Should Business Owners Study Labor Laws?

Employment law is designed to mediate the link between employees, employers and the government. Although enforced by the government as employment standards, the laws can be misunderstood or sidestepped by employers who try to avoid abiding the law. One common mistake done by employers is regarding failure to pay for overtime. Employees are entitled to overtime compensation, but in many cases, they are treated as being exempt from overtime pay, employers fail to pay for their work altogether, or they don’t get paid the right amount as required by law.

The employment law also consists of individual aspects regarding minimum wage, health and safety, and discrimination, among others. In many countries, the number of hours that an employee can work per day is set by law. Throughout history, the number of hours fluctuated from 11 to 14, going as high as 16. In time, the labor laws changed and adopted the ‘eight-hour movement’, limiting the number of hours an employee has to work, this becoming a standard in many countries throughout the world. In Germany of 1883, the country passed the Health Insurance Act, which entitled the working class to health insurance, Accident Insurance being provided the next year, in 1884.

The minimum wage is set by each country, each having different laws that define the minimum amount of money that a worker must get paid per hour. Many developing countries however, do not have such laws in place. Usually, the minimum wage is set higher than the lowest wage, this being determined by supply and demand. The concept of a national minimum wage law introduced for the first time in the United States, in the year 1938. Many countries followed suit, including France and the United Kingdom, in 1950 and 1998 respectively. As of 2011, 18 members states of the European Union have minimum wage laws.

The law however is very vast, and an employer would need to know about worker’s compensations, labor relations, social security, and many other things to fully understand it. Not understanding the intricacy of the law can be dangerous to the owner of a business, and it can attract several issues. It is important for an owner to acquire the services of a professional that can assess the situation and make sure that there are no irregularities in his business model as far as employment goes.

On the other hand, it is also important for employees to take proper action in case they are taken advantage of. Overtime lawyers in Dallas, for example work specifically to protect the workers from any wrongdoing. These type of lawyers are also there to help them understand what needs to be done to gain what is rightfully theirs.

Employers taking advantage of their workers is not a new or unheard-of concept. And this is why it is important for employees to not fall victim to any scheme, and to follow suit in case they notice deviations from the law. Employers are required to keep detailed time records for their workers, and to pay one and a half times the regular pay rate for any worker doing overtime.

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