The department of labor is in control of all the programs and regulations that cover all aspects of employment and working conditions affecting millions of workers and businesses. The department ensures that all the workers are working in a safe environment and that they are rightfully paid according to the law. They therefore enforce laws to protect workers against non caring employers. The department also protects the employees from discrimination in their work places especially the pregnant women and people with disabilities.
The department fosters, promotes and develops the welfare of wage earners. This is through the administration of federal labor laws that ensures all the employees receive the required minimum wage per hour and the overtime pay according to the regulated standards for minimum wages and overtime pay. It department has also regulated the minimum amount of hours that children under the age of 16 can work and forbids certain types of jobs that are dangerous for children.
The department also improves the workers working conditions through the Occupation Safety and Health Act. The act regulates safety and health conditions in public sector employers. The private sectors are however regulated by the OSHA act which also regulates some of the public sectors. All industries and companies regulated by these acts are expected to provide safe environment free from serious hazards to their employees. The act also requires the safety and health officers to regularly conduct inspections and investigate the various working conditions in various industries and companies.
The labor department is also required to advance the opportunities for profitable employment.
This is by ensuring that employees receive an annual increase in their pay that is almost proportional to the increase in inflation rate. This therefore raises the standards of living for all employees and indirectly curbs poverty.
The National Labor Relations Act was enacted in 1935 to protect the rights of both employers and employees hence encouraging collective bargaining and to restrict certain practices from the private sector labor that were not promoting the welfare of businesses and workers in the economy. The workers were therefore required to elect representatives to bargain for better working environment on their behalf and were allowed to engage in a public peaceful strike if necessary. He act however excluded the workers covered by the Railways Labor Act, local government workers, domestic employees and independent contractors.
The act legalizes the employees right to engage in collective bargaining by joining trade unions and supporting their own representatives in fighting for their rights such as an increment in payment and demanding for an improvement in the working environment.
The act also enforces laws on unfair labor practices and clearly defines the set of actions that are prohibited from the unions, employers and employees. The various unfair labor practices defined in the section include restraining employees from being part of a trade union to exercise their rights in engaging in collective bargaining, Interfering with the development of any labor organization, discrimination in the line of employment in order to discourage or encourage membership in a certain labor organization, Threatening employees that offer to testify in court or who file labor charges and rejecting bargain offers from representatives selected. The act also allows the various elected representatives to lawfully engage in collective bargain on behalf of the many workers that they represent.
Fossum, J. A. (2014). Labor relations. Mcgraw Hill Higher Educat.
Levi, M., Melo, T., Weingast, B. R., & Zlotnick, F. (2015). Ending a Century of Violent Labor Conflict: A New Perspective on Unionization and the National Labor Relations Act.
Pittman, J. (2015). Facebook, Speech, and the National Labor Relations Act. Southern Journal of Business and Ethics, 7, 150.
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