The labor laws that non-profit organizations must abide by mirror the laws for-profit organizations follow. The United States Department of Labor has strict laws to protect both workers and the companies in which they work, including the Family and Medical Leave Act and the Fair Labor Standards Act. Because of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, a worker can expect to receive equal opportunity regardless of her circumstances.
Fair Labor Standards Act
- The Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) was ratified in 1938. The purpose of this act is to ascertain minimum wage requirements, overtime pay and standards for child labor. FLSA does not require an organization to include benefits such as vacation, sick pay, severance, higher pay for holidays or raises in wages.
- Minimum wage requirements are set by the United States government as well as the individual states. If the two wages are not equivalent, the higher wage is enforced. Some states, including Louisiana, Alabama, Tennessee and South Carolina, do not have minimum wage laws.
Family and Medical Leave Act
- The Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA) was enacted in 1993 and applies to those organizations in the private sector with more than 50 employees throughout 20 weeks of the year. The purpose of the organization must also engage in commercial activity. This act requires that a covered employee be granted 12 weeks of unpaid leave in the event of the birth of a new child or placing a child into adoption or foster care. This act also covers employees who need to care for a family member or themselves through a serious health condition.
Civil Rights Act of 1964
- In 1964, Congress passed a law that prohibited an employer to discriminate against a person based on sex or race during the hiring process, promotions or terminating employment. When the final legislation was drafted, it forbid discrimination due to race, color, religion, sex or national origin. This set of policies became known as Affirmative Action.
Equal Employment Opportunity Commission
- Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 created the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) to execute new laws. Eventually the tasks of Commission expanded to investigate complaints and file lawsuits against offenders and implement conciliation programs. Today it disallows prejudice when selecting new employees, promotions, termination, wages, testing and training. In addition to the circumstances listed in the original Civil Rights Acts documents, an employer cannot discriminate against a person because of his disability or age.