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Political and Legal Forces

1. HR Laws

2. Consumer Laws

3. Anti-trust legislation and merger approval process

USA
1. Equal Opportunity Employment, maximum hours a minor can work,
required breaks for hourly employees, minimum wage

Wages & Hours

The Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) prescribes standards for wages and
overtime pay, which affect most private and public employment. The act is
administered by the Wage and Hour Division of the Employment Standards
Administration (ESA). It requires employers to pay covered employees who
are not otherwise exempt at least the federal minimum wage and overtime
pay of one-and-one-half-times the regular rate of pay. For nonagricultural
operations, it restricts the hours that children under age 16 can work and
forbids the employment of children under age 18 in certain jobs deemed too
dangerous. For agricultural operations, it prohibits the employment of
children under age 16 during school hours and in certain jobs deemed too
dangerous.

The Wage and Hour Division also enforces the labor standards provisions of
the Immigration and Nationality Act that apply to aliens authorized to work in
the U.S. under certain nonimmigrant visa programs (H-1B, H-1B1, H-1C,
H2A).

Workplace Safety & Health

The Occupational Safety and Health (OSH) Act is administered by the


Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA). Safety and health
conditions in most private industries are regulated by OSHA or OSHA-
approved state programs, which also cover public sector employers.
Employers covered by the OSH Act must comply with the regulations and the
safety and health standards promulgated by OSHA. Employers also have a
general duty under the OSH Act to provide their employees with work and a
workplace free from recognized, serious hazards. OSHA enforces the Act
through workplace inspections and investigations. Compliance assistance
and other cooperative programs are also available.

Workers' Compensation
The Longshore and Harbor Workers' Compensation Act (LHWCA),
administered by ESA's Office of Workers Compensation Programs (OWCP),
provides for compensation and medical care to certain maritime employees
(including a longshore worker or other person in longshore operations, and
any harbor worker, including a ship repairer, shipbuilder, and shipbreaker)
and to qualified dependent survivors of such employees who are disabled or
die due to injuries that occur on the navigable waters of the United States, or
in adjoining areas customarily used in loading, unloading, repairing or
building a vessel.

The Energy Employees Occupational Illness Compensation Program Act is a


compensation program that provides a lump-sum payment of $150,000 and
prospective medical benefits to employees (or certain of their survivors) of
the Department of Energy and its contractors and subcontractors as a result
of cancer caused by exposure to radiation, or certain illnesses caused by
exposure to beryllium or silica incurred in the performance of duty, as well as
for payment of a lump-sum of $50,000 and prospective medical benefits to
individuals (or certain of their survivors) determined by the Department of
Justice to be eligible for compensation as uranium workers under section 5 of
the Radiation Exposure Compensation Act.

The Federal Employees' Compensation Act (FECA), 5 U.S.C. 8101 et seq.,


establishes a comprehensive and exclusive workers' compensation program
which pays compensation for the disability or death of a federal employee
resulting from personal injury sustained while in the performance of duty.
The FECA, administered by OWCP, provides benefits for wage loss
compensation for total or partial disability, schedule awards for permanent
loss or loss of use of specified members of the body, related medical costs,
and vocational rehabilitation.

The Black Lung Benefits Act provides monthly cash payments and medical
benefits to coal miners totally disabled from pneumoconiosis ("black lung
disease") arising from their employment in the nation's coal mines. The
statute also provides monthly benefits to a deceased miner's survivors if the
miner's death was due to black lung disease.

Source: US Department of Labor

2. Identity theft, fraud protection, e-commerce protection, US Consumer


Product Protection Committee, safety recalls, Product safety standards

3. The Bureau of Competition is committed to preventing mergers and


acquisitions that are likely to reduce competition and lead to higher prices,
lower quality goods or services, or less innovation. In most cases, the Bureau
receives notice of proposed mergers under the Hart-Scott-Rodino (HSR)
Amendments to the Clayton Act. Bureau lawyers, along with economists from
the FTC's Bureau of Economics, investigate market dynamics to determine if
the proposed merger will harm consumers. When necessary, the FTC may
take formal legal action to stop the merger, either in federal court or before
an FTC administrative law judge.

Source: www.ftc.gov

Canada

1. Labour law defines your rights and obligations as workers, union members
and employers in the workplace. Labour Law covers the following areas:

Industrial relations – certification of unions, labour-management relations,


collective bargaining and unfair labour practices

Workplace health and safety

Employment standards, including general holidays, annual vacations,


working hours, unjust dismissals, minimum wage, layoff procedures and
severance pay

All federally regulated employers are subject to Canadian Labour Law

Source: Human Resources and Social Development Canada

2. Canada has consumer laws governing the following areas: Competition


Law, Consumer Safety - General Consumer Products, Consumer Safety - Food
Safety, consumer safety- Automobiles, Labelling, conditions of sale and
warranties, unfair business practices, protection of personal information,
class proceedings

Source: Human Resources and Social Development Canada

3. Competition Bureau
Mergers: When all or part of one business is acquired by another. The
Bureau has the authority to review any merger, regardless of its size.
However, the Bureau must be notified in advance of proposed transactions
when the value of the assets or the target firm exceeds $50 million or the
value of the amalgamated company exceeds $70 million, and when the
combined dollar value of the parties and their respective affiliates exceeds
$400 million.
Source: The competition Bureau Canada

Fair competition
makes the economy work more efficiently;

strengthens businesses' ability to adapt and compete in global markets;

gives small and medium businesses an equitable chance to compete and


participate in the economy;

provides consumers with competitive prices, product choices and the


information they need to make informed purchasing decisions; and

balances the interests of consumers and producers, wholesalers and


retailers, dominant players and minor players, the public interest and the
private interest.

Japan
1. The Japan Institute for Labour Policy and Training passes all laws
governing employment in Japan. They can be found at
http://www.jil.go.jp/english/laborinfo/library/Laws.htm

2. The Consumer Policy Regime in Japan creates all consumer laws. They
have laws governing Consumer Contracts, Product Liability, and Consumer
Protection in the Context of Electronic Commerce.
http://www.consumer.go.jp/english/index.html

3. Japan has the Japan Fair Trade Commission that governs mergers and
acquisitions and fair trade practices in Japan.
http://www.jftc.go.jp/e-page/