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5 Labor Laws You Might Not Know That You Need to Comply With

Posted by Alexa Rivera on Jan 11, 2022 8:45:00 AM
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There are so many rules and regulations you must comply with when it comes to labor laws, it can be enough to make your head spin. Luckily, many of the U.S. labor laws are common knowledge, or common sense.

For example, most people know that the federal minimum wage for nonexempt employees is $7.25, and breaks are required after a certain number of hours on the clock. Even so, the lines can get blurred when you consider differing state laws and various requirements from company to company.

Did you know, the highest state minimum wage is $15.20? Unless you live in the District of Columbia, this nuance probably isn’t relevant, but when compared to the federal minimum wage, this is a great instance of disparity that is crucial to make note of.

Here are five more labor laws to consider:

 1. The Affordable Care Act’s Nursing Mothers Provision

It is unlawful to not provide adequate break time and a private space for new mothers to breast feed at work up to a year after giving birth.

While this law is completely reasonable, it is important to note the “private space” aspect of the provision. The private space cannot be a bathroom and must be free from intrusion by coworkers and the public.

The breaks do not have to be paid breaks; however, a nursing mother can opt to use previously established paid break time to nurse or express milk.

 2. The 7-Minute Rule

This rule is followed by a number of employers when tracking time for hourly employees. The rule calls for clocked time to round to the nearest 15-minute interval, or sometimes 5-minute interval when calculating paychecks. This is often done to prevent tedious calculations to the cent when calculating exact minutes.

PeopleGuru Time offers multiple employee time collection methods and uses rounding rules to help ensure compliance

While the 7-Minute Rule is not a law, it would be wise to consider how this rule may affect compensation for employees and furthermore, how these affects could lead to legal action.

 3. California Break Law

In the case of California, employers are required to provide a 30-minute meal break to employees for every five hours of work. This requirement can be waived if an employee works less than six hours and both parties agree.

Additionally, California requires a paid 10-minute rest for every four hours worked. This does not include restroom breaks.

California is known for its strict labor laws to protect employees. While the laws differ by state, take this as a gentle reminder to look into your own state’s break laws.


 4. Exempt vs Nonexempt for Overtime Pay


The matter of exempt vs. nonexempt is a common discussion.

While there are several rules that must be met to establish exemption or nonexemption, a good rule of thumb is:

Any employee who earn less than the federal highly compensated amount (currently $107,432) must be carefully considered for duties and job responsibilities before exempting them from overtime.

For all nonexempt employees, employers must provide at least 1.5 times hourly pay for any hours worked over 40 hours within a week.

 5. Equal Pay Act

Finally, The Equal Pay Act requires that men and women in the same workplace be given equal pay for equal work. This means substantially equal job content would require a wage increase for the disproportionate party.

It is also important to note that wages must be increased and cannot be lowered to be made equal.


There are so many elements to consider regarding keeping a compliant organization, it can become overwhelming. Let PeopleGuru HCM help take away some of the burden.


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Topics: Compliance, Employee Scheduling, Time and Labor, HR

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