Labor laws are designed to empower as well as protect workers. They ensure that employer-employee relations are monitored, allowing both parties to be held accountable for their actions.
There is a natural hierarchy between the employer and the employee. However, labor laws help align this imbalance of power so that no employer can exploit their employee, and both parties can equally negotiate with each other about working conditions.
Here is why understanding labor laws is so important:
In a world where each person is after an adequate income at the very least, one must protect oneself. Understanding labor laws allow you to know what your minimum wage should be as an employee. Moreover, you learn the importance of timely and regular payment, especially when it comes to wages.
No employer is allowed to exploit their workers. Therefore, if you are made to work overtime, you should be aware of your employer’s obligation to pay appropriate compensation. Moreover, employers are also usually obligated to pay more when employees are required to work on holidays, weekends, and at night.
Most labor laws stress the importance of reasonable working hours to ensure that each employee has a work-life balance. Workers are given paid annual leave, along with a limit of daily or weekly maximum working hours. This ensures employers do not take advantage of their workers by making them do unnecessary overtime work.
If workers are called into work on a national holiday, they are usually given a compensatory holiday on a different regular working day.
As an employee, your workplace may be responsible for certain aspects of your life. This includes family responsibilities, such as paternity leave, parental leave, and flex-time options. Your workplace should be willing to provide you with paid leave during periods of personal obligations so that you may establish a work-life balance.
Moreover, one of the most important features of universally accepted labor laws is to ensure child protection. Children under the age of 14 are not allowed to work in most places. Strict regulations and rules are enforced to ensure that children only work a few hours a day, if needed. This is essential in order to avoid exploitation of children.
Labor laws also ensure that employees are not made to work in unsafe conditions. In case of health hazards, employers must inform their employees immediately. No information should be concealed. Labor laws ensure that workers are protected, and no laws are violated. Otherwise, there could be grave consequences for the employer in terms of fines or imprisonment.
Labor laws ensure that workers can operate free of discrimination in the workplace. They monitor the employer-employee relationship so that no discrimination can be inflicted on the basis of gender, race, ethnicity, religion, or disability.
Many companies do not pay female employees the same amount for the same work that their male employees do. However, with the presence of labor laws, employees can hold the company liable and ensure that they are given their due rights.