Today, women make up nearly 50 percent of the workforce in the United States. According to a 2012 U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, women make up 46.9% of the professional and technical workforce.
Women are legally entitled to equal employment opportunities and, as members of the workforce, they should be aware of their rights.
This article discusses labor laws that are important for women to know in order to understand their rights under these laws.
The Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA)
In the past, high-paying jobs would be offered to men and, for doing the same job, women would be paid about half of what men got. It was presume that women, as they were not the heads of households, did not deserve to earn as much money as men did. The FLSA enforces equal wages and overtime pay for women.
The Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA)
Employers must grant 12 weeks of unpaid leave for covered women employees for birth or adoption of child. This Act is designed to help women balance the demands of the workplace with family and personal needs.
The Comprehensive Omnibus Budget Reconciliation Act (COBRA)
Women, especially single mothers, benefit from this Act. Under this Act, eligible working woman employees continue to get health benefits after the loss of their job, or because of job transition or family issues.
The Whistleblower Protection Act
The Whistleblower Protection Act applies to women who are victims of gender discrimination or reprisal. This Act allows the whistleblower (an employee who reports to the authorities about inappropriate or unsafe work conditions that are taking place within an organization) to file a lawsuit in a federal court.
The Civil Rights Act
The Civil Rights Act protects women against sexual discrimination. This Act makes it unlawful for an employer to discriminate against women employees because of race, color, religion, sex, or national origin.
The Pregnancy Discrimination Act
This Act came into existence after amending the Civil Rights Act to prohibit sex discrimination on the basis of pregnancy. Pregnancy discrimination involves treating a woman employee unfavorably on the basis of pregnancy, childbirth, or related medical conditions. This Act is an effort to eliminate pregnancy based discrimination.
The Equal Pay Act
This Act amends the Fair Labor Standards Act and abolishes wage disparity based on sex. The act requires that men and women should be given equal pay for equal work. This is an important step towards fair pay for women and closing the wage gap between men and women in the workforce.
As a women employee, you should be aware of the various labor laws that govern equal pay and compensation and how they affect your employment activities and responsibilities.
The law requires that the posters for the aforesaid labor law have to be displayed prominently by the employers in places where employees can easily read the law notices. This ensures women employees are informed of their rights.