Magazine article Workforce

Six Federal Laws You Need to Remember

Magazine article Workforce

Six Federal Laws You Need to Remember

Article excerpt

Tread lightly through your next downsizing or restructuring or you may find yourself in court, facing disgruntled employees, as described in "Angry Employees Bite Back in Court" in the December 1996 issue of PERSONNEL JOURNAL. Keeping the following six federal laws fresh in your mind is a start in defending your company against this costly trend.

Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964

Prohibits discrimination by employers based on race, color, religion, sex (including pregnancy and sexual harassment) and national origin. Potential remedies are reinstatement, back pay, lost benefits and attorney fees. The law applies to all employers with 15 or more employees.

The Civil Rights Act of 1991 This Act amends Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 and includes recoveries mentioned above as well as compensatory and punitive damages for intentional discrimination. In addition, a claimant may now demand a jury trial as a result of this amendment.

The Americans With Disabilities Act (ADA)

Signed into law in 1990 but made effective in 1992, the ADA prohibits discrimination on the basis of disabilities and also requires an employer to make reasonable accommodations in the workplace for disabled employees. The ADA currently applies to employers with 15 or more employees.

The Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA)

Signed into law in 1993, this law requires that all employers with 50 or more employees provide up to 12 weeks of unpaid leave per year for an employee due to: a birth of a child; the placement of a child with an employee for foster care or adoption; or the need to care for oneself, a child, spouse or parent with a serious health condition. …

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