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Federal Laws that Protect Employees

Federal Laws that Protect Employees

Introduction and background

Employee protection is provided by employment law, which is made up of both federal and state laws with the common goal of protecting the rights of employees. Employment law covers a range of areas, from human resources to labor relations. Some of the two federal laws that seek to protect employees’ rights are the Occupational Safety and Health Act (OSHA) [1970] and the Pregnancy Discrimination Act [1978]. President Richard Nixon signed the Occupational Safety and Health Act into law in 1970 to protect employees from being exposed to unhealthy and insecure working environments. The reasons behind the enactment of this law were that employers, especially private employers, subject their workers to poor, unsafe, and unhealthy work environments, which risks their health (US Department of Labor, 1970). Therefore, the law was put in place to ensure that besides focusing on profit, they also ensure that their workers work in a safe environment.

Components of the law:

The reasons behind the passing of the Pregnancy Discrimination Act was that it was noticed that many expectant mothers were denied some opportunities in their workplace, or expectant mothers who came to the interviews to seek jobs were denied the chances based on the fact that they were pregnant (, 1978). Before this law was passed, it was common to see pregnant mothers rejected during the hiring process and those who were working mistreated because they were pregnant. Therefore, the law came to enable pregnant mothers to have equal rights as other workers. Do you need urgent assignment help ? Get in touch with us at We endeavor to provide you with excellent service.

The Occupational Safety and Health Act’s general duty requires that every employer furnish employees with employment and provide them with working conditions free from known hazards that are likely to cause serious injuries or deaths (US Department of Labor, 1970). Moreover, this Act requires employers to comply with the OSHA health standards it provides. The Act further warns employers that those who would not comply with the standards recommendation could face litigation. The OSHA laws are enforced by the OSHA administration unit and the National Institute of Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH) (US Department of Labor, 1970). On the other hand, the Pregnancy Discrimination Act is a federal law covering discrimination against employees for being pregnant, discriminating based on childbirth, or discriminating against pregnant mothers on the underlying medical condition.

Your observations on the law.

My observation about these laws is that, indeed, they are in the books, but their enforcement has a challenge. In other words, the bodies responsible for disciplining the employers who violate these laws have not done great work because even in modern times, there are stories of employees involved in workplace accidents. Moreover, the cases of discrimination against expectant mothers at their place of work are still rampant. Were it that the bodies did their work effectively there could be no, if not fewer, such cases. In my opinion, these laws are working partially. Some employers expose their employees to deplorable conditions that risk their health. Moreover, many employers are avoiding hiring expectant mothers. This clearly shows that the laws are not working well.


One of the historical landmark cases based on the Occupational Safety and Health Act was Nat’l Realty & Constr. Co. v. OSHR [1973]. In this case, an employee working with National Reality, a construction company, died while on duty due to a dangerous working environment (, 2020). The court found the employer guilty and fined it for knowing that the work environment had recognized risks that the employer did not work to eliminate theme. Young v. United Parcel Service [2015] is one example of a historical case related to the Pregnancy Discrimination Act. In this case, the plaintiff, Pegg Young, lost the case in both the Fourth Circuit Court and the Supreme Court when she appealed (, A2020). Thus, both courts ruled in favor of United Parcel Services because they did not violate the act of the same treatment requirement; hence, UPS was not guilty.

References (2020). Young v. United Parcel Service, Inc. (1978). The Pregnancy Discrimination Act of 1978. Retrieved from (2020). National Realty and Construction Company, Inc. v. OSHAR [1973] Retrieved from

United States Department of Labor. (1970). OSH Act of 1970. Retrieved from


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HRM201 – Human Resource Management

Unit Two Written Assignment

Due:  Midnight Sunday of Unit 2.


An important part of HRM is understanding the Federal laws and Executive Orders that have brought equality, safety, and health to the workplace.

Federal Laws that Protect Employees

Federal Laws that Protect Employees

Our first assignment is to research Two (2) Federal laws that speak to those issues. Select the Federal laws from the list itemized below. The assignment is due in Unit Two. The information below is a ‘heads up’ to give you sufficient time to research this assignment.

The assignment consists of a cover sheet, introduction, a written explanation of the points of each for each law, conclusion, and a list of References in APA format. Follow the directions below very carefully.

For each law, you need to include information on the following questions:

  1. History/Background.: Why was the Law passed? What was going on in the workplace that required the law to be enacted to protect employees?
  2. Components of the law: Research the law and summarize in your own words the major elements of the law. Do not cut and paste.
  3. Your observations on the law. Do you feel laws are effective in providing protection against violations of Civil Rights or do you think they are merely addressing infractions that are found (or uncovered)?   Are such laws forward looking or are they really only there to “clean up” issues when wrongs have been done?
  4. Do you feel it is working or not working and why?
  5. Lawsuit: In your research (and assignment) find a lawsuit that concerned the law you are reviewing. Include the date of the lawsuit, the plaintiffs, defendants, reason the plaintiff/s went to court, and the outcome of the case. It is important that in reading this summary a person understands why the lawsuit was initiated and who won the

Please make sure the explanation is concise and to the point. But remember that substantiating data is needed, especially in regards to the background, contents of the law and the court cases.

The EEOC is responsible for enforcing federal laws prohibiting employment discrimination and keeps an extensive archive of court cases affecting all aspects of violations from age discrimination, pregnancy, lack of handicap accessibility, sexual harassment, discrimination based on gender, race, religion, etc.

Find laws that you feel are of interest to you.  Court cases on these issues are going on daily.

The EEOC can be your primary research tool along with the Library, business journals, magazines, and accredited newspapers.

Please use Microsoft Word. Your assignment will be evaluated based on your level of insight, your demonstrated understanding of course concepts and the quality of your summaries. APA format REQUIRED. Any information paraphrased needs an in-text citation with a reference for the source.


Civil Rights Act of 1964

Civil Rights Act of 1991

Equal Pay Act of 1963

The Pregnancy Discrimination Act of 1978 (Amendment to the Civil Rights Act of 1964)

The Age Discrimination in Employment Act of 1967 (ADEA)

The Americans with Disabilities Acts of 1990 and as Amended in 2008 (remember the 2008 amendment)

The Genetic Information Nondiscrimination Act of 2008 (GINA)

The Lilly Ledbetter Fair Pay Act of 2009

Occupational Safety and Health Act of 1970

Sexual Harassment amendment (1980) to the Civil Right Act of 1964. and


Please see the following page for the grading rubric

Students: Be sure to read the criteria, by which your assignment will be evaluated, before you write, and again after you write.

Evaluation Rubric – Assignment – Federal Laws that protect employees

Excellent 20 – 18 points Very Good

17.9 – 16 points


15.9 – 14 points

Needs Improvement

13.9 – 0 points

Contents 20 Points  

The two laws are covered with in- depth, information, Substantive data, and well-formulated



The topic is clear and addresses the basic assignment


The two laws are covered but lack sufficient academic data on the      (history/background, components, lawsuit or



The two laws lack sufficient detail.

Supporting Information 20 points  

Supporting ACADEMIC

information and detail are used effectively to support the LAWS.


Supporting ACADEMIC information

and details are  explained sufficiently for each LAW.


There is some supporting ACADEMIC detail, but not enough to cover the detail for each LAW.


There is a lack of supporting ACADEMIC information and detail on the LAWS.

Organization 20 points  

The organization is particularly well- suited to the assignment


The organization is appropriate

to the assignment


There is evidence of some organization but is not consistent throughout

the paper


The organization selected does not fit the context, or is a poor selection given the context

Preparation and Ongoing Development 20 points  

The paper demonstrates that there was thorough preparation. The paper was well- designed

and executed


The paper demonstrates that there was sufficient preparation.


There is some evidence of preparation, but there are problems with insufficient coverage of each Law.


The paper demonstrates a lack of preparation.

Excellent 10 – 9 points Very Good

8.9 – 8 points


7.9 – 7 points

Needs Improvement

6.9 – 0 points

Grammar 10 points  

The assignment exhibits skilled use of grammatical elements


Assignment  meets basic requirements of college- level writing


There is some evidence of

college-level writing but needs work


Assignment is not appropriate to college-level

References 10 points  

Work displays skilled use of the APA format with in-text

citations and references


Work includes in-text citations and references, but there are problems with the APA format


There are some in-text citations and references, but the APA format needs work


Work displays

few or no in-text citations or references. Total lack of the APA format


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