State and Regional Regulations Guide

There are more than 180 federal employment laws in the US. These are administered and enforced by the Department of Labor. These laws are divided into federal, state, and regional regulations and pertain to a range of human resource functions. Within the organization, human resource management professionals need to ensure compliance with these laws and regulations.

Employment Rules and Regulation – Federal Laws 

These are the essential laws that apply to all types of employment. They include the principal regulations on hiring, wages and termination. Furthermore, they also stipulate the conditions in the workplace such as health and safety and proper working conditions. These regulations will include essential outlines for employee rights and record-keeping, and what penalties apply for companies that are not compliant. The most significant workplace regulation is The Fair Labor Standards Act. This law outlines the federal minimum wage as well as the rate for overtime pay. Also, it ensures there is no exploitation of minors as by controlling the number of hours a minor can work. There are several other federal laws and they include: -
  • The Family Medical and Family Leave Act
  • The Employee Retirement Income Security Act (ERISA)
  • The Occupational Safety and Health Act (OSHA)

Employment Rules and Regulation – State Laws 

Though the federal laws offer a guideline for employment rules and regulations, there are state laws that may defer from the federal laws. The key differences in state laws are the minimum wage laws. The variations include a higher offering which may increase due to the cost of living with the state. In some cases, the minimum wage may be lower than the federal minimum wage if the employees are working in the service industry and may receive tips. These tips are estimated to match what they would have earned as the federal minimum age. Another variation you would find in state laws is the state child labor laws. From one state to the next, there could be variations in the employment age, including the age for children in entertainment. Also, non-farm employment and agricultural employment have clear outlines. Door to door sales and the minimum wages are also outlined. Some other state labor laws include minimum paid rest periods, prevailing wages, minimum meal periods, as well as payday requirements. Each year, the state will present an annual state labor legislation report that outlines all the employment rules and regulations. Human resource professionals must remain up to date on employment law and any changes that are due for implementation. This is especially the case when working with companies that have branches across different states. The same employee working in these different states may face different employment rules and regulations. Being familiar with these will also make sure that an organization can calculate and pay taxes according to the correct rates. For human resource managers seeking to avoid fines and penalties, companies must be compliant with all the relevant laws at federal, state and local levels.