research and will try to clarify a few of the most common misconceptions and popular issues. Many people think that the Fair Labor Standards Act, or FLSA pertains to leave benefits and this is simply not true. The FLSA sets basic standards for minimum wage and overtime pay. These laws do not require Vacation, holiday, severance, or sick pay, meal or rest periods, holidays off, or vacations, premium pay for weekend or holiday work, pay raises or fringe benefits.
Another one of the most popular federal labor and employment laws is the Family and Medical Leave Act or FMLA. This act allows for an unpaid leave of up to 12 weeks for certain medical conditions and family situations. The birth or adoption of a child is one example. The act also allows for an employee to take this time if they are needed to care for an immediate family member who is ill.
There are quite a few Federal labor and employment laws pertaining to wage payment in addition to the FLSA. Regulation of the employment of minors and child labor is one of the strictest and most heavily enforced aspects of Federal labor and employment laws.
Labor laws in California are in place to protect employees from being overworked and underpaid and to help employers effectively enforce the laws. The Division of Labor Standards Enforcement (DLSE) is the department that helps regulate these guidelines. In fact, the labor laws of California works hard to make certain that there are minimum labor standards. They want to make sure that employees are not working in substandard conditions.
There are many labor laws in California that the DLSE regulates and enforces. This is an important part of the department and they routinely inspect companies and businesses for any violations of the labor laws. One such law concerns the minimum hourly rate. In California, employers are required to offer their employers a minimum hourly wage of $6.75 per hour. This is more than the federal rate and companies must guarantee that amount. Employers, however, are allowed to offer more than the state minimum wage. Payment is up to each business.
I did learn though that the labor laws in California that govern minimum wage do not cover every employee in the state. There are exceptions to the rules. Some employees in the State of California who herd sheep, outside sales people and parents, spouses or children of an employer are exempt from this rule about minimum wage payments. In addition, those who are training for a job must be paid for their training time, but cannot be offered less than 85 percent of the state’s minimum wage. Employees are not required to offer the state minimum wage for training and education purposes.
In addition, there are also exceptions to labor laws in California when it concerns those who are disabled physically or mentally. Rehabilitation facilities may be allowed to offer these workers less than minimum wage. These facilities must obtain a special license before hiring such employees.