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Federal Employment Laws

Below are some of the federal employment laws that have been enacted to protect various employee rights. Employees who have been denied their rights under one of these important laws may have various forms of relief available to them, including filing civil lawsuit. For more information on employee rights, contact an employment law attorney in your area. You also may be entitled to additional protections under state and local laws.

Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA)

The ADA prohibits employers from discriminating against otherwise qualified employees based on their disabilities. If a reasonable accommodation is available that would allow an otherwise qualified employee with a disability to complete their job functions, the employer may be required to provide it.

Age Discrimination in Employment Act (ADEA)

The ADEA prohibits employers from discriminating against employees who are age 40 or older based on their age. Employers also are prohibited from forcing older employees into retirement or using age as a reason to demote employees, cut their benefits or pass them over for promotions and raises.

Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964

Title VII protects employees from discrimination based on race, color, national origin, sex or religion.

Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA)

The FLSA sets employment standards for minimum wage, overtime pay, record-keeping requirements and child labor laws.

Equal Pay Act (EPA)

The EPA prohibits compensation discrimination based on sex for employees who complete equal work that requires the same skill, effort and responsibility and similar working conditions within the same establishment.

Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA)

The FMLA requires employers to provide qualified employees with a total of 12 workweeks of unpaid time off for certain medical and family reasons within a 12 month period. These reasons include the adoption or birth of a child, taking in a foster child and caring for an immediate family member with a serious health condition.

Employment Retirement Income Security Act (ERISA)

ERISA sets minimum standards for employers who provide health, retirement, disability, life insurance and other benefits to their employees regarding the administration of the benefits, reporting requirements, fiduciary responsibilities and other compliance requirements. Employees have important COBRA (Consolidated Omnibus Budget Reconciliation Act of 1985) rights and HIPAA (Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act of 1996) rights under ERISA.

Fair Credit Reporting Act (FCRA)

The FCRA places restrictions on the ability of employers to request copies of an employee's or a job applicant's credit report from a credit reporting agency, including the requirement that employers request and receive the employee's permission prior to making such a request.

For more information on employee rights under these or other federal and state laws, speak with an attorney experienced in employee representation.

Meeting with Your Employment Law Attorney

To read and print out a copy of the checklist, please follow the link below.

Meeting with Your Employment Law Attorney

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