Jaime, Ben and Ivett: I still think this topic needs to be spiced up with better and current
examples. As written, it’s pretty vanilla and I’m not sure that your classmates will learn much
new. Since two of you are international students, you could add some comments on how the
purposes and scope of U.S. employment laws differ from those of your home countries. Your
classmates might enjoy hearing about those differences (assuming there are some). But, it’s all
The Importance of Employment Law
Ivette Castaneda, Ben Brown, Jaime Sion
Professor Steven Stratman
The Importance of Employment Law
Employment laws protect an employee from misunderstandings, disagreements, and
exploitations between employers. The employment laws have legal consequences for those who
break them. Anyone who feels they are being exploited in any way in the employment sector has
the authority to report or direct any individual who wants to report any cases. The employment
laws fall into different categories and is a tough issue to the employers as it is a test for their ethical
conduct that requires them to avoid discriminating their employees, adhere to the minimum wage
laws, provide a safe working environment for the employees, provide compensation for workrelated injuries and not engage in child exploitation and child labor.
Protection Against Discrimination
Employment laws prevent discrimination against employees. Discrimination of employees
may stem from various sources and may be done in different ways, against one’s race, sex, religion,
and disability. An example of such laws is an equal employment opportunity for all individuals
regardless of their race, gender, disability, or religion. Under the equal employment opportunity
are acts such as the rehabilitation act, which protects against discrimination based on disability,
equal pay act which advocates for equal pay for both men and women, age discrimination in
employment that protects people of forty years and above from being discriminated in employment
among other acts against discrimination (Berrey et al., 2017). According to the Equal employment
opportunity commission, from 1997 to 2018, close to 1.9 million cases involving discrimination
had been filled, with the race taking 34% of the cases, disability taking 32%, and gender
discrimination taking 30%. The three types of discrimination cases reported range around the same
percentage, but race discrimination is the leading. An example of a discrimination case was Price
Waterhouse v. Hopkins, where Hopkins sued her employer for sex discrimination, and the court
ruled in her favor. This would mean more to students listening if they heard what her claim was.
Was she denied a promotion? How was she discriminated against? The Supreme Court addressed
held that Title VII’s prohibition based on sex protected gay and transgendered employees in
Bostock v. Clayton County a term or two ago. A big case in this field.
Sets the Minimum Wage
Additionally, employment laws of minimum wage determine the amount an employee is
to be paid for work done and prevent exploitation. The minimum wages laws have transformed
the employment sector and ensured that employees are paid rightfully for the job. Additionally,
these minimum wages vary according to different countries and fields [I would not reference other
countries, not really relevant in the US]and are regularly reviewed and adjusted according to the
factors of the economy (Simonovits et al., 2019). The minimum wage is determined by poverty
levels, labor force available, and social-economic factors such as inflation and GDP. Additionally,
credentials, job tasks, experience, and skills will determine the minimum wage for an individual.
Nevertheless, a unifying factor that affects the minimum wage across all individuals is the
economic factor. In the recent COVID-19 pandemic, minimum pay has dropped due to the
struggling economy. Really? Wal Mart raised its minimum wages across the board and others have
as well due to the shortage of workers during the pandemic which is continuing as we speak. Better
dig into this and again, examples are helpful.
Ensures a Safe Working Environment
Work safety and health Employment laws ensure that the work environment is safe and the
workers’ health is a priority. The occupation safety and health act require employees to maintain a
safe working environment. Additionally, employees are protected against exposing themselves to
known harmful substances and conditions such as extreme noise, mechanical danger, toxic
chemicals, and unsanitary conditions (Sorensen et al., 2018). The law obligates the employees to
maintain the working environment without risking the health of their workers and allowing for
medical leave in the event of becoming sick. The employer must ensure safety while carrying out
the daily activities of their employees. Additionally, employers must provide concise instructions,
thorough training, and supervision to ensure security is maintained in the workplace and prevent
any avoidable accidents. Cautionary signs of danger zones within the organization’s premises
should be pronounced and visible. Are vaccine mandates issued by the OSHA an example? Are
they legally enforceable?
Provides Compensation for Work-Related Injuries
Workers’ compensation laws protect and provide cushioning for individuals who
encounter injuries in their workplace and prevent employers from costly lawsuits. Workers’
compensation laws are essential for employers because they eliminate the lengthy court cases
involved if an employee sues the company for compensation. Compensation removes the
possibility of awarding large amounts awarded to the employee through the court process. A
much more significant portion is likely to be awarded in compensation lawsuits (Grenier et al.,
2018). The employees also benefit from this law. However, the employment compensation laws
that pre-state what employees are paid, in some circumstances, do not even make enough
compensation for the damages caused. The restricted standard amount paid out may not make the
employee feel content according to the damages or injury caused. Most settlements are also
financial and neglect the emotional factors of the victim.
Prevents Child Exploitation and Child Labor
Employment laws about child labor prevent children from being used in hazardous jobs.
Most of the time, children are ignorant about the conditions they are likely to be exposed to and
the dangers of certain work environments (Greppin et al., 2017). Employers may take advantage
of the ignorance and use children to work in such conditions. Additionally, the employment laws
make it illegal to engage children under thirteen in any employment. It deprives them of their
fundamental rights of education that can equip them with skills suitable for better jobs in the future.
Additionally, the law provides rules that govern individuals under eighteen years. Immigration
employment laws also prevent employers from employing any immigrants who are not authorized
to work in their respective countries. I don’t think this is much of an issue – at least now true child
labor exploitation. Perhaps it ties the adequacy and fairness of the minimum wage.
Employment laws of different categories are important in the employment sector because
the laws prevent discrimination in the workplace, dictate the unchangeable minimum wage to be
paid for work done, ensure that the work environment is safe, create ways for compensation for
any work-related injuries, and prevents exploitation of children and child labor. In the absence of
these employment laws, workers become vulnerable to exploitation by unethical employers.
Organizations that do not comply with these laws should be held accountable for going against
these employment laws.
Berrey, E., Nelson, R. L., & Nielsen, L. B. (2017). Rights on trial: How workplace discrimination
law perpetuates inequality. University of Chicago Press.
Grenier, J. H., Reffett, A., Simon, C. A., & Warne, R. C. (2018). Researching juror judgment and
decision making in cases of alleged auditor negligence: A toolkit for new scholars.
Behavioral Research in Accounting, 30(1), 99-110.
Greppin, C., Carlsson, B., Wolfberg, A., & Ufere, N. (2017). How expatriates work in dangerous
environments of pervasive corruption. Journal of Global Mobility: The Home of Expatriate
Simonovits, G., Guess, A. M., & Nagler, J. (2019). Responsiveness without representation:
Evidence from minimum wage laws in US states. American Journal of Political Science,
Sorensen, G., Sparer, E., Williams, J. A., Gundersen, D., Boden, L. I., Dennerlein, J. T., … &
Wagner, G. R. (2018). Measuring best practices for workplace safety, health and wellbeing:
The Workplace Integrated Safety and Health Assessment. Journal of occupational and
environmental medicine, 60(5), 430.
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