What Does an Employment Lawyer Do?
An employment lawyer is a legal representative that can assist either an employee or an employer in situations concerning employment laws. Employment laws are a set of rules and regulations governing the rights of both employers and employees, and work to ensure the smooth functioning of workplace environments. An employment lawyer can also work as an in-house counsel for businesses and organizations, where they not only counsel the organization to both to understand employment law and keep in accordance with it but also draft employment contracts that maintain the standards set by either county state or federal employment laws.
They could also work for private law firms, where they help either the employee or employer address their concerns in a court of law, or they could work for the government where they provide the President and Congress with information and guidance related to employment laws and how they can be improved as well as enforced.
What is Employment Law?
Employment laws are regulations that govern workplace relationships. They are important in ensuring that neither the employer nor the employer can take advantage of each other in professional scenarios. From setting the minimum wage to regulating the number of hours an employer can work in a week, without employment laws, there exists the potential for skewed work relationships that can ultimately affect the overall quality of work.
An employment lawyer specializes in rules related to work and workplace environments and can file petitions at court, or guide employers or employees on their employment rights. They may also serve as a legal counsel where they keep employers as well as employees informed on their rights within the workplace. If either party is in breach of the rules set by employment laws in that area, then an employment lawyer can address such a breach by finding the proper legal recourse to counteract the breach.
A breach in employment law can be anything from sexual harassment at work, to the non-payment of pensions and compensations, or even discrimination at work on the basis of race, gender, sexual orientation etc. They can also either write or review handbooks related to employment laws so that both employers and employees can become more aware of their rights.
What Kind of Cases Does an Employment Lawyer Handle?
Every case that takes place within a workplace environment involving the breach of one or more employment laws falls under the purview of an employment lawyer. They can represent employers and employees at the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC), which is essentially a legal body dedicated to enforcing employment laws.
Some of the common cases, an employment lawyer may have to deal with includes, but are not limited to:
- Minimum Wage: There are federal laws as well as state laws in place regarding the minimum amount an employee must be given at work. This ensures that the employer cannot financially exploit the employee by paying them less than what they require to maintain a basic standard of living. While an employer can pay an employee more than what the minimum wage is, they cannot pay less. Should they pay their employees less, then an employment lawyer can take that situation to court.
- Compensation and Pension: Employers have to provide certain compensations to employees who are ill or injured, or pension to employees above a certain age. Sometimes, health benefits are also included in this category. Any issues regarding non-payment of these funds can be addressed by an employment lawyer and taken to the authorities for forcible payment, if necessary.
- Explanation of Rights: An employment lawyer can work as a counsel that makes employers aware of what they can or cannot do with regards to employment and their employees when conducting business. Such laws also deal both with hiring or the dismissal of employees, trade unions, and the general overall treatment of employees.
Employment law is a broad category that encompasses all regulations related to governing workplace relationships. An employment lawyer ensures that the rights of both the employers and the employees are taken into consideration and work to create resolutions that benefit both parties as well as the overall workplace environment.