Employment law is that area of the law pertaining to employment. Also known as 'labor law', this covers rulings and precedents designed to protect the rights of workers and the organizations they work for. This helps to govern relationships between trade unions, employers, employees and candidates for businesses. |
Employment law can be further broken down into two categories. These are 'individual employment law' and 'collective employment law' respectively. The former here refers to of course the laws regarding an individual's right in their workplace, while the latter refers to the relationships between employees, businesses and unions.
A lot of this will revolve around what are known as 'employment standards' which are the set standards expected for employees legally for any employee and include things such as minimum wages, working hours and more.
There are many organizations and individuals involved with the regulation and maintenance of employment law. Employment lawyers can be use by employees and unions as mediators and consultants, or to help them make cases and represent them in court. If for instance then you felt as though your working conditions failed to meet employment standards, or that your contract had been terminated illegally, or that you suffered some form of harassment or abuse in the workplace.
The main feature of employment law in the majority of territories, is that the rights of both parties and their obligations will be outlined in the contract of employment. From this point on, both the employers and the employees will aim to fulfil their obligations in the contract and any breach might be disputed in court. However there are legislations and laws regarding what is written in the contract and there are certain things that can't be agreed to according to common law. For instance many states require employment to be 'at will' which means they will be able to terminate their contract by quitting as per their discretion.
Thus if you were to find yourself feeling 'trapped' in employment, it may well be the case that your employers don't legally have the right to keep you in their employ and that you are free to leave. In such a situation it would be advisable to use an employment lawyer in order to help yourself out of that situation.
At the same time it is often required for organizations to include what are known as the 'essentialia negotii' (or 'essential terms') in any contract to ensure that the employee knows things such as the duration of their employment, their wages, their holiday allocation etc. Thus an employment lawyer might not only be helpful for fighting with your employers or for contesting their demands but also for deciding whether or not to accept the terms of a contract initially.
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