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You are Here: Home > Labor Law > Federal Labor Law

Federal Labor Law

Research U.S. Federal labor laws that outlaw employment discrimination and protect your other employee rights, courtesy of government-agency, legislative, judicial and other authoritative Web sites.

Technically, Federal labor laws deal with employer-union relationships and Federal employment laws deal with employer-employee relationships.

But the terms are often used interchangeably. This section includes research resources for both, even though it more often refers to Federal labor laws.

When researching whether or not your employer committed a wrongdoing under a Federal labor law, it's important to know that employment is "at will" in virtually all states.

It's also important to know that your employee rights are protected only under specific, corresponding state or Federal labor laws, regulations or constitutional provisions, or by sound morality or public policy.

For example, if your boss is a jerk who generally treats you poorly on the job, your bad boss is not necessarily violating a labor law, however unfair or unethical his or her behavior might be. That's because there is no "bad-boss" Federal labor law per se. Additionally, your bad boss has employee rights just as you do, up to and including generally acting like a jerk on the job.

But if your bad boss violates a specific Federal labor law while acting like a jerk, such as refusing to pay you the overtime pay to which you are legally entitled under the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA), then you'll likely have legal recourse through a government agency, an employment lawyer or both.Employment Lawyer Discovering which Federal labor law your bad boss or employer might have violated when disrespecting your employee rights and where to turn for relief, are what the links below are all about.

Federal labor law topics to which the links below lead include sexual harassment, wrongful termination, discrimination, overtime pay, minimum wage, background checks, drug testing in the workplace, COBRA insurance, illegal interview questions, separation, non-compete and non-disclosure agreements, and sick leave, vacation and severance pay to name only a few.

See also State Labor Law and Whistleblower Laws to research relevant laws. For a large variety of employee rights and labor law topics all in one place, visit, a partner site of Links to are also included below.

Attorney Referral and Labor Law FactsAttorney Referral Service
Read free facts in the Legal Center Law Library on a variety of topics, including employee rights under employment and labor laws. Employment and labor law topics include, but are not limited to, wrongful termination, harassment, discrimination, drug testing, employment contracts, injury on the job, unions, pay and benefits. Also includes tips for hiring and working with an attorney. If you would like qualified, prescreened attorneys to evaluate your "case" and respond, you may post it confidentially and for free, with no obligation. From LegalMatch, a free attorney referral service.

Business Law, an official government Web site, offers resources for starting a small business while complying with Federal and state employment and labor laws, and other business-related laws.

Court Info
Search for laws, court cases, judicial decisions and related info posted on a variety of court and court-related Web sites, courtesy of the National Center for State Courts.

Department of Labor Web Sites
Links to Federal and state department of labor Web sites for researching employment and labor laws, and locating contact information to ask questions or file complaints against employers. Provided by, an employee rights site and partner of

Drug Testing in the Workplace
All about drug testing under the Drug Free Workplace Act, from the Department of Health & Human Services. See also the guidelines from the Department of Transportation, which differ somewhat. Many private-sector employers follow one of these models.

Employment Discrimination FAQs
The U.S. Department of Justice answers frequently-asked questions about discrimination laws and lawsuits.

Employment Discrimination Laws
The Equal Employment Opportunity Commission administers, enforces and explains equal employment opportunity and discrimination Federal labor laws. If you think you've suffered employment discrimination, you may file a charge with the EEOC.

Federal Discrimination Laws
Links to specific, landmark, employment discrimination laws enforced by the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC). Also includes laws that aren't employment discrimination laws per se, but have protection provisions against prejudice in employment.

Federal Labor Law Code
Cornell Law School lists Federal labor laws and the government agencies responsible for administration and enforcement, under Title 29 of the U.S. Code. See also Title 29 - Labor for a breakdown of the Federal Labor Law Code by chapters. You may download the chapters from the Web site of the U.S. House of Representatives.

Federal Labor Law Research
Research U.S. Federal labor laws and related matters, such as court cases and legal opinions. Provided by, an employee rights site.

Federal Labor Law - U.S. Department of Labor
The DOL runs the premier government site for researching Federal labor law and employee rights. Useful for both employees and employers, including small businesses. The DOL site explains or links to the content of over 180 Federal labor laws administered and enforced by its divisions, such as the Wage and Hour Division and Occupational Safety & Health Administration (OSHA). It also explains or provides links to several Federal labor laws administered and enforced by other government agencies. Additionally, it provides agency links for state labor law research and state-provided benefits, such as unemployment and disability insurance. Its elaws Advisor is one of its most useful features for researching Federal labor law in plain English.

Federal Labor Laws
Federal employment and labor law text, explanations and interpretations by government and other qualified Web sites, linked by title. Topics include, but are not limited to, overtime, child labor, minimum wage, and family and medical leave. Also includes laws that are not employment or labor laws per se, but have employment protection provisions for employees. Provided by, an employee rights site.

Government Offices for Employee Rights
Links to the Web sites of key, Federal and state government offices in the United States that deal with employment, labor and employee rights issues, and administer the related laws and regulations. These are the places to research employee rights and file complaints against employers for violations, courtesy of Includes state unemployment offices and workers' compensation offices.

Library of Congress
The library of the United States includes resources for researching bills, acts and public laws introduced or enacted by Congress, current and past. Includes the Thomas Legislative Database, which provides a search form and links to legislative, judicial, executive, and state and local government resources.

National Labor Relations Board
Under the authority of National Labor Relations Act, the Board protects workers' rights to unionize under Federal labor law, and investigates questionable labor practices by employers and unions.

Small Business Laws and Regulations
The Small Business Administration offers advice and resources for starting up a business in compliance with local, state and Federal labor laws, and other business-related laws.

Social Security Laws
The Social Security Administration administers and enforces laws and regulations for Social Security retirement income, supplemental security income, and health and disability benefits, including the ticket to work program.

Workers' Rights
The AFL-CIO explains workers' rights under Federal labor law. Topics include unemployment benefits, discrimination, overtime pay, sexual harassment, family and medical leave, and working conditions.

Federal Labor Law provides general information only and is not intended as legal advice nor as a substitute for legal advice. It is presented as is, with no warranty either expressed or implied. Neither the author nor publisher are engaged in rendering legal services. See an employment lawyer for legal advice. Should you act based on this information, you do so at your sole risk. Neither the author nor publisher shall have any liability arising from your decision to act on this information. Read our Disclaimer for more information.Employment Lawyer

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