Labor laws are put in effect to codify a company’s obligations to its workers while wielding a valuable employee-employer relationship. The Department of Labor oversees the execution of more than 180 federal working labor laws that cover workplace activities for roughly 125 million workers. What began as a movement in the late 19th century has prospered into one of the most important aspects underpinning skilled and fair labor in America.
The importance of labor unions and working labor laws should not be understated. Working labor laws not only protect the rights of workers but are a catalyst to a healthy economy. How? Let us explain with these top reasons why labor laws and labor unions are so vital.
Importance of Labor Unions & Labor Laws for Employee Protection
Labor laws are designed to equalize the traditional “master-servant” relationship so that neither side takes advantage of the other. The Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) is one of the most recognizable regulations put in place to make this happen. For example, it wasn’t always so that employees were fairly compensated for their hours of work, especially if they exceeded 40 hours. The FLSA working labor law dictates that most employees who work more than 40 hours in an average workweek are compensated at time-and-a-half. Employers also have to keep a record of employee hours and have a system in place for tracking their hours. This also makes it easier for employers to stay in bounds, so to speak, of the FLSA.
Other than fair wages and hours, additional labor laws have outlined fair labor practices for workers no matter their gender, age, race or ethnicity. Workers are also entitled to a safe work environment in the Occupational Safety and Health Act (OSH Act).
Working Labor Laws Promote Fair Wages & Superior Job Performance
Labor laws and unions ensure that work is performed to a satisfactory degree and that those who do the work receive an adequate living wage to spend and invest as desired. When this is achieved, companies are able to make contributions to the economy, stimulate economic growth, and provide fair labor to their employees.
Our Belief Systems Are the Foundation of Working Labor Laws
Like any other law, labor laws represent the dominant, core values of the society in which they are created and enacted. Complying with federal employment laws is thereby recognizing these values and acting to preserve them. Changes in labor laws signify a majority change in belief systems. Without federal labor laws and the principles underlying them, a large piece is missing from our country’s moral fabric.
Job-Protected Leave Benefits from Labor Laws
Federal employment laws require employers to grant employees at minimum 12 weeks of unpaid, job-protected leave for either birth or adoption of a child or the serious illness of an immediate family member. The Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA) ensures that workers stay healthy and fulfilled in their personal lives so that their work is worthwhile.
The Fate of Labor Unions is Dependent on Working Labor Laws
Without working labor laws, labor unions themselves would not have the resources and encouragement to succeed. The Labor-Management Reporting and Disclosure Act (LMRDA) of 1959 is a “manifesto” on how labor unions should be run, dealing with the relationship between a union and union workers. This act established standards for union officers and financial reporting. Labor laws ensure that the labor unions themselves conduct fair practices so that they can keep delivering on their promises for union workers.