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Practice Definitions - Employment & Labor Law
Employment & Labor Law
Employment law is a broad area that controls how employers must treat employees, former employees, and applicants for employment that includes all areas of the relationship except negotiation and the collective bargaining process, which are covered by labor law. Employment law encompasses a wide variety of issues like Pension Plans, Retirement, Occupational Safety & Health Regulations, Affirmative Action, Discrimination in the Workplace and Sexual Harassment. Employment lawyers can show businesses how to reduce their risk of employment litigation and how to comply with state and local laws. Employment lawyers can also help protect workers when their rights are being violated. Often an employment lawyer will concentrate on representing either workers or employers.

What are Labor Laws?

Labor laws were designed to equalize the bargaining power between employers and employees-prohibiting employers and unions from engaging in specified "unfair labor practices" and establishing an obligation of both parties to engage in good faith collective bargaining. Labor laws mainly deal with relationships between employers and unions. Labor laws grant employees the right to unionize and allow employers and employees to engage in certain activities (e.g., strikes, picketing, seeking injunctions, lockouts) for the purpose of getting their demands fulfilled.

What Does Labor and Employment Law Representation Include?

Labor and Employment Law representation includes:
  • Reviewing client employee handbooks, manuals, and policy statements.
  • Assisting with federal and state wage and hour law issues and claims.
  • Representing employers before the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) and state human rights agencies.
  • Providing advice on issues involving National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) representation elections including campaign assistance.
  • Representing employers in unfair labor practice proceedings before the National Labor Relations Board and state labor agencies.
  • Providing representation for grievance and arbitration hearings under collective bargaining agreements.
  • Collective bargaining on behalf of clients including strategic planning and acting as spokesperson.
  • Counseling on issues related to strikes or lockouts, and providing related litigation support.
Should I hire a lawyer?
If you are involved with a dispute involving such issues as wrongful termination, sexual harassment, discrimination (gender, age, religion, disability, pregnancy, national origin, race), wage and overtime issues, employment contracts, negotiation of severance packages, or public sector employee issues you should immediately consult with a qualified labor and employment law attorney. Businesses will also typically will retain a lawyer to provide counsel on the businesses rights and options under labor and employment laws and provide advocacy, including representation in mediations, arbitrations, and litigation. Retaining an attorney for these and other similar purposes will save businesses a lot of legal hassles down the road. Use the State Lawyers Directory to find a qualified labor and employment attorney that is best for you and your situation.

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