Whether you are entering the job market for the first time or were recently terminated, it is important to understand your rights as a worker. Both federal and state governments have enacted a wide range of employment laws protecting employees from discriminatory treatment, unfair labor practices, unsafe work conditions, and more. This section provides in-depth resources on all phases of the employment process — from the interview and hiring stage to promotion and termination. In addition, you’ll find information about privacy in the workplace, wage and hour laws, workplace safety, family leave policies, and detailed advice on hiring an employment lawyer.
The body of law that governs the employer-employee relationship, including individual employment contracts, the application of tort and contract doctrines, and a large group of statutory regulation on issues such as the right to organize and negotiate collective bargaining agreements, protection from discrimination, wages and hours, and health and safety.
Beyond establishing an economic relationship between employer and employee, work provides a powerful structure for organizing social and cultural life. The employment relationship is more than the exchange of labor for money. In U.S. society, self-worth, dignity, satisfaction, and accomplishment are often achieved by one’s employment responsibilities, performance, and rewards. The development of employment law demonstrates the importance of work. Since the 1930s, employees have acquired more legal rights as federal and state governments have enacted laws that give them the power and authority to unionize, to engage in Collective Bargaining, and to be protected from discrimination based on race, gender, or disability.