Special Report

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

Thomas C. Frohlich, John Harrington

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Workplace safety

Federal law entitles workers to a safe workplace. An employer must provide a workplace without health and safety hazards. Among other workplace safety requirements mandated by OSHA are that workers be trained in a language they understand; that the machines they operate are safe; that employers provide safety gear; and that workers are shielded from toxic chemicals.

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Shield from retaliation

It is illegal for an employer to fire, demote, transfer, or act in a retaliatory manner against workers for exercising their rights.

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Collecting overtime pay

A business may try to avoid paying overtime in various ways, such as changing a worker’s classification and saying he or she is a salaried or exempt employee. Other employer strategies may include having employees work off the clock and requiring workers to perform off-hours work. Workers have the right to protest these illegal tactics.