In 1935, U.S. Congress enacted the National Labor Relations Act to encourage collective bargaining and protect the rights of employees and employers. Since then, states around the country–including Louisiana–have elaborated upon these laws to give both employees and employers more protection. As an employee in Louisiana, it’s vital that you know the significance of labor laws and how they affect your rights in the workplace.
What Are Labor Laws?
Labor laws mediate the relationship between employees, employers, trade unions, and the government. These laws mandate employment standards to ensure employees are working under the minimum socially acceptable conditions set by the U.S. Department of Labor. Labor laws can vary from state to state, but there are also federally mandated laws that states must follow. The U.S. Department of Labor enforces more than 180 federal labor laws. These laws cover around 150 million employees and 10 million workplaces across America. Some of the things these federal laws regulate include:
- Employee wages and hours
- Workplace safety and health
- Workers compensation
- Employee benefit security
- Migrant and seasonal agricultural workers
- Plant closings and layoffs
Why Are Labor Laws Important?
Labor laws are an integral part of American life and helped to bread a growing middle class in the early 20th century. Today, labor laws still play a vital role in the workplace. Labor laws protect employees’ rights and set forth employers’ obligations and responsibilities. The primary function of labor laws in modern-day America is to:
- Provide equal opportunity and pay
- Ensure employees’ physical and mental well-being
- Ensure workplace diversity
While these laws are enforced at the federal level, you should also be aware of labor laws that affect Louisiana employees specifically.
Understanding Louisiana Labor Laws
Louisiana labor laws abide by the minimum threshold set by federal labor laws but also have modifications of the federal acts to provide more protection to employees. The first step in understanding Louisiana labor laws is knowing that workers in the Pelican State are put into two categories: “employees” and “independent contractors.” Louisiana labor laws do not cover independent contractors. After you understand the categorization of workers, it’s easier to grasp the laws that protect them. Laws that protect employees in Louisiana can be broken down into the following categories:
- Income protection
- Child protection
- Working hours
- Discrimination prevention
- Workplace health and safety
Within these categories are the rights of employees in Louisiana. The rights Louisiana labor laws give employees include:
- Right to fair play
- Right to work freely
- Right to fair working hours
- Right to a safe workplace
- Right to equal opportunities
Contact the Experienced Attorneys at Smith Shanklin Sosa
The team at Smith Shanklin Sosa is committed to protecting the rights of Louisiana workers. Our accomplished attorneys have decades of combined legal experience that can help you get the compensation you deserve. If you’ve been injured on the job, contact us today for a free consultation.