Workplace Employment Laws

Cite this article as:"Workplace Employment Laws," in The Business Professor, updated February 23, 2019, last accessed November 26, 2020,

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What are the major employment laws?

There are many federal and state employment laws. Federal laws controlling a particular type of employer conduct set minimum standards for conduct. States may pass laws that place additional requirements on employers, so long as these laws do not conflict with or hinder the execution of federal laws. That is, if not in conflict, the state laws may be more restrictive upon employer practices than similar federal statutes. The major federal laws controlling the employer-employee relationship are as follows:

• Internal Revenue Code
• Fair Labor Standards Act
• Family Medical Leave Act
• Worker Readjustment and Retraining Act
• Uniformed Services Employment and Reemployment Rights Act
• Employee Retirement Income Security Act
• Worker’s Compensation Act
• Occupational Safety and Health Act
• Consolidated Omnibus Budget Reconciliation Act
• Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act
• Affordable Care Act
• Immigration Reform and Control Act
• State Laws

The Department of Labor may also require employers that meet certain criteria to prominently display information about employment laws and employee rights.

Note: Laws prohibiting discrimination in the workplace are discussed in detail in a separate topic section.

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