Labor laws are in effect before a job even starts, and they help establish and maintain the rights and responsibilities between employers and employees. Federal law prohibits employment discrimination based on race, religion, age, gender, or nationality.
"At will" employees can be terminated from employment at any time for any reason, and certain "for cause" employees (e.g., under contract, member of a union) cannot be terminated unless the employer shows "cause" for doing so. "Whistle blowers" who report illegal practices on the part of their employer cannot be terminated for reporting those practices.
How labor laws affect you
Labor laws cover all aspects of employment such as hiring, pay, promotions, reviews, benefits, and employee responsibilities. Some labor laws include:
Unfair treatment at work
You may not have given much thought to labor laws unless you lost your job or feel you're being treated unfairly at work. If you've been fired and you think it was in violation of existing labor laws, you may be able to challenge the termination. The process can be costly in terms of both time and money, so you may want to contact an attorney, your state Human Rights Commission, or your state Labor & Industries office for guidance.
If you feel you are being treated unfairly at work because of your gender, age, ethnicity, or for any other reason, you may wish to discuss the issue with your employer first. If you can't talk to your employer or have tried to unsuccessfully, contacting Labor & Industries or an employment/labor lawyer may be your next step. Don't delay in seeking help, as many state laws establish time limits for filing workplace complaints.
U.S. Department of Labor: Employment Law Guide (http://www.dol.gov/compliance/guide/index.htm)
U.S. Department of Labor: State Compliance Assistance (http://www.dol.gov/compliance/stateresources.htm)
U.S. Department of Labor: Summary of Major Laws (http://www.dol.gov/opa/aboutdol/lawsprog.htm)
Related Legal Guides:
Wrongful Termination Law (https://www.avvo.com/legal-guides/wrongful-termination-law)
National Labor Relations Act (https://www.avvo.com/legal-guides/National-Labor-Relations-Act)
Immigration Employment Employee benefits Discrimination in the workplace Age discrimination in the workplace Racial discrimination in the workplace Employee protection laws ADA (Americans with Disabilities Act) and employees FMLA (Family and Medical Leave Act) and employees Sick leave and work hours Termination of employment Wrongful termination of employment Civil rights Age discrimination Racial discrimination Discrimination