Labor Law
Labor laws help in enforcing and overseeing contractual obligations and responsibilities of employers and employees. Employees’ knowledge about these laws is crucial in fostering cordial relationships and building a harmonious work environment.

Employees’ conduct may violate some labor laws due to their lack of information. For instance, issues related to sexual harassment are common at the workplace. In a survey conducted in 2008, 62% cases involved a man harassing a female colleague either verbally, physically or other unwelcome gestures.

The federal government makes subsidiary legislation to enhance the rights of workers from time to time. At a busy workplace, employees may not prioritize updating themselves with the developments in labor laws. Employers can impart the knowledge to help bridge the gap.

Let’s review some of the reasons why employees should acquaint themselves with labor laws.

Workplace Safety

Labor laws require employers to ensure that workers' lives are not endangered in the workplace. The laws also require them to provide protective equipment, gear, and a safe working environment. The knowledge of these laws is beneficial in the following ways: -

Reduces friction when enforcing safety regulations- Employers sometimes find it hard to enforce safety regulations. This forces them to enforce disciplinary measures. Organizing a training session about these laws can ease possible tensions and enhance safety for everyone.

It can help save cost- Safety breaches by employees may result in deaths or fatal injuries. This can lead to litigations, regulatory fines, and a possible increase in insurance premiums. If your staff knows about the safety requirements, it increases their empathy for various compliances. This leads to saving costs in the long run.

Moreover, knowledge of labor laws enhances workplace safety and ensures that the company remains a going concern. For example, a multi-million-dollar lawsuit over a workplace accident can force the company to file for bankruptcy.

Individual Statutory Obligations

Statutory obligations that affect employees individually include payment of federal taxes, filing of tax returns, and payment of student loans. The knowledge of state labor laws can act as reminders to the members of staff.

Employees who are working through an outsourcing agency also need to understand their personal responsibilities and obligations towards the state.

This can also avert possible run-ins with enforcement authorities. Possible breaches can lead to reduced productivity or eventual loss of key staff.

Companies Statutory Benefits

Employers are obligated by states to offer certain benefits like pensions, health insurance, and paid leave. Transparency about this information helps build trust among the employees. In cases with a mutual contribution, like pension benefits, it can help reduce complaints and other related conflicts.

Knowledge of labor laws also helps manage benefits like leave days and dues.

Knowledge of working hours and payment rates

Labor laws stipulate the standard working hours, which helps put controls on a weekly calendar. These statutes help clarify several issues that enhance the productivity of a working day. Below is a breakdown of some of these aspects.
  • A maximum number of hours per week- In the US, for instance, the law has set 40 hours per week as the limit. Anything above this is treated as overtime which is compensated at a higher rate.
  • Mandatory breaks- For the health of workers, they’re afforded breaks to take lunch and refreshments and attend to their health. Mandatory breaks vary from state to state based on the subsidiary laws supplementing general labor laws.
  • Standard rates- Each country sets a minimum wage and caps the working age. Labor laws also assist in regulating how minors or young adults should be compensated.
Working hours and payment rates are among the prime considerations when selecting jobs. The knowledge of labor laws helps appreciate the rates and working hours stipulated in any employment contract.

Discrimination based on Gender, Sexual orientation, or Otherwise

Labor laws prohibit employers from discriminating based on gender, nationality, sex, political affiliations, pregnancy, religion, genetic information, or age. It’s also essential that employees can easily access sexual harassment training online or on-site to make sure sexual harassment awareness and prevention training is available and accessible to all employees. These laws assist employees and employers in the following ways: -
  • Employees’ conduct- Employees are also barred from offering a hostile working environment to workers with unique afflictions, e.g., religion or race.
  • Special treatment- The employees shouldn’t expect any special treatment for their unique affiliations, e.g., religion. There are, however, subsidiary regulations that assist in unique circumstances like pregnancy and disability.
These laws help potential employees to join any employer without fear of discrimination.

Is Knowledge of labor laws beneficial?

The knowledge of labor laws helps create a general understanding of the natural flow of things in an organization. It’s critical, for instance, in factories or mining operations where workers' safety is of prime importance.

Encouraging employees to understand labor laws helps to create a good working environment and avoid regulatory violations.