The employment of skilled craft labor by a construction firm is subject to the provisions of an array of both federal and state statutes. These laws have such an important bearing on the conduct of a contracting business that the construction contractor is obliged to have at least a general grasp of their workings and implications. The purpose of this chapter is to discuss the important features of the principal federal statutes that apply to the employment of construction workers. Federal laws are discussed because of their wide applicability, and because of the fact that most state labor statutes are patterned after federal law. Emphasis is placed more on the broad implications of these laws than on the intricacies of case studies.
For purposes of discussion in this chapter, those statutes which pertain to labor-management relations are considered first. Following are the federal laws pertinent to equal employment opportunity. The last sections of this chapter discuss labor standards legislation and other related topics.
In the early days of this nation, the right of working people to associate together, or to organize themselves for their mutual aid and protection in the workplace, was severely restricted. Labor unions were strictly curtailed and were sometimes referred to as “unlawful conspiracies.”
This was the mindset in the workplace until the1930s when the first of the laws of labor relations ...