What are Workplace Lawyers?
A workplace lawyer, also known as an employment lawyer, is an attorney who represents individuals in lawsuits related to employment law violations or are involved in legal disputes with their employers or co-workers. Workplace lawyers also help ensure that employees are treated fairly in the workplace and are aware of the specific rights and protections they are granted under existing employment laws.
In some cases, workplace lawyers may represent employers and defend them against frivolous lawsuits filed by disgruntled employees. A workplace lawyer can also advise an employer on how to handle certain employee issues and can assist them in negotiating a reasonable settlement. Additionally, workplace lawyers can make sure that an employer’s workplace policies are in compliance with relevant employment laws and practices.
Thus, whether you are an employee or an employer who is facing a workplace legal issue, you should consult a local workplace lawyer immediately to obtain further guidance and to help you resolve the matter quickly and efficiently.
What are Some Examples of Workplace Laws?
Some examples of federal workplace laws include:
- Americans with Disabilities Act (“ADA”): The ADA was enacted to combat discrimination in the workplace against people with disabilities. It also grants disabled persons the right to equal opportunity in employment and requires that employers provide them with reasonable accommodations.
- Occupational Safety and Health Act (“OSHA”): This Act ensures that employers provide safe and healthy working conditions for their employees. It also gives workers the right to report employers who are not in compliance with federal safety and health standards, and allows them to sue if an employer fires them in retaliation for being reported.
- Civil Rights Act of 1964 (“Title VII”): Title VII is the primary basis of most lawsuits involving workplace discrimination, such as when an employer discriminates against a prospective or current employee based on gender identity, sexual orientation, national origin, and so forth.
- Family and Medical Leave Act of 1993 (“FMLA”): Employers who have 50 or more employees must provide up to 12 weeks of unpaid leave for a worker who has a serious health condition, needs to take care of a family member with a serious health condition, and gives birth or adopts a child.
Who Do Workplace Laws Affect?
As previously mentioned, workplace laws affect both employees and their employers. For an employer, workplace laws dictate what they can and cannot do in a work environment. This includes preventing employers from hiring persons based on race, prohibiting them from disallowing employees lunch breaks, and ensuring that they pay their employees on time and for completed work.
Workplace laws also provide protections and grant specific rights to employees. For instance, an employee has a right to file a claim against their employer for creating a hostile work environment. Another example of how workplace laws might affect an employee is that they protect workers who are pregnant from being discriminated against during the hiring process and while at their current position.
For instance, workplace laws prevent employers from terminating a worker simply because they are pregnant, while at the same time, provide protections for a worker against this sort of action. If an employer does fire a worker for being pregnant, then that worker will have a right to sue their employer for wrongful termination.
In the above scenario, a workplace attorney can be hired by either the employer to defend them against the claim for wrongful termination or by the worker to sue their employer for violating the law. Both parties, however, must be represented by different workplace attorneys.Other Helpful Resources:
How Can a Workplace Attorney Provide Assistance?
Workplace attorneys can provide assistance to both employees and employers in a number of ways. For instance, if you believe your employer has terminated you for discriminatory reasons, a workplace attorney can help you file a claim with the proper government agencies. If the agency’s investigation does not sufficiently resolve your issue, then a workplace attorney can represent you in court.
A workplace attorney can also help either an employee or an employer settle an employment contract dispute. For example, if an employee was promised certain benefits in their contract, but their employer lied or is refusing to give them those benefits, a workplace lawyer can file a breach of contract lawsuit on behalf of the employee.
Additionally, workplace attorneys can settle claims related to harassment in the workplace, wage and hour disputes, and various other types of issues that concern employment law violations. Thus, if you need assistance with resolving a workplace matter or have any questions about workplace laws in general, you should contact a local workplace attorney as soon as possible.
Certain issues, especially those involving claims for employment discrimination and harassment, must be filed within a specified amount of time. If you fail to file a claim within this time period, you will be barred from bringing a lawsuit against your employer and from recovering any damages.