Discrimination

Equal Pay

Health

  • Regulations and Guidance; Mandated Research Studies and Surveys; Compliance Workshops, Seminars and Webcasts; Participant Workshops and Webcasts; Health Insurance Marketplace; Law; News and Official Statements; and Related Resources.

  • Health insurance programs help workers and their families take care of their essential medical needs. These programs can be one of the most important benefits provided by an employer.

  • The Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (“Affordable Care Act”) amended section 7 of the Fair Labor Standards Act (“FLSA”) to require employers to provide reasonable break time for an employee to express breast milk for her nursing child for one year after the child's birth each time such employee has need to express the milk. Employers are also required to provide a place, other than a bathroom, that is shielded from view and free from intrusion from coworkers and the public, which may be used by an employee to express breast milk.

  • Frequently Asked Questions

  • Link to the Break Time for Nursing Mothers Employee Rights Card

  • Providing for health care is an important part of retirement.  Some employees are fortunate: they belong to employer-provided health care plans that carry over to retirement.

  • The Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (Affordable Care Act) adds many protections related to employment-based group health plans for you and your family. 

  • The Health Benefits Advisor is designed to help workers and their families better understand their federal right concerning access to health coverage, whether provided through a group health plan or otherwise, especially when they experience changes in their life and work situations--such as marriage, childbirth, job loss or retirement.

  • This fact sheet provides general information on the break time requirement for nursing mothers in the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (“PPACA”), which took effect when the PPACA was signed into law on March 23, 2010 (P.L. 111-148). This law amended Section 7 of the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA).

  • Reserve and National Guard units called to active duty have rights with respect to the retirement and health benefits provided by their private-sector employers as they prepare to be deployed. This fact sheet provides questions and answers for reservists about their rights protecting their retirement benefits and the health benefit options available to their family members to maintain health coverage during the time of active duty.

  • This fact sheet provides basic information regarding options you may have if your health coverage can no longer pay benefits. For example, there are health coverage providers known as multiple employer welfare arrangements (MEWAs), which provide health and other benefits to employees of two or more unrelated employers.

  • The Newborns' Act was signed into law on September 26, 1996 and includes important protections for mothers and their newborn children with regard to the length of the hospital stay following childbirth.  The Newborns' Act is subject to concurrent jurisdiction by the Departments of Labor, the Treasury, and Health and Human Services.

  • The Affordable Care Act (ACA) provides additional health protections. These FAQs do not reflect the passage of the Affordable Care Act.

  • The Women's Health and Cancer Rights Act (WHCRA), signed into law on October 21, 1998, includes important protections for individuals who elect breast reconstruction in connection with a mastectomy.  WHCRA amended the Employee Retirement Income Security Act of 1974 (ERISA) and the Public Health Service Act (PHS Act) and is administered by the Departments of Labor and Health and Human Services.

  • According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the labor force is becoming more diverse, older and more female. Today, those changing labor force demographics are already evident in terms of the increased number of working women.

  • The Health Benefits Education Campaign (HBEC) is designed to educate participants about their rights and responsibilities under ERISA and to provide compliance assistance to health plan sponsors and their service providers.

  • The U.S. Department of Labor's Wage and Hour Division (WHD) is responsible for administering and enforcing some of the nation's most important worker protection laws. WHD is committed to ensuring that workers in this country are paid properly and for all the hours they work, regardless of immigration status.

  • Important Information Workers Need To Know To Protect Their Health Coverage and Retirement Benefits

  • Resources for Employees and Employers

  • Knowing your benefit options means knowing the basics about health care law so you can protect yourself and your dependents. And it means finding out now about some common-sense steps you can take to make sure you have the level of health care coverage you need at every stage of your life.

  • Most individuals go through a number of life events that affect their health benefit needs and the choices they make. There are several important federal laws that affect your benefits under a job-based health plan. Below is a list of life events and a brief description of federal laws that may protect your rights when these events occur.

  • The Newborns' and Mothers' Health Protection Act of 1996 (the Newborns' Act), signed into law on September 26, 1996, requires plans that offer maternity coverage to pay for at least a 48-hour hospital stay following childbirth (96-hour stay in the case of a cesarean section).

  • This video provides information about the laws that protect employment-based health benefits.

  • Pregnancy discrimination generally occurs when an employer treats a woman employee or job applicant unfavorably because of pregnancy, childbirth, or medical conditions related to pregnancy or childbirth.

  • Pregnancy discrimination generally occurs when an employer treats a woman employee or job applicant unfavorably because of pregnancy, childbirth, or medical conditions related to pregnancy or childbirth. This type of discrimination may also occur when an employer has policies or practices that exclude women from particular jobs because they could become pregnant.

  • Job termination or a reduction in hours can result in a loss of retirement and health benefits. However, employees and their families may have rights under federal law that can help protect benefits when employment changes.

  • If you have health coverage and are pregnant, you and your new child may be entitled to a 48-hour hospital stay following childbirth (96 hours in the case of a cesarean section). If your employer or your spouse's employer offers a health plan, birth, adoption, and placement for adoption may also trigger a special enrollment opportunity for you, your spouse, and your child, without regard to any open season for enrollment.

  • Frequently Asked Questions

  • Reserve and National Guard units called to active duty have rights with respect to the retirement and health benefits provided by their private-sector employers as they prepare to be deployed. This publication provides questions and answers for reservists about their rights protecting their retirement benefits and the health benefit options available to their family members to maintain health coverage during the time of active duty.

  • Plant and business closings, downsizings, and reductions in hours affect employees in numerous adverse ways. Workers lose income, the security of a steady job and, often, the health and retirement benefits that go along with working full time. Dislocated workers may have many questions, some of them concerning health and retirement benefits.

  • Under HIPAA, an individual cannot be denied eligibility for benefits or charged more for coverage because of any health factor.

  • The Department of Labor's Employee Benefits Security Administration (EBSA) administers several important health benefit laws covering employer-based health plans. They govern your basic rights to information about how your health plan works, how to qualify for benefits, and how to make claims for benefits.

  • The Women's Health and Cancer Rights Act (WHCRA), signed into law on October 21, 1998, contains protections for patients who elect breast reconstruction in connection with a mastectomy. For plan participants and beneficiaries receiving benefits in connection with a mastectomy, plans offering coverage for a mastectomy must also cover reconstructive surgery and other benefits related to a mastectomy.

  • Opportunities and setbacks are part of life - especially when it comes to work. Learn how changes in employment status can affect health coverage. Whether you are thinking about changing employers, have landed a new job, or lost or retired from one, find out today how to have the health benefits you might need tomorrow. Know your rights. Exercise your options.

  • Perhaps you have heard of HIPAA – the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act – during a visit to your doctor's office. The doctor's staff may have handed you a "HIPAA privacy notice" advising you of protections for your personal health information. But HIPAA covers a lot more than privacy.

  • If you have had a mastectomy or expect to have one, you may be entitled to special rights under the Women's Health and Cancer Rights Act of 1998 (WHCRA).

Leave Benefits

Sexual Harassment

Wages and Hours

  • An apprenticeship is a combination of on-the-job training and related instruction in which a worker learns the practical and theoretical aspects of a highly-skilled occupation. Apprenticeship programs can be sponsored by individual employers, joint employer and labor groups, and/or employer associations.

  • The Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) does not require employees be given meal or rest breaks. However, if employers do offer short breaks (lasting about five to 20 minutes), federal law considers these short breaks time for which employees must be compensated. Bona fide meal periods (typically lasting at least 30 minutes), serve a different purpose than short rest or snack breaks and, thus, are generally not time for which employees must be compensated.

  • Video

  • Video

  • A flexible work schedule is an alternative to the traditional "9-to-5", 40-hour work week, allowing employees to vary their arrival and/or departure times.

  • This Advisor will tell you whom the FLSA protects. Only individuals employed in circumstances covered by -- and not specifically exempt from -- the FLSA are protected. You may want to explore exemptions after going through this section of the Advisor.

  • The Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) does not define full-time employment or part-time employment; rather, this is generally a matter of agreement between the employer and the employee.

  • Hazard pay means additional pay for performing hazardous duty or work involving physical hardship. Work duty that causes extreme physical discomfort and distress which is not adequately alleviated by protective devices is deemed to impose a physical hardship.

  • The Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) does not require payment for vacations or holidays (federal or otherwise). Holidays and vacations are generally a matter of agreement between an employer and an employee (or the employee's representative).

  • This Advisor provides employers and employees with the information they need to understand federal requirements that all covered, nonexempt employees be paid at least the minimum wage for all hours worked.

  • Job sharing means that two (or more) workers share the duties of one full-time job, each working part time; or two or more workers who have unrelated part-time assignments share the same budget line.

  • Merit pay, also known as pay-for-performance, is defined as an increase in pay based on a set of criteria set by the employer. This usually involves the employer conducting a review and meeting with the employee to discuss the employee's work performance during a certain time period.

  • Video

  • Video

  • The Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) does not require extra pay for night work.

  • Video

  • An employer who requires or permits an employee to work overtime is generally required to pay the employee overtime premium pay for such work. Employees covered by the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) must receive overtime pay for hours worked in excess of 40 in a workweek of at least one and one-half times their regular rate of pay.

  • This Advisor provides employers and employees with the information they need to understand federal overtime requirements. The Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) requires that covered, nonexempt employees in the United States be paid at least the federal minimum wage for each hour worked and receive overtime pay at one and one-half times the employee's regular rate of pay for all hours worked over 40 in a workweek.

  • This Advisor provides employers and employees with the information they need to understand federal overtime security requirements.

  • The Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) does not define part-time or full-time employment; rather, this is generally a matter of agreement between the employer and the employee.

  • Video

  • The Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) does not require payment for vacations, sick leave or holidays (federal or otherwise). These benefits are matters of agreement between an employer and an employee (or the employee's representative). Also, if an employee quits his/her job before using all of his/her sick leave, under the FLSA the employer is not obligated to pay him/her for that time.

  • This Advisor provides guidance on Section 14(c) of the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA), which authorizes employers, after receiving a certificate from the U.S. Department of Labor (DOL) Wage and Hour Division (WHD), to pay special minimum wages — wages less than the federal minimum wage — to workers who have disabilities for the work being performed.

  • The Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) provides for the employment of certain individuals at wage rates below the minimum wage. These individuals include student-learners (vocational education students), as well as full-time students employed by retail or service establishments, agriculture, or institutions of higher education.

  • Under the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA), a "tipped employee" is one that engages in an occupation in which he or she customarily and regularly receives more than $30 per month in tips.

  • Under the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA), time spent traveling during normal work hours is considered work time and employees must be paid for this travel time. Generally, time spent commuting is not work time. The FLSA is administered and enforced by the Wage and Hour Division of the Employment Standards Administration.

  • Wage garnishment is a legal procedure in which the court orders a person's earnings to be withheld by his/her employer for the payment of a debt, such as child support.

  • The U.S. Department of Labor (DOL) monitors child labor and enforces child labor laws. The Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) restricts the hours (and occupations) youth may work. Child labor provisions under FLSA are designed to protect the educational opportunities of youth and prohibit their employment in jobs that are detrimental to their health and safety.

  • The U.S. Department of Labor (DOL) Employment Standards Administration's Wage and Hour Division (WHD) administers laws and regulations requiring minimum wages and fringe benefits to be paid to workers performing construction work on federally-funded contracts or providing services to the federal government.

  • The Immigration and Nationality Act (INA) allows U.S. employers to hire foreign workers on a temporary or permanent basis to perform certain types of work.

  • The Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) does not require extra pay for weekend work. Any extra pay for working during weekends is generally a matter of agreement between the employer and the employee (or the employee's representative).

  • Under the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA), the term “work hours” generally refers to time spent by employees performing work for their employers for which they are entitled to compensation. Federal laws pertaining to work hours are enforced by the Wage and Hour Division. This division enforces federal minimum wage, overtime pay, recordkeeping, and child labor requirements of the FLSA.

Workplace Safety

  • The Occupational Safety and Health Act of 1970 gives employees and their representatives the right to file a complaint and request an OSHA inspection of their workplace if they believe there is a serious hazard or their employer is not following OSHA standards. Further, the Act gives complainants the right to request that their names not be revealed to their employers.

  • Safety and Health Topics pages provide access to selected occupational safety and health information. The subjects of these pages include specific workplace hazards, as well as individual industries. Numerous OSHA and non-OSHA references are evaluated on a given subject to determine which are consider most important in reducing occupational injuries and illnesses.

  • The number of women employed in the U.S. construction industry grew substantially, by 81.3% from 1985 to 2007; however, due to a loss of over 2.5 million construction jobs from 2007 to 2010, there has been a sharp decline of women working. 

  • As increasing numbers of women enter the construction trades, concerns about their health and safety are growing. In addition to the primary safety and health hazards faced by all construction workers, there are safety and health issues specific to female construction workers. The small percentage of females within the construction trades and the serious health and safety problems unique to female construction workers have a circular effect.

  • You have the right to a safe workplace. The Occupational Safety and Health Act of 1970 (OSH Act) was passed to prevent workers from being killed or seriously harmed at work. The law requires employers to provide their employees with working conditions that are free of known dangers.

Workplace Violence

  • Women from all backgrounds are attacked each year at work. Among women, murder is the leading cause of death from a workplace injury. Sometimes women are attacked during a robbery.

  • Workplace violence is violence or the threat of violence against workers. It can occur at or outside the workplace and can range from threats and verbal abuse to physical assaults and homicide, one of the leading causes of job-related deaths.

  • This Workplace Violence website provides information on the extent of violence in the workplace, assessing the hazards in different settings and developing workplace violence prevention plans for individual worksites.