_____________ Law includes statutes, regulatory, and case law designed to protect workers from discrimination in the workplace and also includes health and safety, as well as income protection, legislation.
Employment. The basic purpose of Employment Law is to foster a workplace which is safe and fair for employees. Most states have employment laws which mirror federal statutes, especially in the areas of minimum wage and maximum hour standards. On the other hand, some federal statutes were developed as a result of widespread state employment laws.
Every state has a workers' ___________ statute which requires an employer to pay financial benefits to an employee for injuries or illnesses arising out of the course of employment, regardless of who was at fault.
Compensation. All states have a Workers' Compensation statute--employees who are injured or contract an illness arising out of the course of their employment are entitled to compensation, regardless of who is at fault. However, the workers are required to relinquish their right to sue their employers for these injuries or illnesses, or even death.
___________ Trading is prohibited by the Securities Exchange Act of 1934 and is where a person trades stocks based on nonpublic information.
Insider. Insider trading is where a person trades stocks on the basis of information that is not available to the public even though he has a duty to withhold that information or refrain from trading. For example, if the CEO of the company knows that big news is about to be released, and gets his relatives to buy stock on the basis of that news, they are engaging in insider trading.
Under Workers' Compensations statutes, companies are required to pay employees financial benefits for worker injuries and illnesses. For many companies, this means purchasing Workers' Compensation _____________.
Insurance. Companies are held responsible for paying workers' compensation benefits; for many, this means purchasing workers' compensation insurance. Another option is paying into a state fund. Some companies are large enough and have enough assets that they can be considered self-insured.
The main federal statute designed to foster a safe and healthy workplace is the ____________ Safety and Health Act of 1970.
Occupational. The Occupational Safety and Health Act of 1970 requires employers to provide workplaces free from serious recognized hazards and to comply with occupational safety and health standards. It also establishes OSHA--the Occupational Safety and Health Administration to enforce these standards.
To enforce its standards, the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) conducts unannounced _______________.
Inspections. OSHA conducts unannounced inspections at worksites, most commonly due to complaints or accidents. The highest priority sites for inspections are those which have had a life-threatening situation or accidents involving deaths or three or more workers injured severely enough to require hospitalization.
The Occupational Health and Safety Act not only created OSHA; it also created the _______________ for Occupational Safety and Health to advise OSHA on new health and safety rules or regulations.
Institute. The National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health was created to perform research on health and safety standards and recommend new standards and regulations to the Occupational Health and Safety Administration (OSHA).
The Occupational Safety and Health _____________ Commission was created under the Occupational Safety and Health Act to review appeals from OSHA's decisions.
Review. The Occupational Safety and Health Review Commission was created to review appeals from the Occupational Safety and Health Administration's (OSHA's) decisions.
The ____________ and Medical Leave Act (FMLA) requires employers to provide up to 12 weeks of unpaid leave of absence within a 12 month period to eligible employees who have just experienced the birth or adoption of a child, or a serious illness in the family.
Family. The Family and Medical Leave Act applies to governmental employers and private employers of at least fifty workers. To be eligible, an employee must give reasonable notice and have worked for the employer for at least one year.
One of the requirements of the Family and Medical Leave Act is that employees who take unpaid leave due to this act be allowed to return to the same or equivalent jobs, with the same pay and benefits. However, this requirement does not always apply to the highest-paid ______ percent of an employer's workforce.
10. The highest-paid 10% may not be guaranteed their jobs back upon returning from unpaid leave, as the Family and Medical Leave Act allows employers to exempt that group from the guarantee. While the FMLA applies to all governmental employers, it only applies to private employers who have 50 or more employees.
Title VII of the ______________ Act forbids discrimination by employers on the basis of race, color, sex, religion or national origin.
Civil. Title VII of the Civil Rights Act forbids discrimination by employers, but only for certain protected classes of people. Sexual orientation is not one of those protected classes, and federal courts have upheld in numerous occasions that the Civil Rights Act does not prohibit discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation.
When state laws are more generous than the federal Family and Medical Leave Act, an employer is bound to abide by the ________ law. (state or federal?)
State. If the state law is more generous, than that is the law the employer is required to abide by over the FMLA. Likewise, if the employment contract is more generous than both the state and federal laws, that is binding.
The _____________ Standards Act of 1938 provides for a minimum wage and overtime entitlement, and includes provisions for restricting child labor.
Fair labor. The Fair Labor Standards Act establishes a minimum wage, sets a "time and a half" overtime pay standard, forbids employment of children under the age of 14, and sets restrictions for the employment of children less than 18 years old.
Under the Fair Labor Standards Act, employment of children under the age of ________ years old is illegal.
14. The Fair Labor Standards Act forbids the employment of children under the age of 14. It also sets restrictions on the employment of 14 and 15 year olds to nonschool hours in nonhazardous positions. Children under the age of 18 are not permitted to work in hazardous positions.
The Fair Labor Standards Act requires an overtime pay rate of _____ percent of the normal wage rate.
150. The FLSA mandates "time and a half," which is 150 percent of the normal wage rate.
Minimum wage is established in the ___________________ Act of 1938.
Fair labor. The Fair Labor Standards Act establishes a minimum wage. However, employers may pay lower than minimum wage if they make up for the difference with rewards such as food or lodging. In professions which include making a tip of at least $20 per month, half of the tip can be counted as part of the salary.
The ____________ Relations Act of 1935, popularly known as the Wagner Act, was designed to protect workers' rights to unionization, and guarantees the right of employees to organize and to bargain collectively with their employers.
National. The National Labor Relations Act (NLRA) is usually referred to as the Wagner Act. The most important aspect of the NLRA was that it guaranteed workers' rights to collectively bargain with employers.
The Fair Labor Standards Act is enforced by the U.S. Department of _________.
Labor. The U.S. Department of Labor enforces the FLSA. The Secretary of Labor has the power to sue for back wages, a civil penalty, and injunctions. Private parties also have the right to sue for back wages and a civil penalty.
Unemployment compensation exists as a ___________-level insurance system. Basically all private employers are required to participate in the unemployment compensation program.
State. Unemployment compensation is a state insurance system, with the employer, as well as the state and federal governments, making contributions to unemployment insurance. To be eligible, a worker who is unemployed must have lost his job through no fault of his own, as well as have worked a minimum time period or earned a minimum amount of wages.
Employers contribute to unemployment insurance plans in the form of a _______.
Tax. Employers pay a tax, which is determined by the number of employees, their wages, and the company's history of keeping and discharging employees. The length of time for and the amount of unemployment compensation varies from state to state, with federally set minimums.
A ___________ mistake of a material fact in a contract keeps the contract from being necessarily binding--the contract may be cancelled.
Mutual. A mutual mistake of a material fact or both parties were mistaken or made a mistake in a basic, or material feature of the contract, is grounds to cancel a contract. However, a unilateral mistake, where only one party is mistaken, is not. There is an exception, if the mistake is made by one party, but the other party knows about the mistake and says nothing--the contract may be cancelled.
In addition to unemployment compensation, additional income protection is provided through the Worker _____________ and Retraining Notification Act of 1989.
Adjustment. The Worker Adjustment and Retraining Notification Act of 1989 requires companies with more than 100 employees to provide notice 60 days in advance of covered plant closings and covered mass layoffs.
The ____________ Act of 1935 enacted a series of social welfare programs for the aged, disabled, and dependents.
Social Security. The Social Security Act was originally enacted in 1935, and has undergone many revisions. It provides money to citizens who have no income due to death, disability, or retirement, and is paid for by mandatory employee and employer contributions to the Social Security Trust Fund. The Social Security Act is administered by the Social Security Administration.
The Employment _____________________ Security Act (ERISA) regulates private retirement pension plans, dealing with reporting, disclosure, participation, and vesting.
Retirement. The Employment Retirement Income Security Act (ERISA) does not require that employers establish a pension; however, ERISA's purpose is to ensure that employee benefits plans that do get created are created fairly, administered and maintained appropriately, and provided to retiring employees as promised by their employer.
One of the aspects ERISA regulates in pension plans is ___________, which happens within a certain period of time, when employees have a right to receive retirement benefits promised to them by their employer.
Vesting. Vesting occurs after a certain period of time--it is possible for retirement benefits to vest, or be owed to an employee, when the employee terminates employment, but before he reaches retirement age. ERISA contains complex vesting requirements that determine at what rate an employee's pension benefits vest--for some employees it will be faster than others.
For a contract to be enforceable on the basis of valid consideration, a person's performance does not have to involve doing something, rather it can involve refraining from doing something. ______________ is a promise not to do something that one could legally do.
Forbearance. Forbearance is a promise to refrain from doing something you are allowed to do. For example, if an adult promises to give up smoking as his side of the contract, that would be considered forbearance, and would be valid consideration.
___________ is oral defamation--oral communication of false statements to injure a person's reputation.
Slander. Slander is false oral communication to a third person--telling a person false things about him to his face is not slander.
Under ERISA (Employee Retirement Income Security Act), a Pension Benefit ____________ Corporation was established to help insure pension benefits.
Guarantee. The Pension Benefit Guaranty Corporation was created to help insure pension benefits.
ERISA (Employee Retirement Income Security Act) is enforced and administered by the Department of Labor and the _________.
IRS. The IRS (Internal Revenue Service) and the Department of Labor's Pension and Welfare Benefits Administration administer and enforce ERISA. Private parties can also bring civil actions alleging pension mismanagement or fraud.
If a person engages in outrageous conduct inflicting emotional distress, that person can be sued on the grounds of an _______________.
Intentional. He can be sued on the grounds of an "intentional tort." There are two types of torts--intentional torts, and torts of negligence. Intentional infliction of emotional distress, such as outrageous behavior, can count as an intentional tort. For example, putting a garden snake in someone's bed, or falsely telling a person that his daughter was hit by a car, could be considered outrageous conduct.
A worker without an employment contract is known as an "____________" employee.
At-will. Such an employee is called an "at-will" employee--before certain federal and state statutes were passed, such an employee could quit at any time or be fired at any time for any reason.
Due to the Doctrine of ______________, "at-will" employees can no longer be fired by a company for any reason; certain reasons are unacceptable.
Abusive. The Doctrine of Abusive Discharge basically means that certain reasons are not acceptable for firing an employee--i.e. race, sex, religion, an employee refuses to engage in antitrust violations or reports criminal activity by his employer, etc. An employee who was abusively, or wrongfully discharged, is entitled to sue for damages.
A response to an advertisement for a job opening is an ________ (offer or acceptance?).
Offer. If a person submits their resume in response to a job posting, they are making an offer. The advertisement does not count as an offer, and does not bind the employer in any way. The person submits his resume, which is an offer, and the employer can either accept or reject the resume.
In an at-will employment relationship, the ____________ is free to quit.
Employee. The employee is always free to quit his job; however, even in an at-will employment relationship, for the employer there are restrictions on the reasons for firing an employee. For example, if an employee is fired because he is about to become entitled to a bonus, or because he asked his superiors to obey certain business laws, it would be considered an abusive discharge and he can sue for damages.
Federal courts have the power of ____________, which is the power to review laws to see if they are allowed under the Constitution or if they violate other U.S. laws.
Judicial. Judicial review is the power federal courts have to review laws and the action of government and rule whether they are in violation of U.S. law or the Constitution.
The most significant employment law dealing with anti-discrimination is Title VII of the ____________ Act of 1964.
Civil Rights. Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 outlaws discrimination based on race, color, religion, sex, or national origin in all aspect of employment--i.e. hiring, firing, promotion, compensation, etc..
The Securities ____________ Act of 1934 created the SEC to regulate the securities industry, and prohibits certain types of conduct in the market, such as insider trading.
Exchange. The Securities Exchange Act of 1934 created the SEC (Securities and Exchange Commission) which regulates brokerage firms, the New York Stock Exchange, etc. One of the practices it prohibits and investigates is insider trading.
Title VII of the Civil Rights Act, the Equal Pay Act, and other equal employment laws are enforced by the Equal Employment _____________ Commission.
Opportunity. The Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) was established by the Equal Employment Opportunity Act, and coordinates all federal equal employment opportunity regulations, practices, and policies.
If an individual believes he has been discriminated against in employment, he would file an administrative charge with the ___________.
Equal employment. He would file a charge with the EEOC (Equal Employment Opportunity Commission). The EEOC then investigates the charge, and if it finds "reasonable cause" to believe that discrimination occurred, it will try to reach a voluntary agreement. Otherwise, it will bring a lawsuit against the employer or issue a Right-to-Sue notice to the charging party.
Title ________ of the Civil Rights Act is the most important anti-discriminatory employment statute; it outlaws discrimination in all aspects of employment on the basis of an individual's race, color, religion, sex, or national origin.
7. Title VII of the Civil Rights Act is the most important employment statute concerning discrimination. Other statutes include the Equal Pay Act, Age Discrimination in Employment Act, and the Americans with Disabilities Act.
Title VII of the Civil Rights Act does not only ban practices of overt discrimination. Under the ___________ treatment scenario, the plaintiff's argument is that the employer treats some people less favorably than others because of their race, color, religion, sex, or national origin.
Disparate. The Disparate Treatment scenario is where an individual claims discrimination occurred, although discriminatory motives are not immediately obvious. The plaintiff must prove that there was discriminatory intent.
Disparate treatment is one of the scenarios for non-overt discrimination. Under the ___________ Impact, also called Disparate Impact, scenario, the plaintiff argues that an employer's practice which seems neutral is actually harmful to a group covered under Title VII.
Adverse. The Adverse Impact, or Disparate Impact, scenario is where a plaintiff argues that an employer's practice--i.e. tests, weight requirements, etc.--has an unequal negative impact on one of the groups covered by Title VII. Unlike the Disparate Treatment scenario, the plaintiff does not have to prove that there were discriminatory motives, merely that the effect is discriminatory.
In addition to Disparate Treatment and Adverse Impact scenarios in discrimination suits, discrimination may also be inferred through a pervasive _________ or practice of discrimination.
Pattern. A pervasive pattern or practice of discrimination can be inferred through statistics. An examples is if a certain group covered under Title VII makes up a majority of the local labor market, but only a small percentage of the defendant employer's workforce consists of that group. However, the employer may provide evidence showing that this is not a result of discrimination.
One of the types of sexual harassment is ________ pro quo--a superior threatens an employee with the loss of a job benefit or a change in work conditions unless he/she submits to the superior's sexual demands.
Quid. This is called quid pro quo, which means "this for that." Quid pro quo harassment can include a woman being fired because she ends a romantic relationship with her boss, an employee being denied a promotion for refusing sexual relations with a superior, etc..
A mutual mistake in a contract is grounds for cancellation. A ____________ mistake, on the other hand, is not.
Unilateral. A unilateral mistake, or a mistake by one party, is not grounds for cancellation. However, if the other party knows of the mistake, and says nothing, the contract is not binding. For example, if a person states that the selling price is $75 when he meant $85, and the buyer knows that he meant to say $85, but says nothing and pays $75, the contract is not binding.
There are two types of sexual harassment. _____________ sexual harassment is where unwelcome sexual advances, requests for sexual favors, or other verbal or physical conduct of a sexual nature create an intimidating, hostile, or offensive working environment.
Environment. This is known as "work environment" sexual harassment. The other type is quid pro quo sexual harassment. The EEOC (Equal Employment Opportunity Commission) has issued guidelines on sexual harassment, and holds employers strictly liable for both types of harassment when higher-level managers knew about it and did not take corrective action.
To win a sexual harassment case, a plaintiff does not need to prove that job performance was impaired. He only needs to prove that working conditions were altered in a discriminatory way. This was established as a result of _________ v. Forklift Systems, Inc..
Harris. Harris v. Forklift Systems, Inc. established that work environment sexual harassment is proven according to a "reasonableness" standard. Harassment does not need to be severe enough to cause psychological injury, just reasonably perceivable as hostile or abusive.
Government administrative agencies have the power to enact rules and regulations. Such power qualifies as a ______________ function.
Quasi. The power to enact rules and regulations is a quasi-legislative function, since the agencies wield executive authority, but such powers are associated with legislatures.
Courts have the power to impose _________ on employers found guilty of intentional discrimination. These are policies which require certain numbers or percentages of minorities or women to be hired or promoted.
Quotas. Quotas require employers to hire or promote from within certain groups, even if it means better qualified people are turned away. Quotas have become increasingly rare due to "reverse discrimination" suits arguing that a quota is illegal discrimination.
_________________ programs are used to recruit and select qualified individuals from an underutilized applicant pool.
Affirmative. Affirmative Action programs seek to redress past discrimination through active measures to ensure equal opportunity. They are different from quotas, and involve aggressively recruiting as diverse an applicant pool as possible. Government contractors and others receiving federal funds are required to have affirmative action programs, and for private firms, such programs are voluntary.
Quotas and Affirmative Action programs have led to claims of ___________ discrimination, discrimination against members of a dominant or majority group.
Reverse. Reverse discrimination is discrimination against members of a majority or dominant group. The argument is that policies established to correct discrimination against members of a minority or disadvantaged group often result in other groups being discriminated against.
The ____________ Act is an amendment to the Fair Labor Standards Act, and makes it unlawful for employers to discriminate between men and women in terms of their contracts of employment.
Equal pay. The Equal Pay Act requires that men and women performing essentially equal work receive not just the same pay, but also the same benefits. The Equal Pay Act merely outlaws differences in pay on the basis of sex--employers can still differentiate between employee salaries on the basis of seniority, merit, etc..
The Age Discrimination in Employment Act of 1967 specifically outlaws job discrimination against people who are ______ years of age and older.
40. ADEA outlaws discrimination against people 40 years old or older. Sometimes, age is an actual qualification for a position, and in such special cases it is allowed. Also, certain benefits can be reduced for such employees if it is justified by the costs involved--i.e. life insurance costing more for a 50-year old than a 20-year old.
Title VII of the Civil Rights Act prohibits discrimination in employment on the basis of race, color, religion, sex, or national origin. However, exceptions are allowed if such a factor is a ____________ for the position.
Qualification. Discrimination is allowed if it is based on a qualification for the position. For example, for the position of church minister, religion is one of the qualifications for the position, and is a valid discriminator.
The ____________ Discrimination Act of 1978 states that discrimination on the basis of pregnancy, childbirth or related medical conditions constitutes unlawful sex discrimination.
Pregnancy. The Pregnancy Discrimination Act is an amendment to Title VII of the Civil Rights Act. It requires employers to treat women affected by pregnancy or related conditions in the same manner as other applicants or employees with similar abilities or limitations. Employers cannot force a pregnant woman to take a leave of absence if she is still capable of performing her duties.
The Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990 guarantees equal employment opportunity for individuals with mental or physical disabilities. However, employers are not required to hire disabled individuals that would result in _______________ for the employer.
Undue. Employees whose disabilities would result in "undue hardship" are not guaranteed accommodation by an employer. For example, if hiring such an individual would require significant difficulty or expense, or if an employer can show "business necessity," he is not in violation of ADA by refusing to hire that person.
Regents of the U of California v. _________ is one of the most famous Supreme Court decisions concerning state affirmative action programs.
Bakke. In Regents of the U of California v. Bakke, the Supreme Court ruled that race could be one of the factors considered in choosing a diverse student body; however, it outlawed the use of quotas in such affirmative action programs. Another famous affirmative action case was City of Richmond v. Croson.
In City of ____________ v. Croson, a major Supreme Court case regarding affirmative action, a program setting aside 30% of city construction funds for black-owned firms was challenged.
Richmond. The Supreme Court ruled in City of Richmond v. Croson that affirmative action must be subject to "strict scrutiny" and is unconstitutional unless racial discrimination can be proven to be "widespread throughout a particular industry.
The Equal Pay Act provides for equal pay and benefits for individuals regardless of sex performing equal work. However, a proposed ____________ worth, instead of equal worth, standard is under consideration by state and local governments.
Comparable. A comparable worth standard would involve jobs which are arguably worth essentially the same--i.e. equal wages for men performing construction work and women secretaries. A "comparable worth" standard has been rejected in federal law.