Employees in the United States are among the most privileged and protected of all employees around the world. This wasn’t, however, always the case. Today, U.S. labor laws like the Civil Rights Act of 1964, Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990 and the Equal Pay Act of 1963 help protect employees from suffering acts of harassment and discrimination in the workplace. Unfortunately, acts of harassment, wage theft and discrimination still occur with significant frequency in many U.S. industries and workplaces.
Today’s U.S. labor laws exist because of the brave actions of employees of former generations who witnessed injustices and set out to enact change. Thanks to these laws, the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics reports that, as of 2012, women accounted for “52 percent of all workers employed in management, profession, and related occupations.”
Additionally, according to disabilitystatistics.org, during 2012, the U.S. employment rate for disabled Americans was nearly 35 percent. Prior to the enaction of the ADA, many people in the U.S. with physical and mental disabilities faced widespread employment discrimination which impeded their ability to both find and keep a job.
There have also been significant strides made in the U.S. with regard to wages and a fair day’s pay for a fair day’s work. With regard to wages, the Equal Pay Act of 1963 made it illegal for employers to discriminate “between employees on the basis of sex.” The law also helped establish a standard for a livable wage which formed the basis of today’s current minimum wage system.
While the U.S. has come a long way with regard to improving the treatment and pay of its workers, many U.S. women still face workplace discrimination and harassment on a daily basis. Likewise, individuals with physical and mental disabilities must continually fight for their rights to fair treatment in the workplace and millions of low-wage workers for their rights to earn a livable wage.
At the Los Angeles law firm of Hadsell Stromer & Renick LLP; our attorneys continually advocate for the rights of employees who, without legal representation, would likely remain silenced.