Employment Law

Overview

Employment law governs the relationship between workers and their employers. This law, contained in federal and state statutes, administrative regulations, and judicial decisions, specifies the rights and restrictions applicable to each party in the workplace. Employment law differs from labor law, which primarily deals with the relationship between employers and labor organizations.

Employment law in the United States regulates such issues as employee benefits, discipline, hiring, firing, leave, payroll, health and safety in the workplace, non-compete agreements, retaliation, severance, unemployment compensation, pensions, whistle-blowing, worker classification as independent contractor or employee, wage garnishment, work authorization for non-U.S. citizens, worker's compensation, and employee handbooks.

When an employer promulgates a policy regarding an issue in the workplace, generally, that policy is legally binding provided that the policy itself is legal. Policies can be communicated in various ways: through employee handbooks and manuals, memos, and union contracts.

Relevant federal statutes on employment law include the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990, Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, Age Discrimination in employment Act of 1967, Fair Labor Standards Act, Occupational Safety and Health Act, Employee Retirement Income Security Act, and Family and Medical Leave Act, though many more federal and state laws and regulations govern virtually every aspect of the employer/employee relationship in the workplace.

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  • Cats, Dogs and No Contact Orders. April 15, 2014 In the coming months, victims of domestic abuse may have one less deterrent from seeking out necessary help and protection. Under Senate File 2118, "pets or companion animals owned or held" by the parties to a domestic abuse protective order may be…
  • Fairfax Circuit Court Strikes Down Noncompete as Overbroad - Part 1 April 15, 2014 On March 6, 2014, a Fairfax Circuit judge denied a preliminary injunction in a suit brought by Wings LLC to enforce a noncompete against two defector employees. In a letter opinion, Judge Bruce D. White said the noncompete was unenforceable because…
  • The School to Wage Theft Pipeline April 15, 2014 Below is the text and video from a talk that I gave at York University on October 3, 2013, as part of a panel on the intern economy. It was part of the Global Labour Speaker Series put on by the Global Labour Research Centre. I wasn't planning on…
  • Psst. . . How much are you making? April 15, 2014 This month, President Obama signed an Executive Order barring federal contractors from discriminating or retaliating against workers who discuss their salaries. The impetus behind this executive order was to specifically target pay discrimination and…
  • 2014 Legislative Session: The End is Near(ing) April 15, 2014 Let the conference games begin! Just last week, we passed the Second Crossover deadline, which is the date that the Senate must complete its review of bills submitted by the House of Representatives, and vice versa. Bills that have survived the…