Employment Law

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Employment Law What is employment law and why is it important? That is the questions that this paper is going to discuss. This paper will go over the history of a few of the important acts that have been passed over the years to protect employees in the United States. This will also discuss the major protections that these acts provide and who are eligible for that protection. As well as what are the differences between an independent contractor and an employee. Lastly this will discuss what are the necessary steps a worker do to obtain protection under one of the acts. The first act is the Pregnancy Discrimination Act; this act was put in to place in 1978 as an amendment to title VII.5. According to Cheesman, “This amendment forbids employment discrimination because of pregnancy, childbirth, or related medical conditions. Thus, a work rule that prohibits the hiring of a pregnant women violates Title VII” (2007). The second act is the Americans with Disabilities Act; this act was signed into law on July 26, 1990 and is the largest civil rights legislation since the Civil Rights Act of 1964. Cheesman states that, “The ADA imposes obligations on employers and providers of public transportation, telecommunications, and public accommodations to accommodate individuals with disabilities” (2007). The next act is the Age Discrimination in Employment Act; this act was enacted in 1967. “Primarily, employers have often refused to hire older workers. The Age Discrimination in Employment Act (ADEA), prohibits certain age discrimination practices” (Cheesman, 2007). At the time some employers would use age as a criteria for new hiring’s. Another act is the Family and Medical Leave Act; this act was passed through Congress in February of 1993. This act allows employees an unpaid leave of absence for any medical emergencies. “The act, which applies to companies with 50 or more workers as well as federal, state, and local governments, covers about half of the nation’s workforce” (Cheesman 2007). The last act is Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964; this act was created to eliminate job discrimination based on five protected classes, race, color, national origin, sex and religion. Ok so there is the history of the acts but what exactly does they each protect? With the Pregnancy Discrimination Act prohibits a company from making a rule stating that they will not hire a pregnant woman or a woman that has recently given birth.

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