Women’s rights in the workplace have come a long way, thanks to several federal law established to ensure and protect those rights. Learn more about these important federal laws that protect women in the workplace.

The Equal Pay Act

The Equal Pay Act (EPA) prohibits employers from discriminating against a female employee based on their sex. Additionally, this federal law mandates that employers must pay a man and a woman who are doing the same type of job the same level of pay. The EPA is part of the Fair Labor Standards Act of 1938 and is enforced by the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission.

The Fair Labor Standards Act

This federal act is not specific to gender; however, it ensures that women have a maximum hour work week, a minimum wage, overtime pay, and also eliminates child labor. The elimination of child labor impacted women in a significant way and provided more opportunities in the workplace. This federal act has been amended more than 20 times in its history, showing that it continues to be an important part of all worker’s rights.

Title VII of the Civil Rights Act

Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 (as well as California’s Fair Employment and Housing Act (FEHA) prohibits discrimination against women in the workplace. It is also important to note that the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) regulates discrimination in the workplace as well.

The Pregnancy Discrimination Act of 1978

In order to save themselves both healthcare costs and sick leave, many employers fired women once they became pregnant. This federal act requires that employers may never discriminate against a pregnant woman or use her pregnancy (or possibility to become pregnant) as a factor in the hiring or employment processes.

The Consolidated Omnibus Budget Reconciliation Act (COBRA)

COBRA impacts all employees; however, this federal act is especially important for women as it requires employers to maintain health insurance coverage for a period of time after an employee separates from their job. As a result, a woman who leaves her place of employment for any reason, will still have the ability to have health insurance coverage for her and her family.

The Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA)

The FMLA allows both men and women to take time off of work (unpaid leave) in the event of adoption or birth of a newborn child. Every employee working for a company of over 50 employees has the legal right to take FMLA leave if they have worked there for a specific period of time. This federal law obviously helps women who have just given birth or recently adopted a child.

Contact an Employment Attorney

Unfortunately, even with all of these federal laws, discrimination against women still exists in the workplace. If you feel that your legal rights as a woman in the workplace have been violated, contact an experienced employment attorney at the Law Offices of Jeremy Pasternak at 415-693-0300 or online to help you ensure that your workers’ rights are protected.