While there are various federal laws that offer protection to employees all over the country, Vermont has various additional laws that provide greater protections for their employees. These laws cover areas such as pregnancy accommodation, paid sick leave and higher minimum wage.
Employers in Vermont are required to abide by both federal and state laws governing employment and labor. Employers are also required to comply with applicable municipal laws. Some employment and labor laws that are specific to Vermont have been outlined below.
Vermont employers must abide by the Vermont Fair Employment Practices Act (VFEPA). This law protects employees from discrimination on the basis of race, religion, color, national origin, sexual orientation, gender identity, place of birth, mental or physical condition, age (from 18 years and older) and HIV status.
The law also protects employees who make claims of discrimination from retaliation. Sexual harassment is specifically prohibited.
Right to Equal Pay
Employers in Vermont should not discriminate against their employees on the basis of gender when determining what the employees should earn in wages. Employees should receive equal wages for equal work performed under similar conditions, and work that requires equal effort, responsibility and skill. Differentials in wages, however, may be given on other non-discriminatory factors such as merit or seniority.
Vermont employees may discuss or disclose their wages with other employees without prohibition. Employees also don’t need to sign a waiver from their employers in order to disclose or discuss their wages.
Accommodations for Pregnancy
Employers in Vermont are expected to make reasonable accommodations for employees when they are pregnant. Employers are required to provide accommodations for pregnancy-related conditions within reason. These conditions include pregnancy or childbirth-related conditions or limitations that may hinder the employee from performing their job tasks adequately.
These accommodations should be made regardless of whether or not the employee is considered to be living with a disability under the law. The same rights and standards are to be provided to any qualified individual.
Vermont state laws provide employees with additional protections beyond those provided under federal law. However, there are occasions when there is an overlap between federal, state and local laws. Vermont employers should ensure that they fully comply with both federal and state law. Failure to do so, may risk substantial legal consequences.
If you are an employer in Vermont with questions about how the employment laws apply to your business, please contact attorney David Cole for a confidential initial consultation. Alternatively, if you are an employee in Vermont and suspect that your rights have been violated by your employer, David Cole may be able to help.
Please call us today to schedule your employment law consultation.