Employment law is one of the most misunderstood types of laws among everyday people. It is the type of law that governs the duties of employees, as well as their rights at the workplace. It is also commonly referred to as labor law. The laws are in place first and foremost to protect the rights of workers at the workplace, to keep them safe and to ensure that they are treated fairly. There are various employment laws throughout the United States that are based on both federal and state laws. In many workplaces, an employment relationship can also be governed by a contract.
What is the Role of an Attorney Who Specializes in Employment Law?
An employment law attorney may be necessary if certain situations arise in the workplace that violates employment law and specifically, an employee’s rights. For example, if someone working for a large corporation became the victim of sexual harassment at the hands of her direct supervisor or if an employee was fired because they have a disability, they might want to fight back with legal action. An employment law attorney can not only give these people essential legal advice but can help them to sue their place of employment for violating the employment laws and their rights.
Situations Where an Employment Law Lawyer is Necessary
An attorney who specializes in employment law can represent a former employee who experienced a number of different issues that violate the law. These violations include the following:
- Sexual harassment
- Workers’ compensation
- Termination of Employment
- Privacy Rights
- Discrimination against an employee based on their race, sex, religion, sexual orientation, age, disability, marital status, national origin and more
- Workplace safety
- Overtime and wage standards
- Employee benefits such as retirement plans and leave of absence
What is the Area from Which Most Employment Disputes Stem?
Many employment disputes are in regard to violations of wage and hour. The US federal law has firmly established rules based on the legal minimum wage and on the total number of hours an employee can work. Excepting exempt workers, employees who work more than 40 hours in a workweek are entitled to overtime pay, which is generally time and a half. In addition, there are specific laws and rules regarding workers who are under the age of 18.
Discrimination in the workplace is another area where there are a great number of disputes. The Civil Rights Act of 1964 makes it illegal for any employee to be treated differently or unfairly based on their race, religion, age, gender, ethnicity or disability.
Other Issues in Employment
Many of the current disputes in the workplace revolve around the issues of equal pay for men and women – women still make approximately 20 percent less money than men – and healthcare.
“At Will” Employment
While it is certainly a good idea to speak to an employment law attorney in any of the above scenarios, there is the “at will” rule regarding employment that is worth knowing. Almost every state presumes that employment is at will, meaning that both the employee and employer have the right to terminate the relationship at any time, for any reason that is within the legal scope.
If you believe you have a legitimate case against your former employer, it’s important to get in touch with our experienced employment law attorneys. You can discuss your case and get the advice and assistance you need.