By Edwin S. Hopson
The U.S. Department of Labor on November 30, 2009, announced that it had posted on its website an updated version of its Employment Law Guide, a publication that describes the major employment laws administered by the agency including the Fair Labor Standards Act, Child Labor laws, the Family and Medical Leave Act, the Occupational Safety and Health Act, Labor-Management Reporting and Disclosure Act, Mine Health and Safety Act, Davis Bacon Act, Immigration and Nationality Act, and Worker Adjustment and Restraining Act.
The Employment Law Guide has been drafted in plain language and covers recent changes in employment laws, including the increase in the federal minimum wage and an expansion of the Family and Medical Leave Act relating to leave for qualified relatives of veterans to care for ill or injured uniformed service members or to fulfill obligations that arise when a relative is called to active duty in the military. The Guide also includes a chapter on child labor regulations in the agriculture industry and another on the Defense Base Act, which provides workers’ compensation benefits to civilian employees working outside the United States on U.S. military bases or under certain contracts with the U.S.
The department also has another on-line resource called FirstStep that constitutes an “overview advisor” that allows employers to quickly and easily determine which federal employment laws apply to them by answering a few simple questions. Each chapter in the Employment Law Guide corresponds to the laws addressed in the FirstStep advisor.