DOL Releases New Version of Employment Law Guide
The U.S. Department of Labor (DOL) recently released an updated version of its Employment Law Guide, an online publication for workers and employers that describes the major employment laws administered by the department.
According to a press release issued by DOL on November 30, 2009, the Guide is said to be "especially helpful for employers without dedicated legal or human resources staff" and "helps small businesses develop wage, benefit, safety and health, and nondiscrimination policies."
The updated version addresses recent and important changes in employment laws, including:
- the increase in the federal minimum wage;
- expansion of the Family and Medical Leave Act;
- child labor regulations in the agriculture industry; and
- changes to the Defense Base Act, which provides workers' compensation benefits to civilian employees working outside the United States on U.S. military bases or under certain contracts with the U.S.
Designed to be used along with DOL's FirstStep overview advisor, an online system that allows employers to determine which federal employment laws apply to them by answering a few simple questions about relevant variables, each chapter in the Guide "addresses each of the laws in the FirstStep advisor, outlines coverage under the law, its basic requirements, employee rights, recordkeeping, reporting, notice and poster requirements, penalties and sanctions for non-compliance, relation to state, local and other federal laws, and contact information for further assistance." Both the Employment Law Guide and FirstStep overview advisor are available at www.dol.gov/elaws.
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