It’s important to stay up to date on all of the employment laws in your state so that you can maintain compliance in your business. We did some of the hard work for you and put some of the most important Alabama statutes in one place so you can either learn them for the first time or give yourself a refresher.
However, remember that our summary is not qualified legal advice, laws are always subject to change, and they can vary from municipality to municipality.
It’s up to you to make sure you’re compliant with all laws and statutes in your area. Consult with a qualified lawyer and/or your local government agencies if you have questions or concerns.
Here are a few employment laws every Alabama small business owner should know.
First, here are a few helpful links and resources for you to bookmark and refer back to:
- Sick Days: No statute
- Medical Leave: No statute
- Vacation Days: No statute, but if an employer chooses to provide vacation leave, it must comply with the terms of its established policy or contract.
- Jury Duty: Alabama requires employers to grant paid leave to full-time employees who are summoned for and participate in jury duty, provided the employee presents a summons.
- Holiday Leave: No statute
- Voting Leave: Employers are required to grant any staff members who is registered to vote and has given reasonable request up to one hour of unpaid leave to vote in any election. If the polls open two hours before an employee’s shift begins or one hour after the shift ends, the employer is exempt from the requirement. The employer may also specify the hours in which the employee must take the leave if they are required to provide the leave.
- Bereavement Leave: No statute
Alabama has no laws dictating when an employer must give the final paycheck to employees who have:
- Been fired
- Left the position due to a strike or labor dispute
- Are laid off.
Alabama law allows tipped employees to be paid a lower wage than the standard minimum wage by their employers, as up to $5.12 in tips earned per hour can be deducted from their wage as “tip credit.” In other words, tipped employees must be paid at least $2.13 an hour in cash wage and make a total minimum compensation of $7.25 per hour, including tips.
There is no state law for minimum wage in Alabama, so most employees are entitled to the federal minimum wage of $7.25 an hour as set forth in the Fair Labor Standards Act.
- Children under the age of 14 may not work in any occupation performed in a public place in Alabama.
- Youth who are 14 and 15 years of age must obtain an Eligibility to Work Form from the Alabama Department of Labor to work for an employer. Employers must also obtain a Class I Child Labor Certificate.
- The following time restrictions are placed on 14- and 15-year-old employees:
- While school is in session
- for no more than 6 days in a school week
- for no more than 18 hours in a school week
- for no more than 8 hours on a non-school day
- for no more than 3 hours on a school day
- between 7:00 a.m. and 7:00 p.m.
- While school is out of session
- for no more than 6 days in a workweek
- no more than 40 hours in a workweek
- between 7:00 a.m. and 9:00 p.m. on any given day
- Youth under the age of 16 are prohibited from working in these industries.
- Any establishment that serves alcohol is prohibited from employing anyone under the age of 16, unless the establishment is owned and operated by the youth’s immediate family. In that case, the youth may work in the establishment as long as they are not serving alcohol.
Meal Breaks, Rest Periods, Overtime
- Meal Breaks and Rest Periods: Alabama law only requires that employees who are 14 and 15 years of age and scheduled to work 5 continuous hours must be given a 30-minute break.
- Overtime: No statute, but the FLSA requires employers to pay employees an overtime rate of one and a half times their regular rate for all hours worked in a workweek in excess of 40, unless the employee is exempt from overtime requirements.
- Overtime exemption: No statute, but the regulations set forth in the FLSA give employers a checklist for ensuring salaried employers are correctly classified as overtime exempt. This includes:
- Being paid a set salary
- Meeting minimum pay requirements for exempt employees
- Performing management, administrative or professional duties.
- The Alabama Age Discrimination in Employment Act prohibits employers with 20 or more employees from discriminating against applicants who are 40 years of age and older.
- Employers may not refuse to interview, hire, promote, or employ an applicant, or retaliate against an applicant because the applicant does not provide wage history.
- Employers may not pay employees at wages less than they pay employees of another sex or race for equal work within the same establishment on jobs the performance of which requires equal skill, effort, education, experience, and responsibility, if performed under similar working conditions.
- Private employers may have a voluntary veterans’ preference employment policy. It must be in writing and must be applied uniformly to employment decisions.
- A state law was enacted in 2014 to streamline the process of having certain criminal charges expunged. Once a charge has been expunged, a job applicant is not required to disclose that the expunged record exists on an application.
- The Alabama Persons with Disabilities Act requires employers to treat employees with disabilities the same as employees without a disability, unless the disability prevents the employee from performing their work.
- Read our blog to find out what you can and cannot ask during a job interview according to federal law.
Alabama is an “at-will employment” state, which means that without a written employee contract, employees can be terminated for any reason at any time.
Alabama does not have any laws regarding shift scheduling, nor does the FLSA.