Labor and Employment Law Overview: Alabama

Labor and Employment Law Overview requirements for other states

Federal law and guidance on this subject should be reviewed together with this section.

Author: XpertHR Editorial Team

Summary

  • State law prohibits an employer from discriminating against employees based on age. See EEO, Diversity and Employee Relations.
  • Alabama requires an employer to adhere to the state's child labor laws. See Wage and Hour.
  • Under Alabama law, employees are entitled to certain leaves including jury duty leave, military leave, and election leave and voting leave. See Attendance and Leave.

Introduction to Employment Law in Alabama

Alabama is considered an employer-friendly state and, for the most part, any laws that differ from federal law are pro-business.

Select Alabama employment requirements are summarized below to help an employer understand the range of employment laws affecting the employer-employee relationship in the state. An employer must comply with both federal and state law.

An employer must also comply with applicable municipal law obligations affecting the employment relationship, in addition to complying with state and federal requirements.

EEO, Diversity and Employee Relations

The Alabama Age Discrimination in Employment Act (AADEA) prohibits an employer from discriminating against employees age 40 and over, and allows aggrieved employees to take legal action without first exhausting any administrative remedies.

Be aware that where there is overlap between federal, state and/or local law, complying with the law that offers the greatest rights or benefits to the employee will generally apply.

Additional information on discrimination protection in Alabama can be found in the Alabama Employee Handbook Table of Contents, EEO - Discrimination: Alabama, and Does This Law Apply to My Organization in Alabama? Federal requirements can be found in EEO - Discrimination: Federal.

Wage and Hour

Child labor laws in Alabama restrict the occupations in which minors may be employed and the number of hours and times during which they may work.

All minors are prohibited from working in hazardous occupations, and minors under the age of 16 are prohibited from working in a variety of other occupations such as manufacturing or building trades. Child labor laws also list many occupations in which minors are actively permitted to engage, such as delivering newspapers and agricultural services.

Minors who are 14 or 15 years of age may not work:

  • For more than six days, or for more than 40 hours in any one week;
  • For more than eight hours in any one day; or
  • Before 7:00 a.m. or after 9:00 p.m. during school summer vacation.

When school is in regular session, minors who are 14 or 15 years of age may not work:

  • For more than six days in any one week;
  • For more than eight hours on a non-school day, or more than three hours on a school day, or for more than 18 hours in any school week: and
  • Before 7:00 a.m. or after 7:00 p.m.

Additionally, minors who are 16, 17 or 18 years of age, and who are enrolled in any public or private primary or secondary school system, may not work between 10:00 p.m. and 5:00 a.m. on any night preceding a school day.

Be aware that where there is overlap between federal, state and/or local law, complying with the law that offers the greatest rights or benefits to the employee will generally apply.

Additional information on wage and hour practices related to child labor in Alabama can be found in Child Labor: Alabama and Alabama Workplace Labor and Employment Law Posters. Federal requirements can be found in Child Labor: Federal.

Attendance and Leave

Alabama has fewer laws relating to required leaves for employees than many other states, but does have mandated leave laws such as:

  • Crime victim leave;
  • Jury duty leave;
  • Military leave;
  • Voting leave; and
  • Election leave (covering employers with 26 or more employees).

Be aware that where there is overlap between federal, state and/or local law, complying with the law that offers the greatest rights or benefits to the employee will generally apply.

Additional information on attendance and leave practices in Alabama can be found in the Alabama Employee Handbook Table of Contents, Jury Duty Leave: Alabama, USERRA: Alabama and Other Leaves: Alabama. Federal requirements can be found in Jury Duty: Federal, USERRA: Federal and Other Leaves: Federal.