Labor attorneys mediate disputes and negotiations between employers, employees, and unions. Of course, labor law focuses particularly on areas of employment with labor unions, including teachers, bus drivers, and steelworkers. Labor attorneys focus on whichever side of the dispute that a client has hired them for.
If you are a part of a union or a company with union workers, do not hesitate to contact us about the labor law.
Why To Hire Labor Attorneys?
Employers and employees may find themselves in difficult negotiations which may require outside perspective. A labor attorney can assist in these scenarios, whether a negotiation or a lawsuit.
Reasons An Employer Should Consult A Lawyer
Business and companies must comply to over 100 laws set by the federal government as well as any state and local laws imposed in their area. Keeping track of all these laws and their regulations is a lot to handle, but a labor lawyer will ensure that your company is following the law.
- Lawsuit threat
- Strike talk
- Union worker being fired
Reasons An Employee Should Consult A Lawyer
A labor attorney has spent years studying the employment and labor laws, not only for the nation but for your local area. Undoubtedly, a lawyer will know specifically what laws you can leverage against your employer when they have failed to comply to the law.
The Break Down Of Labor Law
When the Industrial Revolution gained momentum, the working force circumstances shifted in a big way from small time employers to factory jobs. This job shift caused employers to choose cheap labor, and employees began to push for their protection of their rights. The consequences of big time industry work horrified many, causing the beginning of labor laws.
Individual Labor Law
For most places of employment, it is understood that employees are employed “at-will”, meaning that the employee or employer may terminate employment at any time. Exceptions to “at-will” employment are employment contracts or evidence of wrongful termination.
Based on these terms of employment, there are a number of other items that labor law protects.
Minimum Wage And Hours
The United States helped to pioneer a minimum wage standard in 1938. Throughout the years, it has shifted dramatically as prices and expenses have changed over the years. Meanwhile, the standard 8-hour work day originated in England.
Today, the Wage and Hour Division (WHD) of the U.S. Department of Labor upholds the rights of American workers for overtime pay, federal minimum wage, recordkeeping, and child labor.
Health And Safety
The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) of the U.S. Department of Labor protects the safety and health of workers in the workplace. OSHA works not only to protect workers but to also educate employers on how to better their workplace environment. Labor attorneys work to uphold OSHA’s scope.
Child Labor Laws
In the United States, the Department of Labor protects the rights of children through the Fair Labor Standards Acts (FLSA) with specific provisions for minors. The law provides that children should have access to educational opportunities and prohibits children from working in certain hazardous lines of work while underage.
Pennsylvania further protects the rights of minors with the Pennsylvania Child Labor Law (CLL). This law requires that minors obtain work permits before beginning employment as underage minors. If you have any questions about the PA CLL, please contact us.
Collective Labor Law
Collective labor law focuses on the relationship between employees, employers, and labor unions. Employees who are a part of unions have the benefit of a group of people who are bent on promoting benefits for their members in their individual workplaces. In these cases, it can be helpful to have a labor lawyer to help with negotiations and bargains.
Labor unions are subject to specific labor laws. Unions participate in collective bargaining on the behalf of their members for their rights with a particular employer. Labor law prohibits employers from doing anything to keep employees from joining a union, and on the flip side, unions may not keep members from exercising their labor law rights.
Employers and employees through the representatives of a trade union negotiate worker benefits and compensation. When a collective agreement is made, it often acts as a contract between the employer and the employees. Final agreements are often referred to as collective bargaining agreements (CBA) or collective employment agreement (CEA).
Although employers and employees agree to sit at the bargaining table, sometimes negotiations do not go as planned. A resulting strike can occur. Strikes are legal as long as the actions do not violate any labor law. Economic strikes and Unfair Labor Practice (ULP) strikes are legal and protected by the National Labor Relations Act (NLRA).
If you as an employee or union member have experienced a violation of the labor law, contact a labor lawyer who will know how to navigate your case under the law.
Kraemer, Manes & Associates LLC “KM&A” is a law firm serving all of Pennsylvania with our principal offices in Pittsburgh and Philadelphia. Call KM&A in western Pennsylvania at 412-626-5626 or in eastern Pennsylvania at 215-618-9185. KM&A can be reached by email at firstname.lastname@example.org.