The amount of time in years of education and practice, and money invested to become a successful lawyer all pays off in the end. A lot of people look up to lawyers. Some people may even look at them as heroes for saving them from having to pay a big settlement, or maybe even jail time. Especially when a person is being framed for a crime, lawyers can help him or her be acquitted for the crime he or she did not really commit.
When it comes to labour and employment issues, a labour lawyer works in protecting two categories: Individual Labor Law and the Collective Labor Law. On this article, we will summarize the general scope of work of a labour lawyer.
Harassment and discrimination at your place of work
There are federal laws concerning employment discrimination based on race, color, sex, sexual orientation, religion, age, disability, and national origin. Harassment and discrimination because of reasons stated above is observed through unfair treatment, denial of special accommodation a person needs because of disability of religious beliefs.
According to the Equal Pay Act, men and women in the same company must be provided with equal pay for an equal amount of work responsibility. This law covers salary, overtime pay, profit sharing, leave pay, benefits, allowances, and bonuses.
Sexual harassment is illegal. The act of sexual harassment does not limit to sexual advances but also includes requests for sexual favors. A proven case of sexual harassment complaint will result to the offender being fired. It would be challenging for the sexual offender to find a respectable job that will suit him or her.
Counseling and compliance
A labour lawyer will be helpful if a business owner is in the initial stage of setting up his or her company. Counseling about employment rules and regulations, compliance to federal laws and acts, will be discussed during the counseling. This ensures stability of the company as the owner is knowledgeable about the laws concerning his or her employees and would avoid lawsuits of incompliance in the future.
A labour lawyer might be needed to draft a contract of employment. The contract will cover the scope of work asked and expected from the employee, salary, benefits, terms of dismissal, leaves and absences, basically everything that relates to the partnership between the two parties.
ERISA and employee benefits
The federal law, Employee Retirement Income Security Act of 1974 (ERISA) protects and ensures the retirement benefits of employees such as their pension and health plans.
Labour lawyers are there to protect both the employer and employee. They can be reached through small and large law firms. Most large enterprises also have their own corporate law departments to ensure that the relationships between employees and employer are well maintained. Labour lawyers can also be found in labor unions, government agencies, counsel offices of federal agencies and boards and commissions of the government concerned with labor and employment.