The United States Department of Labor website provides full information about current regulations existing in the labor industry. This website is an important resource for all employees because it avails a host of information that regulate their daily activities. The website shows the employee benefits stipulated by the federal government and also directs employers on how they are supposed to treat and remunerate their employees.
This website has several features that can be used in monitoring the benefits of employees. First of all, it provides the guidelines on the standard wages to be paid to employees as set in Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA). For example, the current minimum wage is indicated as US dollars 7.25 per hour. The overtime pay is offered after forty hours of work in a workweek, and it should not be less than one and one-half of regular rates of pay (Health Plans & Benefits, 2014).
Moreover, the website gives information regarding other benefits such as severance pay, sick leaves, vacations and holidays. This enables employees to know all the benefits they are entitled to and the regulations guiding their execution. For severance pay and vacation leave, there are no stated amounts and its payment materializes after employer and employee agree.
The unemployment insurance link is another feature that monitors employee benefits. Unemployment insurance programs usually provide benefits to people who are eligible to work but become unemployed through faults that are not theirs. Moreover, information is provided on how government is working with the federal governments to prevent all improper payments made by states as unemployment insurance. This, therefore, gives all the necessary directions on how to settle unemployment insurance.
Additionally, information about workforce services and various benefits for different states can be accessed if one navigates the website by location. A map of all the states is provided. One just clicks on their state where they reside, and all this information appears on the screen.
There is also a link providing all the information about retirement benefits accruing to employees and also health benefits. About retirement benefits, retirement plans are outlined, how to secure a financially safe future and how an employer’s bankruptcy affects the employee's benefits.
A guide on health benefits available to employees is included. Healthy benefits are crucial since they enable employees to stay healthy and productive in their jobs.
Of note also is the inclusion of statistical information shedding more light on employee benefits survey and the national compensation survey touching on benefits. These offer comprehensive data on the percentage of workers or employees who have access to and who can participate in the benefits provided by employers. An article on changes in paid leave within the private industry in the last twenty years provides an outlook at the variations of employer costs. Changes in paid leave benefits for the private industry can also be extracted from these statistics.
There exist subtopics narrating about commissions, the educational level and pay recommended, hazard pay and merit pay. To effect these payments, normally the employer and employee agree on amounts. For education level and pay, jobs require high levels of education usually pay more than those requiring few skills and minimum levels of education (Health Plans & Benefits, 2014).
This website provides a flexible medium for employers to verify if the benefits they are offering employees are in tandem with federal laws. It provides a summary of the major laws of the department of labor. The Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) gives a prescription of standard wages and overtime pay that affect both private and public employment (Mutari, 2004).This law requires employers to pay employees who are covered. For non-agricultural operations, the law restricts the hours that children under sixteen years can work (The Fair Labor Standards Act of 1938, 2011). It also forbids employment of children under the age of eighteen in jobs considered to be dangerous (Mutari, 2004). It also gives guidelines on how employers can absorb aliens that have been authorized to work in U.S under special nonimmigrant visa programs.
Information on worker’s compensation programs is outlined. For long-shore and harbor workers, the Office of Workers Compensation Programs provides payment and medical care of the maritime employees (The Fair Labor Standards Act of 1938, 2011). These workers include ship repairers and shipbuilders. Compensation is also made to qualified dependent survivors of the maritime employees who get disabled or die due to injuries occurring on the navigable waters of the U.S.
The tenets the Energy Employees Occupational Illness Compensation Program Act (EEOICPA) are explained. This is a compensation program that gives a lump-sum payment as well as prospective medical benefits to workers or survivors from the energy department, its contractors and subcontractors who have cancer caused by exposure to harmful radiation (The Fair Labor Standards Act of 1938, 2011). Thus, employers of such workers easily obtain guidelines regarding the compensation and benefits that are stipulated for them in law.
The application of the Federal Employees’ Compensation Act (FECA) is aptly explained. The employers will have no excuse not to implement it to the letter. It establishes a comprehensive and exclusive workers’ compensation program that pays compensation for the disability or death of federal employees resulting from personal injuries sustained while performing their duties.
For employers involved in mining coal, the Black Lung Benefits Act is narrated. This Act gives the requisite directions to make medical benefits as well as monthly cash payments to coal miners who get totally disabled from pneumoconiosis, a lung disease, arising from their employment in nation’s coal mines (Williams, 2008).
Still on this website, information on the employee benefits security is provided. This regulates employers who offer pension and welfare benefits plans for their employees. Essentially this will help in ensuring safe, prudent administration of pension and welfare schemes for employees. Therefore, this website provides a one stop shop for information on how employers can comply with the set regulations on compensation and payment of benefits to employees.
This website enables employees to have access to a wide range of information touching on their various benefits, compensation and the rights they are entitled to. Henceforth, they can use this information to secure protection of their benefits rights.
First, they can form unions to fight for their rights in courts whenever employers step on their rights. Here, they will have the benefit of large numbers when pushing for benefits such as fair compensation and safe working environments.
Moreover, employers are protected under law from any kind of abuse. Most labor, public safety and environmental laws give high consideration of employees (Mutari, 2004). Organizations are mandated to be vigilant and speak out whenever employers violate these laws (Mutari, 2004). Remedies to violation of these are including job reinstatement and payment of back wages.
Additionally, people working in the army forces possess the right to be reemployed by their previous employer before they entered service (The Fair Labor Standards Act of 1938, 2011). With the knowledge of the existence of this right, veterans can push for these benefits whenever they cease being service men. The administrator of these rights is the Veterans’ Employment and Training and Service (VETS).
The employees who receive government contracts, grants, or financial aid are also subject to wage, hours, benefits, safety and health standards (Harris, 2000). The government has to be responsible enough to fulfill this obligation. Any recipient of these contracts, grants and financial aid can seek redress in courts of law whenever the government reneges on its responsibility.
All these interventions give rise to empowered employees who carry out their duties with knowledge that they are protected by law and their efforts are given the due recognition.
This website can be outlined afresh for easy orientation of other people on its usefulness for regulatory compliance. First, the information could be arranged in tables and diagrams for easy visibility and appeal to users. Consequently, the users can have a captivating and enjoyable time when navigating through.
Arranging the information in meaningful rows and columns can simplify its display. Statements and figures can be condensed into meaningful rows and appeal for fast grasp of the meanings emanating from them.
Audio and power-point options should be added to add variety to these words. Audio recordings will enable those who can’t read to get the information. Power-point slides simplify the information.
Moreover, the information can be translated into various languages like German, French and Portuguese for users who can’t read or write in English.
In conclusion, the United States Department of Labor is a very informative resource for all employees in the United States of America. Any employee who has queries about their labor status can simply go the site and search for relevant information that will help in answering their query. The website particularly gives a lot of information regarding employee benefits that is once again crucial for both employees and employers. Although the website is sufficient as it has been shown, there are however some improvements that when enacted can improve its efficiency even further.
Harris, S. D. (2000). Conceptions of Fairness and the Fair Labor Standards Act. Hofstra Labor & Employment Law Journal, 18, 19.
The Fair Labor Standards Act of 1938, as amended (Rev. May 2011. ed.). (2011). Washington, D.C.: U.S. Dept. of Labor, Wage and Hour Division.
Williams, P. N. (2008). Historical Overview of the Fair Labor Standards Act.Fla. Coastal L. Rev., 10, 657.
Mutari, E. (2004). Brothers and Breadwinners: Legislating Living Wages in the Fair Labor Standards Act of 1938.Review of Social Economy, 62(2), 129-148.
Health Plans & Benefits. (2014). U.S. Department of Labor. Retrieved October 15, 2014, from http://www.dol.gov/dol/topic/health-plans/cobra.htm