An employment lawyer is a lawyer who specializes in employment issues for either individuals or corporations. The attorney must be licensed to practice law in the state, province or region where the attorney works. In the United States, attorneys need to have a four-year undergraduate degree and a law degree. In addition, the lawyer needs to have a background in employment rules and regulations.
Employment lawyers often handle labor matters, including issues regarding wages and hours worked. An individual may complain he or she was not paid a fair amount for the work performed. In this case, the attorney can verify payroll information from the employer.
An employer may need an attorney for allegations of an unsafe work environment. The attorney can investigate the work area to see if the employer has any safety violations. Another way the attorney can get information would be to interview the person who made the allegation.
In some situations, there may be a contractual issue. The employment lawyer may review the contract to see if it adequately covers the interests of the employee and employer. Contractual disputes are a common occurrence in the workplace.
A person who works as an employment lawyer may handle discrimination cases. A person may allege he or she was denied a position because of race or gender. The attorney will review the evidence to see if any discrimination occurred.
Wrongful termination is another complaint the employment lawyer may have to investigate. An employee can be terminated for any reason. There may have been a reduction in work force or gross misconduct. It is up to the attorney to see if the termination was fair.
Companies often keep an employment lawyer on retainer for advice regarding human resource matters. Human resource managers may need guidance on writing offers of employment to candidates. Employment lawyers can also provide answers regarding workplace safety and injuries.
When an agreement cannot be reached, the attorney may try to mediate the case. Mediation allows both sides to discuss their case with the help of an arbitrator. If the case still does not settle, the employment counselor may need to prepare for trial.
Other job duties the employment attorney may do include preparing employee handbooks, safety manuals, and handling compensation issues. The attorney should be knowledgeable in many aspects of employment law. Clients and corporations may also need help with administrative matters.