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Business alert: The 10 employment laws every manager should know

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Contact: Elizabeth Hall, Editor
(800) 543-2055  (703) 905-8000 

April 4, 2012

Business Alert: The 10 Employment Laws Every Manager Should Know

Falls Church, Va. — Wage-and-hour labor litigation continues to increase exponentially. Federal class actions brought under the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) outnumber all other types of private class actions in employment-related cases. Particularly hard hit: employers in California, Florida, Illinois, New Jersey, New York, Massachusetts, Pennsylvania and Texas.

“Clearly, this is not the time to make an FLSA compliance mistake,” Business Management Daily’s Senior Web Editor Elizabeth Hall says. “Federal employment laws govern this workplace issue and many more, including discrimination, family leave and harassment.”

Here’s a list of 5 of the most important federal employment laws and how to follow them:

1. Job discrimination. Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 prohibits you from discriminating in hiring, firing or pay based on a person’s race, religion, sex or national origin. This law also prohibits sexual harassment.

Action: Treat all employees and applicants equally regardless of their race, religion, gender or any other characteristics not related to job performance.

2. Disability discrimination. The Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) prohibits job discrimination against qualified people with disabilities (i.e., those who can perform the job’s essential functions with or without a reasonable accommodation).

Action: Never immediately reject applicants because you think their disability would prevent them from doing the job. Work with HR to help create reasonable accommodations for disabled employees.

3. Family leave. The Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA) says eligible employees – those 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.

Action: When employees request leave, listen for requests that would meet the FMLA criteria. Contact HR when hearing these requests.

4. Age discrimination. The Age Discrimination in Employment Act says you can’t discriminate against applicants or employees older than 40 because of their age.

Action: Never take a person’s age or proximity to retirement into account when making decisions on hiring, firing, pay, benefits or promotions.

5. Overtime/minimum wage. The Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) is the nation’s main wage law. It sets the federal minimum wage (many states have higher minimums) and requires time-and-a-half overtime pay for hourly employees who work more than 40 hours in a workweek.

Action: Always pay employees above the minimum wage and pay overtime when applicable.

Hall concludes, “It’s important for supervisors and managers to know the basics of how to comply with these laws. One thing you can do is review your overtime pay policy and double-check your FLSA exempt employees’ status.”

For more information and the full article, which includes the additional five employment laws every manager must know, visit

Download Business Management Daily FREE report on Overtime Labor Law: 6 compliance tips to avoid overtime lawsuits, wage-and-hour Labor audits and FLSA exemption mistakes.

Business Management Daily provides plain-English, actionable news, information and tips to busy professionals in the areas of human resources, leadership, management, administrative skills, office technology, employment law, tax and more. Subscribe to our free e-newsletters and download our free reports. Follow us on Twitter at @BizDaily or ‘Like’ us on Facebook.  


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