Employment lawyers are those that focus on the employment issues of corporations and individuals. Employment attorneys have to be licensed to practice law in their respective state or region, and in the US, the lawyer must have both an undergraduate and a law degree. It is also beneficial for the lawyer to have a strong background in employment regulations.
Often, employment lawyers handle labor issues, such as those concerning hourly wages. For instance, an individual may raise a complaint that they were not paid adequately for the work they did. In this event, the lawyer will verify the payroll information provided by the employer.
Employers also hire these lawyers to defend against accusations of fostering an unsafe working environment. Here, employment lawyers inspect the work area for safety violations; they may also talk with the person or people who made the accusation.
Employment lawyers also review contracts to make sure they are written in the best interests of both employer and employee. Contract disputes are all too common in the working world. These lawyers also work on discrimination cases, where people are denied work because of their race or gender or some other factor beyond their control. Here, the attorney reviews the evidence to see if discrimination occurred.
Employment attorneys also frequently investigate cases of wrongful termination. Employees can be terminated for almost any reason, such as downsizing or misconduct. The lawyer's job is to ensure that the termination was done in a fair manner. Some companies keep employment lawyers on retainer for HR issues, as the human resource manager might need help in writing up employment offers, or answers on workplace safety issues.
When two parties cannot come to a mutual agreement, the employment lawyer may mediate the dispute. Mediation is a way for both sides to have their say. If the case does not settle after mediation, the lawyer will have to prepare for trial.
Other things that an employment lawyer may do are: prepare safety manuals and employee handbooks, and deal with issues regarding compensation. A good lawyer is knowledgeable in all aspects of employment and administrative law.