In Alabama, the Federal and state employment laws protect employee rights on the job, including their right to work free from discrimination, the right to be paid the minimum wage, and the right to take leave from work for specific reasons. Alabama is one of the states in the U.S that has not established a minimum wage rate. The minimum wage is determined by federal law as the state hasn’t established their own. Presently, the United States federal minimum wage rate is $7.25.
In Alabama, it is mandatory for every employer or business owner to purchase and maintain a workers compensation insurance.
The employment or labor laws in Alabama do not refer to governing payment related to overtime and only federal overtime laws apply. There are a few dishonest employers who try to get around Alabama employee rights. They do this by hiring their workers as salaried employees instead of hourly. In Alabama, employees who have an inkling that their employers have violated any overtime laws can take several types of actions to ensure that their rights are protected.
Employees in Alabama have the right to request an Occupational Safety and Health Administration inspection if they are confident that their employer has committed any safety violations. Employers are prohibited from retaliating against any employees who complain of unsafe or hazardous working conditions.
If an employee is injured while they are in the job, he/she is likely to be eligible for workers’ compensation. Most of the employers in Alabama are required to carry workers’ compensation insurance.
Concerning break times, the employment laws in Alabama only require employees who are 14 years to 15 years old are allowed to take a 30-minute meal or rest period for working five continuous hours. There is no law that states that employees who are 16 years of age and older get a specific break period. During these times, the federal law applies, but there is also no rule in the federal law that demands an employer provide a lunch break or other rest period.
At-will Employment in Alabama
Similar to many states in the U.S., the state of Alabama employs people generally “at-will.” It means that the employer/employee relationship is based on the free will of both parties, and it can also, therefore, be canceled out by either the employer or employee at any time and for literally any reason. There are, however, some noteworthy exceptions to the at-will employment notion in Alabama.
Right to time off work
Many employers generally offer their employees paid leave, such as vacation time, sick days, holidays, or paid time off benefits. In Alabama, these kinds of benefits are discretionary. Some states require employers to give employees paid sick days, but neither Alabama employment laws nor federal law requires employers to offer paid leave.
Alabama is known to have an at-will employment state, but there are many notable exceptions which are observed to restrict employers from taking advantage of certain types of workers. For example, employers are restricted from firing employees for reasons that are discriminatory, such as an employee’s color, race, or country of origin. It’s essential that business owners and employers in Alabama fully understand and comprehend these exceptions to avoid a potentially costly wrongful termination lawsuit.
Right to work
The right of an individual with a desire to work shall not be denied on account of membership or nonmembership to any labor union or labor organization. Any agreement between the employer and labor union or organization that denies nonmembers the right to work is prohibited and illegal.