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Employment law changes enacted this year, so far

It is hard to believe that it is already September. It seems like only yesterday Americans were making New Year’s resolutions and rolling their eyes at the presence of Valentine’s Day fare in retail stores. However, it is indeed already autumn and many changes in the nation’s laws over the past nine months illustrate just how transformative 2014 has been to-date.

In particular, many changes have been made in the area of employment law on both the state and federal level. Perhaps most significantly on the state level has been California’s initiatives concerning whistleblowers. Under new state protections, employees now have far fewer reasons to fear retaliation if they report internal illegal activities. However, it is worth noting that employees thinking about reporting illegal activity may still wish to consult an experienced employment law attorney before doing so, as some restrictions to state whistleblower protections may apply.

On the federal level, 2014 initiatives by the executive branch have resulted in minimum wage increases for workers employed by businesses subject to federal contracts. Although the increases do not go into effect until January, the impending change is a welcome one.

Finally, federal discrimination protections have been expanded for veterans and for pregnant workers. These are particularly important expansions given that pregnant workers and veteran workers tend to experience surprisingly high rates of discrimination within the American workforce. Much work has yet to be done in order to ensure the safety and respect of American workers, but 2014 has been a tremendous year in employment law evolution so far.

Source: Findlaw Law & Daily Life, “Labor Day: 5 Employment Law Changes in 2014,” Daniel Taylor, Sep. 1, 2014

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