Federal and state laws serve to protect employees from a variety of unfair labor practices. In fact, nearly all facets of employment are influenced by employment law. These include the hiring process, wages and benefits, safety at the workplace, family and medical leave, privacy at work, and discrimination. That said, knowing your rights as an employee is critical to ensuring you are receiving the benefits to which you are entitled, and that you are treated fairly in the process. In this post, read more the specifics of employment law and find out what it covers for employees.
What does employment law cover?
In general, employment law covers nearly all obligations, responsibilities and rights under the employee-employer relationship. This includes areas such as workplace safety, wages, wrongful termination, and discrimination. In the vast majority of instances, though not all, employment lawyers tend to specialize in either representing employees or employers. It is rare that their specialty covers both.
How can employment law work for employees?
Existing employees and interview-applicants have certain protections and rights under employment law. These include things like the right to not be discriminated against, the right to take time off for medical or family reasons, and the right to be paid fairly and in alignment with the law.
In general, while federal employment laws often take precedence, many states have instituted their own workplace laws. These states typically provide additional protections for their employees, above and beyond what is provided by the federal government. Some more common grievances where employment law can work for employees include the following:
Sexual harassment is just one area covered under discrimination violations. This harassment takes place when inappropriate sexual behavior gets in the way of an employee doing her and his job.
Employees are not allowed to be discriminated against on the basis of several different characteristics. These include such things as nationality and gender.
Even if you work under at-will employment terms, you cannot be terminated unlawfully. One example of an unlawful termination includes if you were fired as a form of retaliation. For example, that retaliation may come after you have filed some kind of legal complaint.
You can also not be fired on the basis of protected characteristics. For example, you cannot be fired on the basis of your race or gender or for being pregnant.
How can an employment lawyer help employees?
There are a number of ways employment lawyers can assist employees, both in general, and in the instances highlighted above. Sometimes, just having an attorney on your side can make it easier when filing a complaint against your employer, and many employers often simply take claims more seriously if the employee is working with a lawyer.
Below are a variety of ways in which employment lawyer can specifically assist employees:
Explanation of Rights
Employment law can be complicated, which is why employment lawyers can help in explaining rights to employees. This could be general information, or it could be related to a specific case. It could also include explaining specific options available for certain situations. Information given could include mediation, negotiating, or actual litigation.
An employment lawyer can also highlight the advantages and disadvantages of each option available and may be able to provide the best next steps if legal action needs to be taken.
File a Complaint
Employment lawyers can assist employees in filing an actual complaint. In general, there must be a claim filed with the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, or other applicable government agency, before an employee can move on to a private action.
An employment lawyer can assist the employee in filing the complaint with the most appropriate government agency. The lawyer can also help explain the steps taken for that complaint and the time limit in which the claim needs to be filed.
Employment lawyers can assist in actual lawsuits on behalf of employees. The lawyer can represent employees who choose to file a lawsuit against their employer on the basis of wrongful termination, denial of wages or benefits, or discrimination.
They may also file lawsuits that fall under workers’ compensation claims. These may have to do with employees who become ill or injured on the job. The employment lawyer can help the employee file a claim or an appeal, if necessary.
Learn More About What Employment Law Covers
If you think you could benefit from contacting an employment lawyer, or you have more questions related to how employment law can help employees, reach out to The Brown Firm. Their experienced employment litigation lawyer will help you better understand the rights you are entitled to and assist you in making a legitimate claim.