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Workplace laws

Federal laws require employers to act fairly and protect the health of employees. Review this chart for an overview of the most common laws.

The Department of Labor provides more in-depth explanations of labor laws.

Federal labor laws

Information about

Labor law or act



Age discrimination

Age Discrimination in Employment Act of 1967

Protects employees and applicants over 40 from discrimination based on age

Equal Employment Opportunity Commission

Disability discrimination

Americans with Disabilities Act

Prohibits discrimination against workers with disabilities. It requires employers to make reasonable accommodations

Equal Employment Opportunity Commission

Equal pay between men and women

Equal Pay Act

Requires men and women in the same position to receive equal pay for equal work

Equal Employment Opportunity Commission

Discrimination or harassment based on race, color, sex, age, nationality, genetic information, retaliation for reporting discrimination or harassment

Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964

Prohibits discrimination or harassment based on personal characteristics

Equal Employment Opportunity Commission

Leave to care for family members or for medical leave

Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA)

Allows eligible employees to take unpaid leave to care for family or personal medical reasons. Protects their job and health benefits

Department of Labor’s Wage and Hour Division

Minimum wage, overtime, child labor

Fair Labor Standards Act

Establishes a minimum wage, requires employers to pay overtime, regulates child labor conditions

Department of Labor's Wage and Hour Division

Workplace safety, retaliation for whistleblowing

Occupational Safety and Health Act

Requires you to work in a safe workplace

Occupational Safety and Health Administration

Migrant and seasonal agricultural workers Migrant and Seasonal Agricultural Worker Protection Act (MSPA) Gives migrant workers rights and resources regardless of immigration status Department of Labor

State labor laws

Each state sets laws related to fair employment and workplace safety. In most cases, state laws offer more protections than the federal ones.

Contact your state department of labor to learn about the labor laws in your state. If you live and work in different states, or work remotely in a different state from your employer, check the laws in both states.

LAST UPDATED: December 11, 2023


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