5 Must-Know Women’s Labor Laws in America

Women are breaking new grounds every day in our current labor market. They now have more protection to work so hard and establish themselves alongside their male counterparts. However, more work needs to be done, which includes educating women on their legal rights.  Here are 5 must-know women’s labor laws in America.

The Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA)

FMLA is aimed at protecting the right of families at workplaces, passed in 1993. Companies with employees above 50 are required to abide by this law. The act allows families who require some time off from work to bond with their newborn or adopted child. Allowable duration for FMLA is 12 unpaid weeks. The act ensures that employees still maintain their position when they return from leave and also receive their health benefits. The FMLA also protects employees having severe medical issues.

The Pregnancy Discrimination Act

The American government in 1978 amended the Civil Rights Acts and included the Pregnancy Discrimination Act (PDA) to protect women’s right in the workplace. The act prevents companies from discriminating against women because of their pregnancy. Before the PDA was introduced, companies usually fire pregnant women to prevent healthcare costs and labor costs associated with pregnancy and having to seek temporary cover while the women are gone.

The Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA)

The FLSA is one of the first women’s labor laws in America aimed at protecting women’s right in the workplace. The Fair Labor Standards Act was initially signed into law in 1938, towards the end of the Great Depression. Since then, it has been amended by the government over 20 times. The act covers the following areas; a maximum-hour of work per week, laws for overtime pay, banning child labor and others. The FLSA gave mothers a huge relief when it was enacted.

Title VII of the Civil Rights Act

The Civil Rights Act is a popular law because it recognizes the equality of all humans. However, beyond this, Title VII covers labor law for women. In the Title VII, it is clearly stated as a prohibition for an employer to discriminate, in any manner, an employee or potential employee on the bases of his/her race or also based on the sex, religion or national origin. This act is effective during hiring, underemployment and in the exit process. Hence, it put an end to discrimination due to sex.

The 1963 Equal Pay Act

One of the most surprisingly women’s labor laws in America is the Equal Pay Act passed in 1963. However, it may still be a surprise to women who earn 80 cent dollar below the men in their workplace, according to a Pew Research study. In this act, employers are required to place both men and women on the same salary scale for the same job. It seems the Act hasn’t achieved as many results as expected because of the current wage gap between men and women experienced in the U.S.

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