Employment law relates to the employer-employee relationship, particularly the employer's responsibility to follow certain state and federal laws. For instance, employers must pay their employees in full and on time, and may not discriminate against protected individuals. Employers regularly consult with employment attorneys who specialize in consulting businesses on how to comply with the law, reduce their legal exposure, and defend against lawsuits by employees. Most businesses also have a human resources department to help maintain legal compliance and manage employee affairs.
Terms to Know
- Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA): Prohibits discrimination against any employee or applicant who could perform a job despite a disability.
- Cafeteria Plan: A type of employment benefits plan in which the employee selects benefits from a "menu," up to a specified dollar amount.
- Constructive Discharge: A type of termination of the employment relationship in which the employee quits, but the employer is liable as if a wrongful termination occurred, because the employee was forced to resign due to intolerable working conditions.
- Wage: A payment usually of money for labor or services usually according to a contract and on an hourly, daily, or piecework basis.
- Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA): The FMLA prohibits employers from discriminating against employees who choose to take time off of work to care for certain medical needs of their own, or to care for their family members, including newborn and adopted children.
How Employment Lawyers Help Businesses
Employment lawyers who work with employers provide guidance in order to remain in compliance with state and federal laws; help negotiate contracts; and defend against lawsuits by employees. Employment relationships can be quite complex, beginning with the legal difference between "employees" and "independent contractors," often resulting in lawsuits against well-meaning employers who failed to comply with the law.
To learn more about the employment laws in your state, see FindLaw's Required Labor Posters: State Guide, Final Paycheck Laws by State, and State Pay Day Requirements.
Related Practice Areas
See FindLaw's directory of employment law attorneys working on behalf of employers to find counsel near you.