A law is a system of rules set by an individual or particular groups and organizations to control and regulate their actions. Employment laws, also known as labour law are set to oversee safe workplace and good working relationship between the employer and the employee; it encompasses fair wages, pensions and employment.
In the work place, workers are covered by the employment law if they yield to injury or temporarily disability and laws have been set to cater for employees. Disability can be described as physical or mental situation which leaves a person is incapable of performing his or her duties. Temporarily disability indemnities under workers compensation law vary from state to state. Under the US department of labour, when an employee is injured or becomes ill on the job, he or she may be entitled to disability related leave under two federal laws: the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) and the Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA) (Kleiman, 2000).
Temporary disability at work place occurs in different dimensions and it is addressed under the Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA). This is a federal law which was enacted to assist workers cater for both the job and family duties by giving employees up to 12 weeks of unpaid leave per year on any day and time it occurs, for specific reasons, including to care for an immediate family member who has a serious health condition, pregnancy, impairments and physical and mental conditions (US Bureau of labor statistics, 2010). During FMLA leave, employers must continue employee health insurance benefits and upon completion of the leave, the employee should go back to his or her past job position.
The eligibility for FMLA leave is that a worker must have worked for their employer for up to 12 months and had covered up to 1,250 hours in 12 months prior to the leave (Cornell law school, 1999). The state Workers' Compensation laws also have leave provisions; the workers' Compensation laws do apply to almost all employers, and it is a form of insurance that provides medical care, financial assistance and other benefits for employees who are injured or disabled on the job. Most of workers compensation laws are applied at state level because each state has its own system and rules except for federal government employees and other groups of employees.
An employee considered for benefits if in the present employment, he/she suffers disability due to sickness or an accident and shall be entitled to receive temporary disability benefits. An employee is entitled to benefits only for periods of disability when he or she would have been paid wages from employment. The Employee is entitled to receive temporary disability benefits if the individual has been in employment for at least 14 weeks and had been paid for twenty or more hours and had earned a wage of at least $400 (US Bureau of labor statistics, 2010).
Legislation in US under federal laws requires employers to offer social security benefit, which are monthly benefits to disabled workers; unemployment insurance provides income to unemployed individuals who lost their jobs involuntary. Workers compensation insurance is issued to workers who become sick due to job related reasons, benefits of this insurance include compensation for medical expenses, lost wages accrued in time of injury until the return to the job and also death which is paid to members of the deceased (Kleiman, 2000). Administration of benefits is done by the department through public employment offices or other agencies approved by the director. Disability benefits are a matter of agreement between an employer and an employee or employee's representative and are not required by federal law (Kleiman, 2000).
Employment laws are essential for a manager for administrative purposes, basic information on these laws would help employer to comply with the law and he will be in a position to handle situation as they happen at work place. They also provide an avenue to ensure that the workers receive the due compensation in case of any misfortune or accident that occurs at the workplace.
Cornell Law School, Legal Information Institute. (1999). U.S. Workers Compensation Law. New York. Retrieved online from http://www.law.cornell.edu/topics/workers_compensation.html. On August 20, 2011
Kleiman, L.S. (2000). Human Resource Management: A Tool for Competitive Advantage, South- Western College Publishing; Cincinnati.
US Bureau of labor statistics. (2010). Life and disability insurance benefits vol2, Washington DC, retrieved online from www.bls.gov/ebs. On August 19, 2011.