You work. You pay taxes. Then…You Work Some More.

You spend your entire life waiting to be an adult, and when that moment comes, you determine life stinks. You’ve got bills to pay, and entry-level jobs may involve burgers and fries. There are many good jobs, too.

If you plan on working for a living rather than sitting on a couch watching Netflix, labor law is a great area to dig into. You’ll want to become familiar with some of the government agencies and regulations that keep you safe and help you to know your rights.

The US Department of Labor regulates all things that have to do with hiring, firing, and working. These laws come to you courtesy of 100 years of US history, from the industrial period to present. Activists, labor unions, and grassroots movements have fought for things like the 40 hour workweek, time and a half wages for overtime and certain conditions, and other key employee rights. The Department of Labor protects employers, too.

The Occupational Health and Safety Administration falls under the Dept of Labor.  OSHA is responsible for reducing industrial and workplace accidents throughout the nation.

Critical questions: 

Which regulations and laws protect you as an employee? How? Are there any that hinder you?

How do you navigate the system if you encounter a labor situation that needs resolution? Which laws apply, and how do get through the red tape.

Where do you see employees making changes to labor laws in the news today?

What are some unique situations where labor law might apply to special groups such as teens, older people, or people of different races, religions, or ethnicities?

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