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Which federal labor laws apply to small businesses?


Federal labor laws by number of employees

Many federal labor laws are defined by the number of employees an employer has on staff. This means that different labor laws apply to different employers, which can be confusing and difficult to keep up with. Stay on track with the laws that encompass your business by reviewing labor laws that impact employers with fewer than 100 employees.  

Federal labor laws for all employer sizes

  • The Clayton Act (1914)

  • The Consumer Credit Protection Act (1968)

  • The Copeland “Anti-Kickback” Act (1934)

  • The Copyright Act (1976)

  • The Davis-Back Act (1931)

  • The Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act (2010)

  • The Economic Growth and Tax Relief Reconciliation Act (EGTRRA) (2001)

  • The Electronic Communications Privacy Act (ECPA) (1986)

  • The Employee Polygraph Protection Act (1988)

  • The Employee Retirement Income Security Act (ERISA) (1974)

  • The Equal Pay Act (an Amendment to the FLSA) (1963)

  • The FAA Modernization and Reform Act (2012)

  • The Fair and Accurate Credit Transactions Act (FACT) (2003)

  • The Fair Credit Reporting Act (FCRA) (1970), as Amended in 2011

  • The Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) (1938)

  • The Foreign Corrupt Practices Act (FCPA) (1997)

  • The Health Information Technology for Economic and Clinical Health (HITECH) Act (2009)

  • The Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA) (1996)

  • The Immigration and Nationality Act (INA) (1952)

  • The Immigration Reform and Control Act (IRCA) (1986)

  • The IRS Intermediate Sanctions (2002) 

  • The Labor-Management Relations Act (LMRA; Taft-Hartley Act) (1947)

  • The Labor-Management Reporting and Disclosure Act (Landrum-Griffin Act) (1959)

  • The Mine Safety and Health Act (1977)

  • The National Industrial Recovery Act (1933)

  • The National Labor Relations Act (NLRA; Wagner Act) (1935)

  • The Needlestick Safety and Prevention Act (2000)

  • The Norris-LaGuardia Act (1932)

  • The Occupational Safety and Health Act (OSHA) (1970)

  • The Omnibus Budget Reconciliation Act (OBRA) (1993)

  • The Pension Protection Act (PPA) (2006)

  • The Personal Responsibility and Work Opportunity Reconciliation Act (1996)

  • The Portal-to-Portal Act (1947)

  • The Railway Labor Act (1926)

  • The Rehabilitation Act (1973), as Amended in 1980

  • The Retirement Equity Act (REA) (1984)

  • The Revenue Act (1978)

  • The Sarbanes-Oxley Act (SOX) (2002)

  • The Securities and Exchange Act (1934)

  • The Service Contract Act (1965(

  • The Sherman Anti-Trust Act (1890)

  • The Small Business Job Protection Act (1996)

  • The Social Security Act (1935)

  • The Tax Reform Act (1986)

  • The Taxpayer Relief Act (1997)

  • The Trademark Act (1946)

  • The Unemployment Compensation Amendments (UCA) (1992)

  • The Uniformed Services Employment and Reemployment Rights Act (USERRA) (1994)

  • The Vietnam Era Veterans Readjustment Assistance Act (1974)

  • The Wagner-Peyser Act (1933)

  • The Walsh-Healey Act (1936)

  • The Work Opportunity Tax Credit (WOTC) (1996)

  • The Labor Management Reporting and Disclosure Act (1959)


Labor laws for employers with 15+ employees

  • The Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) (1990)

  • The Civil Right Act (title VII) (1964)

  • The Civil Rights Act (1991)

  • The Drug-Free Workplace Act (1998)

  • The Equal Employment Opportunity Act (EEOA) (1972)

  • The Genetic Information Nondiscrimination Act (GINA) (2008)

  • Guidelines on Discrimination Because of Sex (1980)

  • The Lilly Ledbetter Fair Pay Act (2009)

  • The Pregnancy Discrimination Act (1978)

  • The Uniform Guidelines on Employee Selection Procedures (1978)

Labor laws for employers with 20+ employees

  • The Age Discrimination in Employment Act (ADEA) (1967)

  • The American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (ARRA) (2009)

  • The Consolidated Omnibus Budget Reconciliation Act (COBRA) (1986)

  • The Older Workers Benefit Protection Act (OWBPA) (1990)

Labor laws for employers with 50-100+ employees

  • Executive Order 11246: Affirmative Action (1965)

  • The Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA) (1993)

  • The Mental Health Parity Act (MHPA) (1996)

  • The Mental Health Parity and Addition Equity Act (MHPAEA) (2008)

  • The National Defense Authorization Act (2008)

  • The Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (PPACA) (2010)

  • Executive Order 13706: Paid Sick Leave for Federal Contractors (2015)

  • The Worker Adjustment and Retraining Notification (WARN) Act (1988)


Needless to say, compliance with federal labor laws is a full time job in itself. Administrators must understand regulations, implement those regulations and document compliance with those regulations. An HR and benefits software platform like BerniePortal eases compliance pains by organizing and storing employee documents, streamlining notice distribution and consolidating all of HR in one central location.


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