Labor Laws

Labor laws refer to a set of federal and state statutes, administrative rules and common law rulings, regulating the employer-employee relationship. In addition, the laws regulate responsibilities, rights and actions of the employers and employees. Labor laws are also known as employment laws.

The main objective of Labor laws are to create and maintain a balance between the employer and the employee and to stop the one from taking undue advantage of the other.

Labor laws in the United States are enacted both at the federal and state level. The laws may differ from state to state but cannot violate the regulations of the federal Labor laws. Fair Labor Standards Act, a federal statute, regulates most of the day-to-day affairs of employer-employee relations.

Fair Labor Standards Act
Fair Labor Standards Act or FLSA is defined as "A United States law which sets out various labor regulations regarding interstate commerce employment, including minimum wages, requirements for overtime pay and limitations on”. In general, the FLSA is intended to protect workers against certain unfair pay practices or work regulations. The Fair Labor Standards Act is one of the most important laws for employers to understand since it sets out a wide array of regulations for dealing with employees.

Lawsuits relating to workers' and unemployment compensation, employment discrimination, employee benefits, fair wages, workplace safety and standards, plus others are filed under this Act.

How are employees cheated by their employers?
As long as the employer sticks to the agreement between him/her and the employee and the agreement is also drafted in accordance with the law, the relationship works smoothly for both. This, however, does not happen all the time and some employers do take undue advantage of their employees.

Misclassification of the employees is one of the biggest examples illustrating how employers cheat and violate the labor rights of their employees. Under the FLSA, an employee is entitled to overtime pay (hours worked in access of 40 per week) "at a rate not less than one and one-half times the regular rate of pay." This rule, however, does not apply to "exempt" employees. An employer may classify his/her employee as exempt and refuse to pay him/her overtime pay.

Since Labor laws are regulated both by the federal and state governments, an employee may be subjected to both the federal and state wage rate. The FLSA further states that in case of a conflict the higher minimum wage must prevail. An employer may decide to take unfair advantage of his/her less educated and informed employee by paying him/her less than the minimum wage.

What does a Labor Lawyer do?
A labor lawyer is well versed in both the federal and state statutes regulating labor or employment laws. If you or someone you know has been violated of his/her Labor laws; mistreated at work or treated unfairly, you must hire a labor lawyer to successfully file a lawsuit against your employer. A successful lawsuit or settlement may help you win overdue wages in addition to damages.

Other Useful Resources

States with the highest employment level in this occupation:



Employment per thousand jobs

Location quotient

Hourly mean wage

Annual mean wage

California 16600.111.2618.1337720
Florida 11300.141.6817.9737370
Illinois 9600.161.9217.937240
Texas 7600.070.7816.6234570
New York 6500.070.8520.1241840


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Q:My employer has failed to provide me with overtime pay that was promised, I want to know about CA labor laws and can I file a lawsuit for this?

A:CA labor laws aim to protect the rights of California employees by giving them maximum protection. Overtime pay laws have specified terms that are determined by work activities. If you are not exempt from overtime law requirements then you can file a lawsuit. it is important that you consult a lawyer who can present your case in court.

Q:Colorado labor laws cover which sub categories in this area?

A:Every state in the US has its own defined laws and statutes for labor and employment. In the state of Colorado, the Division of Labor and Employment administers all regulations and laws in the field of employment. These laws cover major areas such as wage and minimum working hours, eligibility for employment compensation, labor union, youth employment laws, and overtime laws.

Q:Do federal labor laws protect me from having to take lie detector tests?

A:Yes there are labor laws that protect employees against lie detector tests. Employee Polygraph Protection Act (EPPA) states that individuals do not have to take lie detector tests unless there is a specific exemption that applies to their case. In cases when polygraph test can be administered they are subject to strict rules and regulations.

Q:Can I claim work breaks and meal breaks under Florida labor laws?

A:Florida labor laws do not provide require employers to give work breaks and meal breaks to employees unless they are minors. However in some cases there may be an agreement between the employers and employees on meal breaks. In addition to this there is no Federal law as well as regards to work or meal breaks.

Q:Do Illinois labor laws prevent employers from misidentifying workers as independent contractors?

A:There are employers who label their workers as independent contractors so that they can cut down on costs like insurance and increased overtime pay. The department of labor in Illinois is working on an initiative that will penalize such companies so that employees are compensated fairly. Companies that conduct their businesses honestly will also benefit from this.

Q:Should I get over time pay for working on weekends according to labor law?

A:The Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) regulates the issue of wages and overtime work. Employees who work more than forty hours a week should be paid over time that is at least one and a half time their regular pay rate. So working on weekends does not automatically qualify you for overtime pay, it depends on the number of hours you have worked in the week.

Q:According to labor laws California, what can I do if I have suffered from an injury or illness at work?

A:If you have suffered an injury or illness at your workplace, you can seek rights to compensation and health insurance. For this it is recommended that you hire an attorney or lawyer specialized in this area of law. The labor laws in California have defined certain rules and regulations that govern employment related injuries.

Q:Do labor laws in Texas protect me against work place discrimination?

A:Yes in addition to the federal labor laws that prohibit work place discrimination, the state of Texas also has its own laws. The Texas Workforce Commission Civil Rights Division has jurisdiction to enforce the Texas Commission on Human Rights Act. If you feel you have been discriminated against because of your color, race, national origin, religion, age, sex or disability you should definitely file a complaint.

Q:Can you tell me what areas are covered in Michigan labor laws for private sector employees?

A:Michigan labor laws cover all kinds of employment related legal issues. These laws are designed to govern and regulate a healthy employment environment and promote the safety and security of all kinds of workers. The various areas covered under these laws include wages and minimum wage, work hours, child labor laws, unemployment, insurance, health and safety, overtime, and leaves.

Q:I live in New York and want to sue my employer whose head office is in Ohio. Must I use a lawyer specializing in Ohio labor laws?

A:Without knowing the exact circumstances of your dispute with your employer and the legal status of your employer in NY, it would be hard to give you an exact reply. For instance, it may be that you can sue the local office in New York. You should speak to a employment legal specialist.

Q:According to Tennessee labor laws, how can I file a case for employment discriminatory practices?

A:Discrimination against employees has been declared illegal in all states under the federal law. Each state has a defined set of laws that govern employment issues and cases. If you think you are not being treated equally or have suffered loss due to any kind of discrimination, you can file a lawsuit with the help of a specialized lawyer or attorney.

Q:I have lost my job recently over issues I was not informed about. Do Alabama labor laws cover such issues?

A:Yes, the state of Alabama has a set of labor laws that govern all major areas of employment. From workplace injury to compensation and income, you can find laws that regulate employment and industries in the state. If you think you have been fired over unfair circumstances, you can definitely have the right to seek legal help. You can find an attorney specialized in labor law who can guide you through the legal process.

Q:Do Arizona labor laws cover issues related to injury at workplace?

A:Yes, Arizona labor laws cover all areas of employment. These laws have been made to regulate the proper functioning of labor and industries. These are geared towards protecting the rights of worker. If you and anyone you know has suffered from an injury at their workplace, you can seek compensation for the loss and damage. A lawyer specialized in this field can better guide you regarding this situation.

Q:Which government body regulates the Arkansas Labor laws and what kinds of areas do they deal with?

A:The Arkansas Department of Labor is the premier governmental entity that oversees the labor laws of Arkansas. These laws deal with a whole range of issues such as child labor, employment, termination, hourly wages, the breaks in a work shift, overtime policies and pay. Unfortunately, the labor laws of this sate do not guarantee things such as minimum duration or even the fact that an employer is liable to his or her workers for a break during a full day.

Q:According to AZ labor laws, u8nder what circumstances can my wage be deducted?

A:AZ labor laws have defined circumstances under which an employer has the right to deduct wages of an employee/worker. However, he or she must notify the worker about the deduction. The conditions under which wag reduction is a possibility are: cash shortages, dishonored or returned checks, uniforms, tools and items necessary for employment, damage and loss of employer property, and pre-hire medical tests.

Q:According to CA labor law, if my employee dismissed me from the job, will I receive compensation that is unpaid or due?

A:Yes, according the labor rules and regulations, an employer is liable to pay compensation that is unpaid to an employee. If at the time of discharge the employee has not received any kind of wage/salary for his or her services, the employer is responsible to make the payment within a reasonable time period.

Q:According to California labor laws overtime, what will be my hourly wage rate if I put in extra weekly time?

A:The overtime wage laws have been defined for most industries and sectors. It is agreed upon by the state that overtime pay will be equal to how much an individual makes on a regular basis. So basically, your overtime rate will be equal to how much you normally make in a day/week/month.

Q:My employer is making me work overtime without giving me any additional pay for the past two years. Is this against the current California labor laws and if yes, can I sue the company?

A:Yes, the labor laws of California clearly stipulate that employees working over eight hours in a single day qualify for a fifty percent increase in their hourly wages and those working in excess of twelve hours are to be paid twice their normal hourly rate. You can sue your employer for such violations going back some three years under current state laws.

Q:I am putting in a ten-hour shift daily and my employer only allows for one 30 minute break. Do the current California labor laws breaks allow for more?

A:Yes, if you employer is preventing you from taking another half-hour break, this is in clear violation of current labor laws of California that allow for two 30-minute breaks in a workday entailing ten hours. Furthermore, if this has been happening for more than one year, you can claim compensation or damages going back three years and even four, under the laws governing unfair competition.

Q:Can you tell me what are the main symptoms of cerebral palsy with spastic quadriplegia?

A:Cerebral palsy with spastic quadriplegia is a medical condition that affects motor functions of all four limbs. It is mainly caused be damage to the spinal cord or brain. Major symptoms include limb dysfunction, dysfunction of bladder and bowel, difficulty in breathing, speech difficulty, spastic jerking, cardiovascular disease, and digestion problems.

Q:According to California state labor laws, can my employer make me work overtime?

A:In most industries, an employer can require an employee to work overtime if necessary. An employer has the right to determine work hours and schedules. He or she can fix your work timings according to circumstances. In case an employee does not follow on instructions for extra hours, an employer can terminate the employment contract.

Q:What are the various restrictions on employees vis a vis child labor law and law governing young adults in the US?

A:Child labor law provisions restrict the working hours for workers under the age of 16, though this exception may not apply to certain kinds of agricultural work. The child labor law provisions of the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) of 1938 also protect young workers from being employed in certain hazardous occupations which are listed under the FLSA and its rule.

Q:What are some of the hazardous occupations that are prohibited to workers under the age of 18 under child labor laws in the US?

A:Under the child labor laws, occupations which requiring logging or sawing or working in a quarry or an open mine operation are deemed hazardous for workers under the age of 18. Limited exception can be made for driving on highways provided the worker in question is 17 years of age, has completed the state's driver's education program and the driving takes place at day time. There are also maximum load restrictions for such driving.

Q:I am researching child labor laws history. How and when was child labor taken up as a serious issue by the legislators?

A:Child Labor Laws History: The first federal child labor law, the Keating Owen Act, passed in 1916 faced stiff resistance and was struck down by the Supreme Court in 1918. In 1924 the Congress tried to pass a constitutional amendment to allow a child labor law but failed. In 1938 the FLSA was passed which now regulates child labor laws.

Q:What are the child labor laws in Florida and how are these laws enforced?

A:Chapter 450 of Part I of the Florida Statutes and the FLSA 1938 form the backbone of child labor laws in Florida. Florida Statutes incorporate the main requirements of the FLSA. The child labor laws in Florida are enforced by the Child Labor Program under the Florida Department of Business and Professional Regulation.

Q:What are the child labor laws in Texas and who makes sure these laws are followed?

A:Child Labor Laws In Texas are contained in Chapter 51 of the Texas Labor Code and are enforced by Texas Workforce Commission. As a general rule minors under the age of 14 are prohibited from working. Exemption, however, is granted to child actors under the age of 14 to work in a motion picture or a television or radio production subject to certain rules.

Q:Do Connecticut labor laws protect me against being summarily dismissed for having a political point of view that is different to my employer's?

A:Connecticut labor laws protect individuals from being discriminated against on the basis of race, color, sex, religion, age, national origin, disability, political affiliation or beliefs. If you feel that you were let go because of your political affiliation, you may have a claim against your employer under Connecticut labor laws. Contact a labor lawyer or the Connecticut Department of Labor to find out more about more about your legal options.

Q:What is the Alien Contract Labor Law and why was it passed?

A:Alien Contract Labor Law of 1885 is a federal law passed by the US Congress to prohibit the contractual importation and migration of aliens i.e. foreigners for the purposes of labor. The law was passed in response to the growing trend by various business concerns of bringing foreigners to work in jobs thereby depriving local labor of employment.

Q:I live in Connecticut (CT) and am a contractual employee. Am I protected by CT labor laws?

A:Contractual employees in CT are only protected to the extent that their employer does not violate the basic non-discrimination principles contained in the CT labor Laws. Even there the burden of proof rests with the claimant to prove that preponderance of evidence shows deliberate discrimination on part of the employer towards the employee. Otherwise all such contractual relationships are protected by the contracts clause of the US Constitution

Q:What can you tell me about federal child labor laws?

A:There are numerous statutes that regulate child labor in the United States. These laws usually apply to employed children under 12. However, there are rules for employment for various age categories. These rules define the number of working hours allowed, occupations and health standards for minor employees, minimum wage rate, and other benefits.

Q:If federal labor law says one thing and the state labor law says another, which of the two laws will prevail?

A:Federal labor law sets minimum standards. State labor law has to conform to that minimum standard but can take measures above and beyond the minimum standards set by federal labor law. A state law cannot contravene or contradict a federal law. Most state labor laws are in conformity with the federal labor law.

Q:What is a Federal labor law poster and do I as a small business owner, less than 10 employees, need to put up Federal Labor Law posters at work?

A:A Federal labor law poster is a requirement for many businesses operating in the US. Generally speaking you have to post information about Fair Labor Standards Act and the Employee Polygraph Protection Act which can be obtained from the Department of Labor's website. However requirements of what posters you put up will depend on your revenue from federal contracts, location and nature of establishment. We advise you to use the Department of Labor's advisory on posters on its website.

Q:What are the different kinds of Federal Labor Law Posters that employers are required to post at work place?

A:Federal Labor Law Posters vary by statute; that is, not all employers are covered by each of the Department's statutes and thus may not be required to post a specific notice. For example, some small businesses may not be covered by the Family and Medical Leave Act and thus would not be subject to the Act's posting requirements. We urge you to visit the Department of Labor's advisory on federal labor law posters found on the department's website.

Q:I am told that under Federal Labor Laws breaks are not mandatory for the employer? Is this true?

A:Under federal labor laws breaks are not required. However state law covers this provision and your state may require employers to give meal breaks. Lunch and meal breaks are largely a function of state law, which means different states have different rules. Some states not only require the employer to provide lunch and other breaks, but also impose very specific penalties for failure to do so.

Q:Can you explain the rule regarding the child labor law poster?

A:Business organizations and other public/private employers falling under the terms of minimum wage standards of FLSA are required to display child labor law posters on their work premises at all times. This poster must feature the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) in an easily readable size and place. Employers can also opt to display posters that are specific to their industry. The poster contains the applicable restrictions on the work hours, wage rates and ages of children employed.

Q:Can you name some of the jobs that are prohibited under the current child labor laws?

A:The Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) states that children should not be employed in any form of employment that can be regarded as hazardous or immoral. Under these occupations are explosives manufacturing, most forms of cooking and baking, jobs involving the use of unsafe power-operated machinery, excavation and mining. Children must not be employed to work in meat coolers or freezers. Children under the age of twelve should not be employed under any circumstance.

Q:What is the purpose of child labor laws in the United States?

A:Child labor laws ensure the safety of children in case they are engaged in any employment activity. They are enforced to ensure that children are protected from overwork, unhygienic environment and immoral activities by prohibiting and restricting their employment. A violation of the child labor laws laid down by the state is a valid case for criminal prosecution of the perpetrator

Q:Will it be of any use if I read through the work and labor laws for my state?

A:Yes, it would be helpful if you have a brief understanding of the labor laws and work laws in your state. It is important that you know what your working rights and compensation rights are. You can easily search for information online regarding compensation and wages, labor unions, working hour limits, overtime pay, retirement plans, and fringe benefits for employees.

Q:In which areas do the federal employment laws do not apply?

A:Federal employment laws set the standard for workers' rights in various industries. However, there are a few areas in which these laws cannot be applied. Federal laws do not apply to workers in the local government, state government, domestic industry, and the agricultural sector. The federal law mainly establishes regulations for wages, working conditions, overtime rights, and safety standards.

Q:Under the New York state labor laws are employers suppose to pay for sick time?

A:New York state labor laws do not require the employer to pay for sick time unless the company has a policy to do so. Sick leave is a time not worked and every organization has its own rules for granting salary during this leave. Some companies also offer health coverage for their employees.

Q:I have been denied work in a firm because I am not a member of the labor union. Do South Carolina labor laws cover this area?

A:According to the South Carolina labor laws, a person cannot be denied work and employment based upon labor union membership. It is not necessary to be a member of labor union in order to work in any industry. This will be considered as a direct violation of the law and has been thoroughly covered under the labor laws of the state.

Q:I want to know about Texas labor laws breaks?

A:Under Texas labor laws breaks employers are not bound to give breaks. The companies usually have their own rules regarding meal or break times. The federal rule however, demands that if the employee takes less than 30 minute break then it must be paid but it is not necessary to pay for break that lasts for more than half an hour.