179 © 2007-
Insurance & Employee Benefits
The Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA-
The Wage and Hour Division also enforces the labor standards provisions of the Immigration and Nationality Act (INA) that apply to aliens authorized to work in the U.S. under certain nonimmigrant visa programs (H-
The Occupational Safety and Health (OSH) Act is administered by the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA). Safety and health conditions in most private industries are regulated by OSHA or OSHA-
The Longshore and Harbor Workers' Compensation Act (LHWCA), administered by The Office of Workers Compensation Programs (OWCP), provides for compensation and medical care to certain maritime employees (including a longshore worker or other person in longshore operations, and any harbor worker, including a ship repairer, shipbuilder, and shipbreaker) and to qualified dependent survivors of such employees who are disabled or die due to injuries that occur on the navigable waters of the United States, or in adjoining areas customarily used in loading, unloading, repairing or building a vessel.
The Energy Employees Occupational Illness Compensation Program Act (EEOICPA) is a compensation program that provides a lump-
The Federal Employees' Compensation Act (FECA), 5 U.S.C. 8101 et seq., establishes a comprehensive and exclusive workers' compensation program which pays compensation for the disability or death of a federal employee resulting from personal injury sustained while in the performance of duty. The FECA, administered by OWCP, provides benefits for wage loss compensation for total or partial disability, schedule awards for permanent loss or loss of use of specified members of the body, related medical costs, and vocational rehabilitation.
The Black Lung Benefits Act (BLBA) provides monthly cash payments and medical benefits to coal miners totally disabled from pneumoconiosis ("black lung disease") arising from their employment in the nation's coal mines. The statute also provides monthly benefits to a deceased miner's survivors if the miner's death was due to black lung disease.
The Employee Retirement Income Security Act (ERISA) regulates employers who offer pension or welfare benefit plans for their employees. Title I of ERISA is administered by the Employee Benefits Security Administration (EBSA) (formerly the Pension and Welfare Benefits Administration) and imposes a wide range of fiduciary, disclosure and reporting requirements on fiduciaries of pension and welfare benefit plans and on others having dealings with these plans. These provisions preempt many similar state laws. Under Title IV, certain employers and plan administrators must fund an insurance system to protect certain kinds of retirement benefits, with premiums paid to the federal government's Pension Benefit Guaranty Corporation (PBGC). EBSA also administers reporting requirements for continuation of health-
The Paul Wellstone and Pete Domenici Mental Health Parity and Addiction Equity Act of 2008 (MHPAEA) is a federal law that generally prevents group health plans and health insurance issuers that provide mental health and substance use disorder (MH/SUD) benefits from imposing less favorable benefit limitations on those benefits than on medical/surgical coverage.
Most labor and public safety laws and many environmental laws mandate whistleblower protections for employees who complain about violations of the law by their employers. Remedies can include job reinstatement and payment of back wages. OSHA enforces the whistleblower protections in most laws.
Certain persons who serve in the armed forces have a right to reemployment with the employer they were with when they entered service. This includes those called up from the reserves or National Guard. These rights are administered by the
Veterans' Employment and Training Service (VETS).
This law bars most employers from using lie detectors on employees, but permits polygraph tests only in limited circumstances. It is administered by the Wage and Hour Division.
Garnishment of employee wages by employers is regulated under the Consumer Credit Protection Act (CCPA) which is administered by the Wage and Hour Division.
Administered by the Wage and Hour Division, the Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA) requires employers of 50 or more employees to give up to 12 weeks of unpaid, job-
Veterans and other eligible persons have special employment rights with the federal government. They are provided preference in initial hiring and protection in reductions in force. Claims of violation of these rights are investigated by the Veterans' Employment and Training Service (VETS).
Recipients of government contracts, grants or financial aid are subject to wage, hour, benefits, and safety and health standards under:
Administration and enforcement of these laws are by The Wage and Hour Division. The Office of Federal Contract Compliance Programs (OFCCP) administers and enforces three federal contract-
The Migrant and Seasonal Agricultural Worker Protection Act (MSPA) regulates the hiring and employment activities of agricultural employers, farm labor contractors, and associations using migrant and seasonal agricultural workers. The Act prescribes wage protections, housing and transportation safety standards, farm labor contractor registration requirements, and disclosure requirements. The Wage and Hour Division administers this law.
The Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) exempts agricultural workers from overtime premium pay, but requires the payment of the minimum wage to workers employed on larger farms (farms employing more than approximately seven full-
The Immigration and Nationality Act (INA) requires employers who want to use foreign temporary workers on H-
The Federal Mine Safety and Health Act of 1977 (Mine Act) covers all people who work on mine property. The Mine Safety and Health Administration (MSHA) administers this Act.
The Mine Act holds mine operators responsible for the safety and health of miners; provides for the setting of mandatory safety and health standards, mandates miners' training requirements; prescribes penalties for violations; and enables inspectors to close dangerous mines. The safety and health standards address numerous hazards including roof falls, flammable and explosive gases, fire, electricity, equipment rollovers and maintenance, airborne contaminants, noise, and respirable dust. MSHA enforces safety and health requirements at more than 13,000 mines, investigates mine accidents, and offers mine operators training, technical and compliance assistance.
Several agencies administer programs related solely to the construction industry. OSHA has special occupational safety and health standards for construction; The Wage and Hour Division, under Davis-
Most laws with labor provisions regulating the transportation industry are administered by agencies outside the Department of Labor. However, longshoring and maritime industry safety and health standards are issued and enforced by OSHA. The Longshoring and Harbor Workers' Compensation Act (LHWCA), requires employers to assure that workers' compensation is funded and available to eligible employees. In addition, the rights of employees in the mass transit industry are protected when federal funds are used to acquire, improve, or operate a transit system. Under the Federal Transit law, the Department of Labor is responsible for approving employee protection arrangements before the department of Transportation can release funds to grantees.
Such occurrences may be subject to the Worker Adjustment and Retraining Notification Act (WARN). WARN offers employees early warning of impending layoffs or plant closings. The Employment and Training Administration (ETA) provides information to the public on WARN, though neither ETA nor the Department of Labor has administrative responsibility for the statute, which is enforced through private action in the federal courts.
For more details and guidance on laws and regulations covered in this fact sheet, call the appropriate Department of Labor agency listed in your phone book under U.S. Government.
Other federal agencies besides the Department of Labor enforce laws and regulations that affect employers.
For more information on these laws, consult these agencies; they are listed in your phone book under U.S. Government.
Source: Summary of the Major Laws of the Department of Labor from the Department of Labor Web Site 06/06/2010