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Race Discrimination - Essay Example

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Definition of employment law. In general, labour law or employment law is the body of laws, administrative rulings, and precedents which addresses the legal rights of, and restrictions on, workers and their organisations. As such, it mediates many aspects of the relationship between trade unions, employers and employees.
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Download file to see previous pages Federal law also provides more limited rights for employees of the federal government. These federal laws do not, on the other hand, apply to employees of state and local governments, agricultural workers or domestic employees; any statutory protections those workers have derive from state law.
The pattern is even more mixed in the area of wages and working conditions. Federal law establishes minimum wages and overtime rights for most workers in the private and public sectors; state and local laws may provide more expansive rights, Similarly, federal law provides minimum workplace safety standards, but allows the states to take over those responsibilities and to provide more stringent standards.
Formally, both federal and state laws protect workers from employment discrimination. In most areas these two bodies of law overlap; as an example, federal law permits state to enact their own statutes barring discrimination on the basis of race, gender, religion, national origin and age, so long as the state law does not provide less protections than federal law would. Federal law, on the other hand, preempts most state statutes that would bar employers from discriminating against employees to prevent them from obtaining pensions or other benefits or retaliating against them for asserting those rights (Chinese immigrants and American law, 1994, pp. 12-14). Let us try to look at what happens in reality.
Historical discrimination. Chinese immigration to the United States has come in many waves. According to records from the United States government, the first Chinese arrived in the United States around 1820. Subsequent immigrants that came from the 1820s up to the late 1840s were mainly men, who came in small numbers. The major initial wave started around the 1850s. This was when the West Coast of North America was being rapidly colonized during the California Gold Rush, while southern China suffered from severe political and economic instability (Cose, 1992, p. 35).
In 1860, two discriminatory laws were passed in California. One forbade Chinese American children to attend public schools. The other required a special license to be purchased by Chinese American fishermen. It was called a license instead of a tax because unequal taxation was forbidden by law.
In 1862, the United States Congress passed a "Coolie Traffic Law" (the term "coolie" refers to unskilled laborers from Asia, in general) prohibiting transportation and importation of coolies from China, except when immigration was certified as voluntary by United States consular agents. Shortly afterward, the California legislature passed an act to protect free White labor against competition from Chinese coolie labor, and to discourage immigration of Chinese into the state of California (Cose, 1992, p. 62).
A "police tax" law was passed, whereby all Mongolians 18 years or over, unless they had already paid a miner's tax or were engaged in production of sugar, rice, coffee, or tea, had to pay a monthly personal tax of $2.50. This was ruled unconstitutional by the State Supreme Court in 1863 (Chinn, 1969, p. 2).
Railroad Construction. The most impressive construction feat of Chinese Americans was the work done on the western section of the transcontinental railroa ...Download file to see next pagesRead More
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