State And Federal Systems Paper

1166 words - 5 pages

In the United States, each state has state laws that need to be followed regarding employment. That is each state has its own court system to handle criminal and civil cases. Outside of these state run court systems is the federal court system. This court system is designed to try cases that involve issues that are governed by federal laws or the United States Constitution. Employment laws differ from state to state and on the federal level. This paper will describe how the federal and state systems of government may or may not differ in their application of employment law as well as an example of an employment protection law that is provided by Washington State but not by the federal system.The United States court system is unique in that it is made up of two different types of court systems; state and federal. According to the U.S., court systems website, (nd) "while each court system is responsible for hearing certain types of cases, neither is completely independent of the other, and the systems often interact" (p. 1). There are a total of 94 U.S. district courts within the United States with every state having at least one, with some larger states having as many as four district courts.The reason for the United States having two different court systems is to allow both the federal and state to interpret their own laws. Such is the case for minimum wage laws. According to the U.S. Department of Labor (nd), "the federal minimum wage for covered, nonexempt employees is $5.15 an hour" (p. 1). Each state may or may not pay this minimum wage, some states pay higher. For those states that may be subjected to both the state and federal minimum wage laws, the higher of the two minimum wage laws is what is required for those states to pay their employees.Another way that the state and federal systems may differ falls under disability. Washington State has the strongest disability law in the country. According to Frank Vinluan of the Seattle Times (2002), "advocates for the disabled say the state law remains one of the strongest in the country because it does not explicitly say what a disability is and what it is not" (p. 1). The federal Americans with Disability Act were first created to block employers from discriminating individuals with disabilities. Washington State on the, other hand includes discrimination based on other categories such as age, sex, and race.According to the Washington State Human Rights Commission (nd), "the rules of the Washington State law Against Discrimination (RCW 49.60) define a disability as any abnormal sensory, mental or physical condition that: is medically cognizable or diagnosable, exists as a record or history, and is perceived to exist" (p. 1). In other words, if an individual has a condition that makes his or her job hard to do than that individual may claim he or she has a handicap. The law also says that an employer who treats an employee badly because he or she believes the individual has a disability is...

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