5 Employment Law Basics Managers Need to Know

Managers, supervisors, and other leaders are the captains of an organization from the employees’ standpoint. Why? Because executives make policies and ensure other employees comply.


The law expects employers to protect employee rights. However, the people working behind the scenes are managers and supervisors. On the other hand, you should be aware of the employee rights of California labor laws to ensure you’re protected.


Employment Law Basics

Managers and supervisors should treat all workers fairly and equally. That said, the following are employment law basics to avoid when overstepping legal boundaries.


  1. Discrimination & Harassment

Managers and supervisors are prohibited from firing or refusing to hire, limiting employment opportunities, or discriminating against employees based on:


  • Race;
  • Color;
  • Religion; and
  • National origin, other protected features of employment.


The National Labor Relations Act and other labor laws require managers to help employees do their jobs without focusing on the protected characteristics of employment. Additionally, managers shouldn’t retaliate against workers for speaking out about discrimination or harassment.


  1. Protected Leave Laws

Employees who qualify for leave should be allowed to take time off for the following reasons:

  • Birth of a child;
  • Adoption of a child, or
  • Caring for sick loved ones.

An employee may be entitled to an exigency leave if the sick loved one works in the disciplined forces.



  1. Remuneration & Overtime Pay

Sometimes employees may be required to work extra hours, especially when their employees have a deadline or sensitive projects. The extra hours worked, overtime hours, should be tracked to allow fair compensation. Fair compensation means that an employee who works overtime is entitled to overtime pay in addition to regular salaries. The federal Fair Labor Standards Act requires California employees to be paid time-and-a-half for each overtime hour. However, only non-exempt employees are allowed to work overtime in the U.S.


  1. Employees Safety

Most people spend a significant part of their day at work. With that in mind, workplace safety should be a top priority in every organization. Workplace safety is highlighted under the Occupational Health and Safety Act (OHSA).


OHSA requires employees and managers to be trained to ensure they’re compliant with the provisions of the law. Injured workers are entitled to worker’s compensation and only observe the best safety precautions. Worker’s compensation can include monetary benefits and time off to recover.


  1. State and Local Laws

Most states, including California, their versions of labor have similar laws that are sometimes stricter than the federal laws. For instance, some states have additional protections in addition to the common protected employment characteristics, including stricter wage and hour laws.


Managers are typically held responsible if their organizations are found to be non-compliant with state and federal labor laws. Consequently, the best legal protection for managers is ensuring that they know employee laws in California.


Employees should be treated fairly and equally. Employers, managers, and supervisors should not retaliate when workers exercise their rights.

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