Americans with Disabilities Act

The Americans With Disabilities Act attempts to eliminate potential discrimination against individuals with disabilities. This act places the federal government at the forefront of implementing standards that businesses should follow. This act applies to businesses that employ 15 people or more.

Businesses should provide reasonable accommodation to workers with disabilities. Accommodations can include job restructuring, modifying work schedules, reassigning individuals to new positions, purchasing supportive equipment, providing additional training, and using tools for communicating with workers. Businesses are allowed to implement qualification standards to address health and safety to an employee and their counterparts.

Federal Child Labor Laws

The rules and regulations that govern workers under the age of 18 and those above 18 are relatively similar. Students should gain familiarity with the Fair Labor Standards Act, Occupational Safety and Act, hazardous occupations regulations, and discrimination. Understanding the implications of these acts and regulations will help guide students to having positive work experiences and gain reasoning behind why businesses take specific actions.

The Fair Labor Standards Act is pertinent to students under 18. This act provides students with a better understanding of minimum wage, overtime, and record-keeping. The Occupational Safety and Act meanwhile seeks to provide workers with a safe work environment that complies with OSHA. The hazardous occupations regulations guide workers under the age of 18 as it relates to excavation, manufacturing, mining, and utilizing power-driven equipment—furthermore, regulations applicable to workers under the age of 16. Finally, discrimination can occur in many different forms. Guiding discrimination, one can review the equal employment opportunity laws.

State Child Labor Laws

Minnesota has established state child labor laws. The minimum age in which a student can begin employment occurs at the age of 14 except for a couple of categories where employment could occur earlier provided parental/guardian consent. For students under the age of 16, specific standards must be maintained. They are only allowed to work between 7 AM and 9 PM with no more than 18 hours per week and three workdays. Students who are 16 to 17 are unable to work after 11 PM or before 5 AM. For employment purposes, students must provide proof of age.

There are several prohibited occupations for minors. Minors are unable to serve alcohol, work with hazardous materials, and be present at construction sites. Moreover, there are several limitations to the operation or assistance with power-driven machinery.

Data Privacy Laws

The Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA) pertains to the improper release of information coming from school records that makes students identifiable. Personal observations of students and the release of this information does not fall under this act. Additionally, under this act, a school is not required to develop a method for tracking and recording specific information. That information which is kept must have privacy protection.

Students have the opportunity and the right to request and review any educational records. The act does not require information to be shared that is not specific to the student. Schools do not have to record information based on a student’s request.

Fair Labor Standards Act

There are four requirements of this act. First, workers must receive at least a minimum wage. Second, workers accruing time beyond 40 hours shall receive overtime pay. Third, when employing children, certain restrictions shall apply. Fourth, businesses should maintain records of employment.

Overtime pay shall not be less than one and ½ times regular pay. Some minimum-wage exceptions may be applicable for employees who have started within 90 days. Employers must adhere to the act so that students can attend to educational opportunities. Furthermore, employment situations should not put students at risk of health or safety.

Sexual Harassment

Any form of sex discrimination is said to be sexual harassment. Sexual harassment in the workplace may include an unwelcome advance, inappropriate comments, or unwelcome physical contact. Individuals involved with sexual harassment may occur at different levels of the organization, such as managers, coworkers, in addition to customers. Businesses will be held accountable if they are aware of sexual harassment claims and allow it to continue.

All employment organizations should maintain a written policy with the definition of sexual harassment and the resulting measures that may follow due to these actions. Furthermore, the policy should direct employers as to where they may go to air their grievances.