Employment law regulates the rights and obligations of employers and employees. Both state and federal laws govern areas such as minimum wage, overtime pay, length of work week, employee benefits, workplace safety, discrimination, unemployment, disability and workers’ compensation. Many employment laws were enacted as protective labor legislation; others take the form of public insurance.
An employee and employer may work together to resolve employment-related problems. However, conflicts could arise that require legal guidance to effectively resolve. While some employers have human resource departments and in-house legal counsel to assist them, an employee must seek the services of an employment law attorney to protect his or her rights.
GetLegal’s Employment Law Center provides information that employers and employees can use to learn more about work-related issues. Review our legal tips and watch videos of practicing employment law attorneys to find out more about this area.
The law governing the hiring process aims to balance valid employer needs with prospective employee rights. Things that employers do before and after an interview may be regulated by laws such as the Americans with Disabilities Act, the Fair Labor Standards Act and the Civil Rights Act of 1964.
There are limitations on terminating an employee, and employees who have been terminated are granted certain rights under state and federal law. It's important to know these rights and limitations, and to understand the various methods of insuring yourself in the event that you lose your job.
Labor laws primarily deal with the relationship and bargaining power between employers, employees and unions.
A pension is a regular monetary payment that former employees receive from the employer from which they retired. Pensions are governed primarily by federal statutory law.
Unemployment payments (compensation) are intended to provide an unemployed worker time to find a new job equivalent to the one lost without financial distress.
Minimum wage laws establish a base level of pay that employers are required to pay certain covered employees. The laws consist primarily of federal and state statutes.
Employment discrimination laws seek to prevent discrimination by employers based on criteria such as race, sex, religion, national origin, sexual orientation, physical disability and age. Discriminatory practices include bias in hiring, promotion, job assignment, termination and compensation along with various types of harassment.
Workplace safety and health laws establish regulations designed to eliminate personal injuries and illnesses from occurring in the workplace.
Workers' compensation laws provide injured employees with monetary payments from employers in an effort to avoid litigation.
The Family and Medical Leave Act, which applies to the federal government and companies with at least 50 employees, requires employers to grant covered employees a total of 12 weeks of unpaid leave for certain family issues.
Last updated: Nov. 5, 2008