What is Labor Law Compliance?

Marlene Garcia

Labor law compliance means adhering to regulations that protect employees’ wages, working conditions, benefits, and other rights. Most countries require labor law compliance for anyone who hires people to work at his or her business, whether a large or small operation. Regulatory agencies enforce labor laws and investigate complaints from workers who believe their employers violated their labor rights.

Law law compliance includes paying overtime pay to employees who work extra hours.
Law law compliance includes paying overtime pay to employees who work extra hours.

Laws that specify wages and hours worked ensure employees are paid fairly for the work they perform. Labor law compliance often refers to paying the minimum hourly or daily wage customary in each country, and overtime pay for hours worked beyond a set minimum each day. Some labor laws also regulate the number of hours a person may work in a day or week.

Child labor laws restrict the age of employees.
Child labor laws restrict the age of employees.

For example, in Bulgaria, labor law includes a restriction that employers limit working hours to no more than 48 per week for no more than 60 days per year. If an employer forces an employee to work overtime for more than 20 consecutive days, the company could have a labor law compliance complaint filed against it. Labor law in Bulgaria does not require overtime pay for hours in excess of 40 per week, but simply restricts the number of days each year an employee works beyond the normal hours.

Health and safety of employees is another common factor in labor law compliance regulations. Workers in many areas are protected from hazardous materials in the workplace that could harm health, and are provided with safety equipment to prevent accidents. Typically, child labor restrictions fall under employee protection laws, which limit the age of minor workers and the number of hours they may work. Labor law mandates a safe, secure workplace for employees in many regions.

Studies of labor law compliance in Latin American countries show small businesses routinely violate labor laws, with the problem linked to cultural norms and corruption. Business owners might bribe labor inspection agents after labor law compliance complaints are filed. The studies have found that workers in Latin American countries are less likely to report violations of laws that regulate wages, safety in the workplace, and mandatory social security payments when jobs are scarce.

In some areas, labor law compliance agencies enforce special rules for subgroups of workers, such as agricultural employees. In the United States, additional rules exist for employees who perform services under a government contract; these include the provision of prevailing wages for some jobs. Laws might also exist that regulate the construction industry under similar circumstances. U.S. labor law also protects the employment rights of military personnel when they return from active duty.

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