Labor law overview

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Updated: 4/11/2007 11:26 am
Labor and employment laws are the body of federal, state, and local laws that regulate workplace behavior and govern the relationship between employers, employees, and unions. These laws can address everything from discrimination and workplace safety to overtime pay and unemployment. The need for labor laws came about in the early 1900's when groups of employees went on strike for better working conditions. Since then, employees have acquired more legal rights as federal and state governments have enacted laws that give them the power and authority to unionize, to engage in collective bargaining, and to be protected from discrimination based on race, gender, or disability. Modern labor laws now address both the rights of employees and employers in the workplace. Some of the most important modern labor and employment laws in effect today include The Family and Medical Leave Act of 1993 which establishes the right of employees to take unpaid leave for family reasons, The Fair Labor Standards Act which sets minimum wage and overtime standards, and the Workers' Compensation law which allows employees to collect money or take time off when they're injured at work.
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