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Labor Law


child labor law

federal law ensuring that the health, well-being, and educational opportunities of children under the legal age are not jeopardized by working in business or industry

closed shop

arrangement in which an employer only hires and retains union members; no longer legal in the United States

collective bargaining

negotiation of wages and other employment conditions by a union or an organized group of employees

Consolidated Omnibus Budget Reconciliation Act (COBRA)

health benefit passed by Congress in 1986; mandates offering temporary continuation of group health coverage in certain circumstances, such as job loss


money that a court awards to someone who has suffered wrongful conduct of another

disparate impact

unintentional adverse effect that policies and procedures have on a particular class of people

disparate treatment

behavior toward an employee in a protected class in which an employer intentionally treats them differently from others

Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA)

federal law that establishes minimum wages and overtime pay standards for public-sector and private-sector employees, even those who work part time

Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA)

federal law that allows employees to take job-protected unpaid leave, under certain family and medical conditions

minimum wage

minimum amount of payment per hour set by federal, state, and local laws that employers must pay hourly employees

National Labor Relations Act (NLRA)

federal law providing for workers' right to bargain collectively with their employer

National Labor Relations Board (NLRB)

federal board that enforces labor law and the National Labor Relations Act

Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA)

federal agency that makes and enforces rules to ensure employees work in healthy, safe environments. The same initials apply to the Occupational Safety and Health Act, which created the agency.

protected class

group of people with a common characteristic who are legally protected from employment discrimination on the basis of that characteristic

punitive damages

money awarded in a civil proceeding that exceeds simple compensatory damages and is meant to punish the defendant for intentional and wrongful actions

right-to-work law

statute that forbids agreements between employers and labor unions that are related to requiring employees' union membership or union fee payments


workplace where workers are employed at low wages and for long hours and are subject to unhealthy or oppressive conditions

Title VII of the Civil Rights Act

federal law that prohibits employers from discriminating against employees on the basis of sex, race, color, national origin, or religion


organized group of workers that seeks to protect employees or workers and expand their rights

yellow-dog contract

agreement in which workers promise not to join a union; no longer legal in the United States