Labor and employment attorneys help individuals with disputes involving a number of issues in the workplace. Among them are wrongful termination of employment; sexual harassment; and discrimination relating to gender, age, religion, disability, pregnancy, national origin or race. Additional areas include the payment of wages, overtime issues, contracts of employment and severance packages, among others. These professionals can help with employee handbooks, manuals and policies; federal and state wage-and-hour-law claims; Equal Employment Opportunity Commission hearing representation; National Labor Relations Board representation; unfair labor practice hearings; grievance hearings under collective bargaining agreements; arbitration under collective bargaining agreements; collective bargaining negotiations, planning, and strategy; strikes and lock-outs; and litigation.
Labor and employment attorneys work in a broad legal field relating to employment. Their field governs employment relationships and transactions, such as how an employer treats his or her employees, how former employees are treated and how applications for employment must be handled. Each and every aspect and area of the employment relationship is included, apart from negotiation and collective bargaining, which are reserved for the field of labor law. Employment law comprises a broad range of issues as well. Matters including but not limited to pension plans, retirement plans, Occupational Safety & Health Administration regulations, affirmation action, workplace discrimination and sexual harassment are all fair game in this area.
Employment lawyers can add value to clients’ bottom lines in several meaningful ways. They can demonstrate to their clients how they should reduce risks of litigation in the employment arena. Employment lawyers can show clients how to comply effectively with all applicable laws at both local and state levels. Employment attorneys can prove their worth in situations when they are called upon to help protect employees or workers whose rights have been allegedly violated.
Labor laws were enacted to help balance bargaining power between employers and their employees. These laws prevent employers and unions from conducting unfair labor practices and create the duty of both sides to undertake good-faith collective bargaining in all disputed transactions. Labor attorneys focus their work primarily in dealing with relationships between employers and labor unions. It is labor laws that give employees the right to unionize. These laws permit employers and employees to conduct activities such as strikes, picketing, lock-outs and seeking injunctions.