Employment Law

Employment law is the large body of laws, administrative rulings, and precedents which encompass all areas of the employer/employee relationship. Employment law is governed by thousands of federal and state statutes, administrative regulations, and judicial decisions.  Labor law, a small subset of employment law, is the body of laws, administrative rulings, and precedents which address the legal rights of, and restrictions on, working people in unions and the organizations they work for.  Employment law comes from three major sources: laws/statutes written and passed by U.S. and State legislatures, court cases establishing precedent, and authorized administrative bodies.

The major topic areas in employment law include:

  • Hiring Process – job advertisements, applications, interviews
  • Immigration – work authorization, migrant, illegal, and temporary workers
  • Discrimination – FEHA, Title VII, race, religion, sex, national origin, sexual orientation, age, disability, and other protected attributes
  • Disability – employer accommodations, discrimination, workers compensation, and other issues
  • Wage & Hour – minimum wage, overtime, garnishment, exempt vs. non-exempt employees
  • Family & Medical leave – time away from work without being fired and resulting disputes
  • Health Benefits – ERISA, COBRA, President Obama’s new legislation
  • Other Benefits – Pensions, stock options, vacation, and other perks
  • Freedom in the Workplace – grooming, dress, privacy, freedom of expression, hygiene
  • Harassment – sexual harassment, retaliation
  • Health & Safety – OSHA, CalOSHA, inspections, compliance
  • Human Resources – record keeping, morale, enforcement
  • Unions – organized labor and related issues
  • Leaving a Job – non-compete agreements, trade secrets, inventions
  • Discharge & Layoffs – WARN, whistleblower protections, retaliation
  • Unemployment – unemployment insurance, unemployment benefits
  • Retirement – mandatory retirement, benefits

There are thousands of additional subcategories and niches in employment law.  To make make matters worse, all the topics are interrelated and some are based on federal whereas others are based on state law.  Sorting through them all without the aid of an employment lawyer is next to impossible for the average joe. That is why this blog exists.