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Federal & State Systems

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Essay title: Federal & State Systems

The employment relationship under American law is highly regulated by a complex, and sometimes duplicative, system of statues, administrative regulations and judicial precedent at the federal, state and local level. (Wildman Harold Attorneys and Counselors) The federal and state laws affects all aspects of employment such as hiring, payment of wages, compensation of overtime, workplace and employee safety, benefits for veterans, and employee discipline. The law also includes employment based on race, age, gender, color and physical handicap.

Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 (Title VII) falls under the realm of federal laws. Title VII is very similar the state law State Fair Employment Practice (FEP) Law. Title VII prohibits discrimination against applicants and employers on the basis of ethnicity, color, religion, sex and national origin. Title VII also protects against sexual harassment and discrimination and anyone who is pregnant. Majority of stats have FEP laws. In some instances the FEP differs across states. For example, in the state of Illinois has the Illinois Human Right Act. The Illinois Human Right Act prohibits discrimination on the basis of race, sex, religion, color, national origin, disability and age, but it also prohibits discrimination on the basis of marital status and veteran status. (Wildman Harold Attorneys and Counselors)

Title VII applies to all private employers employee 15 or more people. Private employers with more than 100 employees have to report the federal Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) annually). The report discloses the gender and racial make-up of the employer’s workforce by job category. (Wildman Harold Attorneys and Counselors) Anyone who violates the Title VII could face both compensatory and punitive damages. An employee would be able to recover lost wages, benefits and be reinstated. In cases of intentional discrimination, compensatory damages are available to compensate plaintiffs for emotional anguish caused by unlawful discrimination, and punitive damages may be awarded to punish and deter employers that have engaged in unlawful discrimination. (Wildman Harold Attorneys and Counselors) Employers are encouraged to have a policy in place that talks about harassment in the workplace. It is critical and helpful to employer’s defense when an employee files a complaint based on sex, race, religion, or any other harassment that is protected by the EEOC.

The federal law Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990 (ADA) and Age Discrimination Employment Act of 1967 (ADEA) is also similar to the state FEP law. ADA definition of “disability” encompasses a wide range of physical and mental impairments, and a disable individual is deemed “qualified” if he or she can perform the essential functions of the job with or without a reasonable accommodation(Wildman Harold Attorneys and Counselors) AIDS and HIV are both full under ADA. When applicants are applying for a job, an employer should not question an applicant about their disability except under limited circumstances. Tests before and after employment (drug and alcohol) may be given under specified circumstances.

Individuals who are 40 years of age and older are protected by the ADEA. ADEA prohibits mandatory retirement of anyone who is 40 years of age or older. Title VII, section 4(a) states: (Wildman Harold Attorneys and Counselors)

It shall be unlawful for an employer

(1) to fail or refuse to hire or to discharge any individual or otherwise discriminate against any individual with respect to his compensation, terms, conditions, or privileges of employment, because of such individual’s age;

(2) to limit, segregate, or classify his employees in any way which would deprive or tend to deprive any individual of employment opportunities or otherwise adversely affect his status as an employee, because of such individual’s age; or

(3) to reduce the wage of any employee in order to comply with this Act.

Under federal law employee are covered by Fair Labor Act (FLSA). The FLSA established a minimum wage, payment of overtime, and equal payment. FLSA states that employees are entitled a minimum wage of $5.15 an hour and overtime of one and one-half times the regular pay after 40 hours of work in a week. FLSA also includes record keeping and child labor standards affecting more than 50 million full-time and part-time

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