Labor Laws are outlined by both federal and state agencies on the guaranteed rights of employees. These laws exist to regulate the relationships between employees, employers, and union organizations.

These laws:

  • Protect the health and safety of employees while at work.
  • Provide a set number of hours an employee can work per week.
  • In most cases, require employers to pay their employees a minimum wage.
  • Make it illegal for businesses to discriminate based on race, color, religion, sex, disability, or national origin.

There are laws that pertain specifically to individuals under 18 years of age. One of these laws is known as the Child Labor Act. Laws vary for 14-15-year-olds and 16-17-year-olds. The Child Labor Act includes information on:

  • Minors under the age of 18
  • Laws on working hours
  • Prohibited occupations
  • Exemptions

Additional information can be found on the Child Labor Act website.

Enforcement of Labor Laws:

  • Larger companies have HR departments to monitor the adherence to labor laws, company policies, and practices.
  • Violations of labor laws can lead to revoking licenses, citations, lawsuits, and even in more severe cases, jail time.

Why is this important?

Students need to be aware of how to advocate for themselves in a work setting. Labor Laws are designed to protect employees, provide equal pay, and provide equal opportunity in a diverse workplace. When students know labor laws, they know their rights around equal opportunity employment. By teaching students about Labor Laws, students are equipped to advocate properly for themselves.

More information about labor laws and regulations can be found on the Tennessee Department of Labor and Workforce Development website.