Employee Health and Wellness
August 30, 2023
Labor Day, celebrated annually on the first Monday of September, is dedicated to honoring the contributions of workers and the labor movement. While it marks a well-deserved break from work for many, it’s also a reminder of the continually evolving regulations, policies and training requirements that employers must navigate to empower and uplift their workforce.
The origin of Labor Day dates back to the late 19th century when labor unions fought for workers’ rights, improved working conditions and fair wages. The Haymarket affair of 1886 in Chicago marked a turning point in the labor movement, advocating for an eight-hour workday. This struggle eventually led to the recognition of Labor Day as a national holiday, symbolizing the need for a balanced relationship between employers and employees.
Companies can embody Labor Day’s principles throughout the year by evolving their policies and handbooks to meet changing laws and requirements. For example:
- Providing fair compensation under the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA)
- Respecting the rights and well-being of employees under the Family Medical Leave Act (FMLA)
- Supporting a diverse and inclusive workforce through fair hiring and reasonable accommodations under the Title VII of the Civil rights Act of 1964, the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) and the Pregnancy Workers Fairness Act (PWFA)
- Providing safe and harassment-free work conditions under the Occupational Safety and Health (OSH) Act and the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission.
In addition, many states and cities also have their own rules protecting the rights of employees and the operation of companies and industries within their borders.
Compliance training has become an indispensable tool for ensuring that both employees and managers are well-informed about the latest laws, requirements and industry standards. Online courses to address today’s changing workforce dynamics of being onsite, working remotely or in a hybrid environment help businesses stay compliant, mitigate risks, avoid legal entanglements and maintain their reputation.
Today’s HR, EHS and Legal/Compliance professionals play a vital role in ensuring employee rights are upheld within workplaces, as well as customers’ rights to data privacy. Their continued efforts to foster a fair, safe and respectful work environment build on the values that Labor Day celebrates.