Employers Violation of Workers' Rights

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If employers violate their employees' rights

They expose themselves to penalties that range from marginal corrective measures to firm financial punishments and under rare situations, prison sentences. The Occupational Health and Safety Administration (OSHA) and Department of Labor (DOL) have frequently raised the punishments for violation of employment laws in the recent past (Steiner & Steiner, 1994). For instance, there was the enactment of the Federal Civil Penalties Inflation Adjustment Act. This Act requires adjustment of civil monetary penalties by federal agencies yearly. Therefore, since the enactment, the OSHA and DOL have constantly been updating their fines yearly. In 2017, the OSHA and DOL released a publication on civil penalty increases. Thus, an employee to stay out of trouble on matters pertaining employees' right at the workplace, they should make sure they conduct a thorough periodical appraisal of job classifications and payroll practices because there is a frequent change in laws and reworking of job classifications. Lastly, employers must embark on the proper classification of their employees since this will help them in determining those eligible for overtime.

Labor unions and employers

Are not permitted by the National Labor Relations Act (NLRA) to interfere with the rights enjoyed by the employees to participate in strenuous activities. NLR board is tasked with investigating situations where employers are faced with charges on unfair labor practices. The board administrative law judges conduct an inquiry analogous to arbitration and provide their decision on the matter. Afterwards, employees are urged to file an appeal with courts of appeal when they feel that they are not in agreement with the judgment of the board; in some situations, they are allowed to do so in the United States' Supreme Court. However, a lot of time is consumed during the appeal time since the court can take several months to resolve unfair labor practice matter. Also, there is an exorbitant amount of money that is pumped in the process. The penalties for violation of this policy vary from postage of rights of employee notices to reinstating employees that were fired for taking part in concerted activities and possibly awarding back pays.

Through the 1993 Fair Labor Standards Act

There was an establishment of workplace standards of recompense fairness that consists of necessities of implementation. Policies that pertain to the child labor, length of the workweek, overtime, and federal minimum wage attracts heavy penalties and prison term for mainly egregious violation. These acts apply to public agencies, employers that are participating in interstate commerce as well as those who earn $500,000 or more as their total sales (LLP, 2016). However, small businesses are exempted from some states by their respective minimum wage regulations. States such as Oklahoma, Minnesota, and Montana have set a lower minimum wage for companies with low earnings. On the other hand, the Department of Labor Wage and Hour Division have the authority of levying penalties and fines against employers that are not complying. Usually, employee wage grievances aired by employees that are filed with the Department of Labor triggers probe. The probe is concerned with the detailed accusations of a personal employee, and the record-keeping practices of the employer, pay and time records for each employee and ways in which the employer categories exempted and non-exempted employees (Hendry & Saleh,2014). Therefore, the Department of Labor is mandated to impose fines against the employer; demand back pays to the employees that have been affected and reveal the probe and the received result to the media.

Certain employers are required by the Family Medical Leave Act (FMLA)

To avail to eligible employees up to twelve weeks of unpaid, job-secured leave. Additionally, employers are expected to place notices in the workplace informing their workers about their FMLA policies and rights. Employees' complaints about FMLA are handled and probed by the Department of Labor Wage and Hour Division. Each record that concern FMLA of employer procedures are fairly handled. When the probe justifies that there was a wrongful discharge of employee, a referral is immediately made to the United States' Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) for a thorough and comprehensive probe to be done and to make a determination whether a wrong discharge took place in relation to the factors that are non-job-related. Those employers that are found to be in violation of the notice-posting requirement can suffer $110 as a total penalty. More severe violations, for instance, dismissing a worker after returning to their workplace, amounts to the employee being awarded back pay, interests, and recall.

Employers failing to comply with particular prerequisites under various federal labor laws

Are likely to face the ever increasing penalties starting with civil penalties. The essential penalty increases that have been recently announced by the United States DOL address various labor violations. In 2016, there was a $1,894 to $1,925 jump in the DOL's penalty for willingly violating minimum wage for the FLSA. DOL further increased overtime policies from$1,894 to $1,925. Next, the penalties for violation of law's posting prerequisites by the Family Medical Leave Act (FMLA) jumped from $163 to $166 for every distinct contravention; this increase came after jumping from $110 in 2015. Similarly, the highest penalty by OSHA for severe violations jumped to $12,675 to $12,471 in 2016, and formerly, it was only $7,000. OSHA further raised its highest penalty for recurrent violation to $126,749 from $124,709 in the same year; whereas, in the preceding year, the fine stood at $70,000 (Martin, 2016). The Employee Retirement Income Security Act (ERISA) increased another penalty that penalized employers for not availing summaries of benefit and coverage to victim employees from $1,087 to $1,105. These new civil penalties amounts are reviewed yearly and take effect immediately after evaluations and implementations have been done.

To conclude, these kinds of penalties have many adverse effects on the business of the employer

A significant number of companies in the United States have fully come to terms with the fact that the era seeing OSHA and various fines that are related to employment as small sections of the cost of operation is over. The jump in the penalties in 2016 has resulted in a substantial financial effect on emerging businesses as well as businesses that found it challenging in prioritizing the execution of appropriate measures. Increases that have been noted in 2017 indicate that the intentions of dols of encouraging compliance by the rise of monetary penalties. Since these penalties are projected to increase in future frequently, businesses that find it hard to comply will continue to suffer substantial financial losses each financial year.


Hendry, T. T., & Saleh, A. (2014). Labor & Employment Law. Syracuse L. Rev., 64, 827.

LLP, F. &. (2016,). EEOC Increases Penalty for Violating Notice Posting Requirements

 By 150 Percent. Lexology.

Martin, F. F. (2016). DOL Increases Penalties for ERISA Compliance Violations. Society For     Human Resource Management.

Steiner, G. A., & Steiner, J. F. (1994). Business, government, and society (p. 185). New York.

September 11, 2023

Business Life

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Company Labor

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