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Federal Vs State Employment Laws Essay

1977 words - 8 pages

Being gainfully employed is cause for feeling great about life for many people. However, this joy is often short lived when the security of making a living and providing for one's family is on shaky ground. Currently the United States does not have a great track record for protecting workers. Many of the state governments differ in their applications of the laws that do exist as opposed to federal government. In many instances, state laws are stricter and offer more protection to their citizens than federal laws. This paper will look more closely at some of the issues involved in the area of employment law.Approximately 43 states in the United States are employment-at-will states. This is a common practice that means that either employer or employee may terminate the employment at any time for any reason. There are three exceptions to this rule however. The most common is a termination that violates state regulations. Another that is recognized throughout the country is termination after an implied contract has been established. The least practiced, with a total of 11 states participating, is the good faith and fair dealings covenant that states a termination cannot be made in bad faith or with malice. (Muhl, 2001) A just-cause employee may only be dismissed for a very good reason.There are laws at the federal level to protect migrant workers that are overseen by the Department of Labor. (US Dept of Labor, 2006) These laws apply to disclosure or job information, wages, housing, vehicles and payroll records of each employee. As to state laws, in 17 states there is legislation that states a person's sexual orientation cannot be grounds for dismissal. In this case, employee protection is extended to the employee on both a federal and state level. (Wikipedia, 2006)However, there are gray areas and these areas are what concern lawmakers and taxpayers alike. Problems with employment laws as opposed to other countries and their employment protection laws and policies, the United States stands out for leaving an unusually large scope to market forces in setting employment conditions. This translates to women, young people, and lesser skilled individuals may find it easier to obtain work, but in the end, the types of work that they are finding do not come with any sort of job security Many employers who hire workers in these demographics hire them as temporary workers and thus do not have to pay insurance, or unemployment benefits. The discrepancy, which makes for the areas of grey in the policies between federal and state laws, lies in the interpretation by the states of the federal laws.These factors would seem to indicate there is unwillingness by the United States government, both state and Federal, to interfere in the business practices of its citizens. These bad practices are occurring in both small and large corporations and businesses and in the long run do more harm than good. There is a continued outcry for reform and organizations that fight...

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