Labor Law Pamphlet

We put the Pocket Guide to Labor Law together to explain the basic legal protections architects, interns, owners, and practitioners should be aware of. In our effort to understand how the profession systematically undervalues design thinking and making, we realized that part of the problem is a general lack of knowledge and/or misunderstanding of laws already on the books—laws that exist precisely to protect the value of labor. Our common labor practices are based on tradition, training, and shared assumptions. It follows that any violations of the law likely occur due to habit rather than malice. However, the Lobby’s ad-hoc review of current legislation leads us to believe that a many architecture firms are operating in violation of the rules—specifically the provisions of the Fair Labor Standards Act.

The Pocket Guide to Labor Law was written by architectural workers, not lawyers. It is not comprehensive, but rather seeks to identify and address common issues we see in the architecture industry. We intend it to help architectural employers and employees to quickly understand their respective duties and rights under existing law, and the potential implications and means of recourse, should laws be broken. The Pocket Guide to Labor Law only addresses U.S. Federal labor law. Many states might have additional rules and regulations that have not been included. Most information comes directly from publicly available fact sheets—links and references are included in each section and at the end of the pamphlet. For more information, consult the resources listed. If necessary seek legal counsel, and note that attorneys often offer free consultations. The Architecture Lobby is happy to assist in identifying and locating additional resources. We encourage you to reach out to us through our website or email.

We believe that “best practices” can always get better, especially in the office.

Click here to read the Pocket Guide to Labor Law(PDF format, 244 KB)

Click here to print and fold your own Pocket Guide to Labor Law!  (PDF format, 288 KB)

Note on Print Settings: Print the PDF document on letter-sized paper (8.5″ x 11″), portrait, duplex (on both sides of the paper), flip on long edge, collated (if you are printing multiple guides) and at 100% scale. Each guide is consists of four sheets of paper.

1. Keep the four sheets in the order that they were printed. The first page should have title, The Architecture Lobby’s logo, and contact info upside down.

2. Fold all four sheets in half lengthwise (aka hot dog or mountain fold) with the upside down logo facing you.

3. Flip the folded sheets and;

4. Fold the sheets in half again, this time crosswise (aka hamburger fold). The logo should now be right side up.

5. With the title and logo facing you, unfold the booklet once, and you should be at the Table of Contents. To secure the guide, staple all four sheets together where the thick black marks are.