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Employment and Labor Law


Employment law is a broad area that encompasses all areas of the employer/employee relationship. Employment law consists of thousands of federal and state statutes, administrative regulations, and judicial decisions.

Employment law includes protections against discrimination and sexual harassment. It also encompasses wage and hour laws and your rights under the Family and Medical Leave Act.

Labor Laws

There are many bodies of federal and state law that compromise employment law. Federal law overrules most state statutes, in the realm of employment law, when they come into conflict with one another. Some of the major Federal laws include:

Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA). Establishes minimum wage and overtime rights for most private sector workers.

National Labor Relations Act (NLRA). Gives private sector workers the right to choose whether or not they want to be represented by a union. It also makes it illegal for employers to discriminate against workers on grounds of union membership or participation.

Civil Rights Act of 1964. Bars employment discrimination on the basis of race, gender, national origin, and religion.

Occupational Safety and Health Act (OSHA). Created in 1964, this implemented specific standards for workplace safety. It provides protection to “whistleblowers” who complain to governmental authorities about unsafe conditions while allowing workers the right to refuse to work under unsafe conditions in certain circumstances.

Family and Medical Leave Act of 1993 (FMLA). Requires employers to provide workers with twelve weeks of unpaid medical leave and continuing medical benefit coverage in order to attend certain medical conditions of close relatives or themselves.

Employee Retirement Income Security Act (ERISA). Establishes standards for the funding and operation of pension and health care plans that employers provide for their employees.

Employment Law Categories

There are a number of Employment Law categories, including:

Hiring an Attorney

The few topics addressed only scratch the surface of employment laws in the U.S. If you feel that your employment law rights have been violated, it is best to speak with an experienced attorney that has dealt with employment law issues. An experienced labor law attorney will help you to comprehend the avenues of recourse that you have against employers or other employees and will be able to advise you as to the validity of your claims.

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