Welcome to LegalAdvice.com expert page on the topic Employment Law. Employment Law, sometimes also referred to as Labor Law, includes many different types of topics such as the rules governing hiring, terminating, investigating incidents of job discrimination, developing procedures to prevent sexual harassment and much more.
Employment law comprises the rules that make up the rights and duties that regulates the relationships between employers and employees. Employment law concerns itself with how individual employees’ that work for an organization have their rights protected. The body of law that regulates employment law attempts to establish equitable rules for the treatment of individuals when the bargaining power between owners and labor may not be equal. Rules that mediate the relationship between workers, employers, and trade unions are also set out under collective bargaining law that attempts to allow for the leveling of the playing among all parties involved so as to negotiate fair terms of employment.
The existence of a prohibition in employment discrimination law in the United States has its origins in the common law, and is further codified under state, municipal and federal laws. The laws prohibit discrimination by defining certain characteristics as being part of a ‘protected class‘. Public employees have long had certain protections against discrimination because the U.S. Constitution explicitly prohibits discrimination by the government against public employees. Even though the U.S. Constitution does not explicitly prohibit discrimination in the private sector there is a growing body of federal and state law to expand protections in this area. Federal law offers the greatest efforts to prohibit discrimination in all employment areas. Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 makes it unlawful for any employers to discriminate on the basis of color, race, religion, sex, national origin, age and more. This Act also created the U.S. Equal Opportunity Employment Commission (E.E.O.C) whose goal is to remove any unlawful discrimination in the workplace. The laws enforced by the EEOC require a person to make a formal charge of discrimination in order to avail themselves of the protections afforded under the law.
Another significant law that offer workers protections against discrimination include the Equal Pay Act (EPA) of 1963 which amended the Fair Labor Standards Act of 1938. The Fair Labor Standards Act created the right to a minimum wage and overtime pay, but the Equal Pay Act aimed to abolish wage disparity based on gender. The Equal Pay Act made it illegal to pay different wages, bonuses or financial treatment based on gender. All forms of compensation are included in this law such as vacation time allowed and holiday pay. The EPA aims to remove discrimination based on salary disparity between genders for all occupations, including the highest paid occupations, in which salary disparity is the highest.
Other significant pieces of legislation that aim to prohibit discrimination include the ADEA and the ADA. The Age Discrimination in Employment Act (ADEA) of 1967 aims to prohibit employers from discriminating on the basis of age. The Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990 (ADA) aims to prevent discrimination against persons with disabilities.
If you are involved in a workplace dispute then it may become necessary to hire an employment lawyer. An employment lawyer should be able to review the merits of your claim to determine how to best protect you against unlawful practices. It can sometimes be difficult to determine the instances when an employment lawyer becomes necessary due to the initial hesitation to confront an employer. Even though some problems can be resolved amicably through open communication with Human Resources, sometimes it becomes necessary to hire an employment lawyer. A qualified employment lawyer can review the merits of a complaint to determine whether a person is being treated unfairly because oftentimes a person intimately involved in a dispute needs objectivity to determine the validity of a claim. An employment attorney can advise an employee on the strength of a claim and also be prepared to negotiate a severance or settlement when filing a lawsuit is the least desired outcome. Employment lawyers usually charge on an hourly basis and typically range from about $150-$400 an hour unless a flat fee arrangement per task is negotiated between attorney-client in advance.