Special Report

The Labor Laws Your Boss Doesn't Want You to Know About

Thomas C. Frohlich, John Harrington

Source: designer491 / Getty Images

Family and Medical Leave Act

The Family and Medical Leave Act, which passed in 1993, mandates that employers with 50 or more workers allow for up to 12 weeks of unpaid and job-protected leave of absence to eligible employees for the birth or adoption of a child. It also provides leave time for the serious illness of an employee, a spouse, child, or parent.

Source: hocus-focus / Getty Images

Keeping social media contacts

People such as journalists can develop a social media following in the course of doing their job. Those contacts might be of monetary value to an employer if and when an employee decides to change jobs and they may be considered part of severance package.

Source: olm26250 / Getty Images

Independent contractor status

To evade paying its portion of employment taxes, a company may try to classify workers as contractors, a classification a worker might not approve of.

Source: andresr / Getty Images

Protecting farm workers

The Migrant and Seasonal Agricultural Worker Protection Act shields migrant and seasonal agricultural workers, historically among the most exploited in the United States, by “creating wage, housing, transportation, and recordkeeping standards. Farm labor contractors also are required to register with the U.S. Department of Labor.”

Source: andresr / Getty Images

Mine Act

Miners perform some of the most dangerous jobs in America, and they are protected by the Federal Mine Safety and Health Act of 1977, also known as the Mine Act. This legislation makes mine operators responsible for the safety of miners; sets safety and health standards as well as training requirements; and outlines penalties for violations.