There are three employment law trends that employers are following. The three labor law areas are Wage and Hour laws; sexual orientation, religious and disability discrimination and violence and bullying. Wage and Hour law violations remain the number one area of violation.
According to the Department of Labor more than 80 percent of employers are not in compliance with federal and state wage and hour laws. Wage and hour claims also account for nearly 85 percent of all employment class action lawsuits. One labor law expert says that so many violations occur in the area of Wage and Hour because managers and employees simply do not know the applicable rules.
Sexual orientation, religious and disability discrimination are other areas of labor law where employees’ rights can be overlooked. Generally, many employers provide training on sexual harassment and sexual discrimination; however, claims based on discrimination are moving away from sex-based claims. Employee rights claims under the Americans with Disabilities Act hit a record high last year with over 25,000 claims, and the expansion the ADA will probably allow for a greater amount of employee rights to be enforced. Religious discrimination over the last year also rose particularly regarding claims filed by Muslim Americans who felt they were being discriminated against by their employer. Claims filed by Muslim Americans rose 11 percent.
Finally, an area of employees’ rights that may not be well known outside of labor law circles is violence and bullying committed in the workplace. Nearly 1.7 million employees in the United States are injured every year by assaults in the workplace. Additionally, 20 percent of violent crime occurs in the workplace.
Source: Business2Community.com, “Top employment law trends that should be at the forefront of employer’s minds,” Han Ma, 4/16/11