Employment Considerations: How To Stay Compliant Under Federal Law
The entire processes involved in the employment and treatment of workers are regulated by laws. Hiring, employee privacy, discrimination, compensation, termination of employment, and other areas of the contractual relationships are all properly regulated. And for this reason, you must familiarize yourself with those regulations while recruiting staff. In a nursing staffing agency, wage and discrimination are two aspects of the legal provisions you must be careful to comply with. They are both treated under the Compensation and Anti-Discrimination categories of the Federal Law. This article will guide you on how to stay compliant with them.
In the United States, the remuneration of workers is regulated by the Fair Labor Standards Act of 1938 and the Equal Pay Act of 1963.
The Fair Labor Standard Act regulates companies and parastatals in the commercial sphere, especially those operating interstate transactions. It covers areas including employment status, minimum wage, and overtime pay.
Employers are mandated by the Act to pay the government-approved minimum wage to their employees, however only to those covered by the Act. In addition, employers are to adequately remunerate them for overtime. Regular hourly and overtime pays are both expected to follow the set time requirements.
As for the minimum wage, it is consistently reviewed by the government. However, work hours above 40 for seven consecutive days are regarded as overtime. By law, the least amount payable for overtime is one and one-half of the regular hourly pay. The regular rate must be calculated with due consideration of the base rate, commission, incentives, training pay, and other benefits.
A later amendment of the Fair Labor Standard Act birthed the Equal Pay Act in 1963. The Equal Pay Act further protects workers, requiring that the same amount be paid to those rendering the same services regardless of their sex.
U.S workers are protected under the following anti-discrimination laws – Title VII of the Civil Rights Act (1964), Age Discrimination in Employment Act (1967), and Americans with Disabilities Act (1990).
Historically, most of them came into being in response to the grievances aired during the civil rights movement in the 1950s and 1960s. It was reported that Black Americans were being discriminated against in their workplaces.
With these laws, workers are protected from discrimination concerning their national origin, race, age, religion, disability, sex, sexual orientation, genetic information, sexual harassment, and retaliation.
Based on these legal provisions, you should ensure your employment decisions, the terms and conditions of your contractual relationships are all within the confines of the regulations.
However, if a worker makes a discrimination claim you find to be untrue, you are allowed by the law to make a defense based on “general bona fide occupational qualification defense,” or by providing substantial evidence showing that the action in question was legitimate and not aimed at discriminating the concerned staff member.
Non-compliance to these Federal laws could attract monetary penalties and even imprisonment in case of consistent willful disobedience. Hence, be sure to observe all precedents in your employment considerations.