What do Employment Lawyers do?
Law is a complex and nuanced topic for discussion, given how many different avenues exist in it. You see, it is pretty much impossible to talk about it without getting into some of the specific categories – at least, if we are looking to gain any sort of higher understanding at all. Today, I would like to home in on employment law in specific, since I feel it is rarely discussed in comparison to a few of the others.
Perhaps this raises the question of “what makes it so special, then?” If you are wondering that, I certainly understand. As I mentioned already, it is rarely something that breaches the public consciousness enough to make a lasting impact. That being said, there is a lot that we can learn about our own rights as employees if we start to do our research!
Fear not, though – even if you decide not to delve into it beyond what I have to say today, I will be offering a fairly deep dive into the important points. So, if that is something that appeals to you, consider sticking around! You won’t regret it.
What is it, then?
Naturally, this is the first question that I seek to answer. What is employment law in the first place? To put it simply, it is the legislature and rules put in place to protect workers. You may have heard it referred to as labor law at some point, since that is another phrase commonly used to attribute it.
Let us get a bit more specific, now. How is it determined? Well, if we look to the constitutions of both our federal government and each state, as well as any legislature set by local governments, we can find the answers. That is typically what we base it off of.
In terms of what the most common issues that fall into this category go, the number one is probably debates over wages and what constitutes a “fair” and “livable” hourly rate. As you can see here, https://melmedlaw.com _article_9, this field in general does seem to be quite contentious. There have been fierce debates on both federal and state levels in regard to wages in particular in the wake of the covid 19 pandemic.
The other main branch of this type of law is the fight against discrimination in our places of work. This applies to a few different aspects, of course, so I will get into that more in the next session. I merely wanted to introduce the idea to you first!
Equality in Business
Any time we start talking about equality and human rights, it is pretty obvious why it matters. We should really all be striving to create a more accepting world. However, some of the benefits are actually not all that clear on the surface.
Did you know that having a welcoming office space (as just one example) actually improves morale and productivity of the workers within? There are many fascinating documents published about this, such as this one, that help to shed some light on this. While this should likely not be our only motivator, in a world like ours where profit does seem to be the driving force behind many actions on a corporate level, it is compelling evidence.
Put simply, though, preventing discrimination is a human rights issue. By law, employers in the United States are not permitted to discriminate during the hiring process or during employment based on the following (including but not limited to): religion, gender identity, sex at birth, sexual orientation, race, ethnicity, or financial background. While it does not always happen in practice, this is what the law states.
As this is something near and dear to my heart, I do think it is quite important to highlight and remind people in regard to what their rights are. Since it is all too easy for marginalized communities to have their voices go unheard, it is important that those in power speak up in their defense in return.
Who Can We Turn to For Help?
This likely leaves us wondering: what do we do if we feel as though our rights have been violated in our place of work? There are a few options, of course, so let us delve into them. Some come with higher risks, just to be transparent, since I do think that approaching this with a certain level of practicality is a good decision.
You could always try having a conversation with your manager, supervisor, or boss. Now, sometimes this is simply not going to be a practical decision. If they are not someone that you feel that you can trust with sensitive information, it might be better to go with a different option. However, if the harassment or discrimination is coming from a co-worker and you feel comfortable discussing it with your managerial staff, that is an option.
Another direction that you could go in is to get an employment lawyer involved. Let us just say that I saved this for last for a good reason – while it will certainly be effective, it is a strong statement on your part. In my opinion, though, there is nothing wrong with this. Putting a firm line in the sand when it comes to equality is important, especially in our changing world.
An employment lawyer will fight for you to ensure that you are treated properly in your job. This means no discriminatory practices and fair wages, for one thing. Now, since things can get a bit complex, it may not be a bad idea to consult with one before taking any definitive action.
Typically, if you consult with a lawyer beforehand, they can help you to determine if you have a case or not. This is simply to figure out whether you have a high or low chance of succeeding in legal action before you dump a lot of money into it, since it can be a pricey venture at times!