Traci Goldman of Atwood and Allen Consulting spoke to Bradley Stonefield on behalf of Landslide Limousines. Stonefield anticipates offering a limousine service to provide first-class transportation in Austin, TX, with a goal of attaining 25 employees within the first year (University of Phoenix, 2012). Based upon these projections, the following will address relevant employment laws from discrimination, compensation, health and safety, and motor vehicle regulations, along with the consequences of noncompliance. Applicable Laws
V Amendment of the United States Constitution
XIV Amendment of the United States Constitution
Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964
The Civil Rights Act of 1991
Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA)
Texas minimum wage act
the occupational safety and health act
motor carrier safety improvement act of 1999
When hiring employees, employers must be aware of different types of discrimination prohibited by federal laws. To start, the Fifth and Fourteenth Amendments of the United States Constitution limits the power of discrimination. The Fifth Amendment has a specific requirement that one may not deprive an individual of “life, liberty, or property” (U.S. Const. amend V), while the Fourteenth Amendment prohibits violating an individual’s rights of equal protection and due process (U.S. Const. amend XIV, §1). These Amendments to the Constitution prevents employers from treating employees or job applicants unequally while allowing them to seek a fair procedural process prior to denial for employment or termination. The Fourteenth Amendment also provides that “No state shall make or enforce any law which shall abridge the privileges or immunities of citizens of the United States,” meaning that all federal laws will apply to state jurisdictions (U.S. Const. amend XIV, §1).
Another law that further clarifies employment law under discrimination is Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, section 2000e-2. This law states that employer practices shall be unlawful in the event they “…fail to refuse to hire or to discharge any individual with respect to his [or her] compensation, terms, conditions, or privileges of employment, because of such individual’s race, color, religion, sex, or national origin” (United States Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, n.d.). In the event an individual files a claim with allegations of discrimination, an investigation will be conducted, allowing the respondent (employer) 10 days to dispute the accusations. If the commission is unable to determine reasonable cause, the case will be dismissed. On the other hand, if the commission believes there is reasonable cause affirming the allegations, they will attempt to “eliminate any such alleged unlawful employment practice by informal methods of conference, conciliation, and persuasion” (United States Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, n.d.).
In the event the employer makes this information public he or she will also be in violation of the law and will be “fined not more than $1,000 or imprisoned for not more than one year, or both” (United States Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, n.d.). Furthermore, the Civil Rights Act of 1991 amended the Civil Rights Act of 1964 to strengthen and improve the Federal civil rights laws, providing damages in cases of intentional employment discrimination, and clarifying requirements regarding unequal actions. The Civil Rights Act of 1991 also allows the complainant to recover “compensatory and punitive damages as allowed in subsection (b) of the American Disabilities Act of 1990” (United States Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, n.d.). Therefore, when hiring individuals for the limousine service, to stay within the parameters of the law, Stonefield must consider all applications for employment, providing equal opportunities for each application and must not terminate an employee based upon any potential discriminating factors. Compensation
Upon retaining employees, an employer must be familiar with compensation laws for their jurisdiction. The Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) provides federal regulation for compensating non-exempt employees. “The FLSA establishes minimum wage, overtime pay, recordkeeping, and youth employment standards affecting employees in the private sector and in Federal, State, and local governments” (United States Department of Labor, n.d.). Although, there is a federal minimum wage guideline, many states also have minimum wage laws. According to the FLSA, the employee is entitled to the higher minimum wage. As of January 1, 2015, the minimum wage in the state of Texas corresponds with the federal minimum wage at $7.25 per hour (National Conference of State Legislatures, 2015). The FLSA also regulates the number of hours worked per week.
“Covered nonexempt employees must receive overtime pay for hours worked over 40 per workweek at a rate not less than one and one-half times the regular rate of pay” (United States Department of Labor, n.d.). In the event the employer has paid an employee a rate lower than the law requires, the Texas Minimum Wage Act (Ch. 62 of the Texas Labor Code) allows the employee to take legal action within “two years from the date the wages were due” (Texas Workforce Commission, 2013). Upon determining probable cause, beyond a reasonable doubt, showing an absence of appropriate wages, the employer must compensate for the unpaid wages, “plus an additional equal amount as liquidated damages, [with the possibility of assessing] reasonable attorney’s fees and court costs” (Texas Workforce Commission, 2013). Occupational Safety and Health Act
The Occupational Safety and Health Act (OSHA) was enacted by Congress in 1970 to assure safe and healthy “working conditions for working men and women.” OSHA helps make sure that the employers are doing everything possible to protect their employees from dangers associated with the workplace. Some of the ways employers can stay in compliance with OSHA is through offering trainings, providing proper equipment, and proper means for their employee’s to have a safe day.
Another way to stay in compliance with OSHA standards is to ensure each employee has the appropriate qualifications. For example, to operate a limo in Austin, TX the driver must possess a valid driver’s license and attain a chauffer’s permit. The applicant must be 18 years of age, must undergo a criminal background check, including driver’s license suspensions and traffic violations, and be certified by the Texas Department of Safety (Kirkwood, n.d.). In the event the limo service will be transporting 16 or more people, the driver will be required to possess a commercial driver’s license, requiring the driver to be at least 21 years of age. These requirements are also regulated by the Federal Motor Safety Administration (FMCSA) and include other provisions such as: restrictions for driving no more than 10 hours and performing a vehicle safety inspection and signing a vehicle maintenance log before each trip (Airport Commuter, n.d.).
In conclusion, by complying with local, state, and federal laws the employee and the employer will have equal protection. Employment laws such as Title VII of the Civil Rights Act and the FLSA are designed to balance the employee-employer relationship so that the employer cannot abuse or discriminate against the employee. These labor laws also ensure workers the right to fair compensation, an equal opportunity for hire and a safe work environment. Nevertheless, there are also laws set in place to protect the rights of the employer. For example, an employer does not have to hire someone they do not believe to be qualified for the position. Therefore, by adhering to labor laws, the employer is offering dual protections, which can potentially eliminate conflicts and provide successful affiliation for everyone involved.
Airport Commuter. (n.d.). Federal Limousine Service Regulations. Retrieved from http://www.airportcommuter.com/worldwide/federal_limo_regulations.htm American Disabilities Act of 1990. 42 U.S.C. 102(b)(5)
Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration. 49 C.F.R. 300-399 Kirkwood, C. (n.d.). Requirements for getting a chauffeur’s drivers license in Texas. Texas Workforce Commission. Retrieved from http://www.ehow.com/list_6954536_requirements-chauffeur_s-drivers-license-texas.html National Conference of State Legislatures. (2015). State Minimum Wage Chart. Retrieved from http://www.ncsl.org/research/labor-and-employment/state-minimum-wage-chart.aspx Texas Workforce Commission. (2013). Texas Minimum Wage Law. Retrieved from http://www.twc.state.tx.us/ui/lablaw/texas-minimum-wage-law.html#currentWage The Constitution of the United States, Amendment 5
The Constitution of the United States, Amendment 14, Section 1 United States Department of Labor. (n.d.). Wages and the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA). Retrieved from http://www.dol.gov/whd/flsa/ United States Equal Employment Opportunity Commission. (n.d.). Laws, Regulations & Guidance: Types of Discrimination. Retrieved from http://www.eeoc.gov/laws/types/ United States Equal Employment Opportunity Commission. (n.d.). Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964. Retrieved from United States Equal Employment Opportunity Commission: http://www.eeoc.gov/laws/statutes/titlevii.cfm United States Equal Employment Opportunity Commission. (n.d.). The Civil Rights Act of 1991. Retrieved from http://www.eeoc.gov/laws/statutes/cra-1991.cfm University of Pheonix. (2012). Atwood and Allen Consulting [Multimedia]. Retrieved from University of Pheonix, HRM531 website.