Employment and Labor Law
Employment and Labor law initially arose out of protection for employee as a result of the outcomes being one-sided towards employers. There are four categories dealing with employment law. The most famous of these is the Employment at Will which is also known as the Law of Wrongful discharge to many. Pay and Benefits is another category to be mindful of when thinking in terms of Labor Law, this category also includes safety and privacy issues for the employee. The third category deals with Union-management relationship, and last but not least is discrimination and harassment. Who has what responsibility in these sensitive issues is what we are going to discuss within this document. The famous Employment at-Will is really not what people think. Most think in terms of the employee can quit when they want and the employer can terminate the employee whenever they want without just cause. Employment in simple terms is a contract between an employee and an employer. Employees can have a contract with an employer for a limited period of time such as during the Christmas holidays or maybe even during the summer period when busy periods of consumer purchases are on the rise. Other employment contracts could dictate that the employee has to meet a certain sales quota each month or quarter. If the employee fails to meet the quota, then the contract may stipulate that failure to meet the quota will result in dismissal. Although Employment at Will is defined as an employee quitting anytime without a reason and an employer terminating an employee without just cause, there are exceptions to the case. Under Title VII of the 1964 Civil Rights Act, employees may not be terminated because of their race, religion, color, national origin and gender. The American Disabilities Act of 1990 includes people with disabilities. Of great interest also is because an employee was exercising their legal right. These can be such cases as filing a workers compensation or sexual harassment claim. Another act to be aware of is the “Whistleblowing” act which is when a person contacts a Federal agency and informs them of illegal or wrongdoings by their employer. I for one am very sensitive to the issue of exercising our own legal rights because I did file a sexual harassment lawsuit against an employer. The employer did not intentionally fire me, but they made it very clear that I was not wanted. My shift scheduled was changed every 6 months, I was given the worst units to work in (Prison Units), when I summed for assistance, personnel would take too long to arrive, negative comments were always said out loud towards me in front of other staff. The stress I endured was overwhelming to the point that I had to seek medical help. It is unfortunate that one is berated for exercising their legal rights, but things like this do happen as I was able to experience it first-hand. These laws must be in place, or employers will take full advantage without being held liable. There are two Public Policy Exceptions to the at-will employment and this is when an employer terminates an employee as a result of the employee refusing a direction which violates public policy, the law or where the requested act advances a public policy. Employers finding themselves in this predicament by have a legitimate tort filed against them. A personal example in which a friend of mine was involved in was that their supervisor had requested he aim the “Bionic Ear” at three fellow officers which violated their privacy rights within the facility. Had my friend been terminated, this very well could have ended up in court over wrongful discharge as they were asking him to violate a public policy (Invasion of privacy). According to our text (Morgan, p 510) the required public policy must be tethered to a constitutional provision, statue or administrative regulation. A tort may also be filed against an employer for intentionally causing emotional...
Cited: Labor, U. D. (2009, September). Employment Law Guide. Retrieved July 23, 2013, from United States Department of Labor: http://www.dol.gov/compliance/guide/
Morgan, J. F. (2012). Business Law 4e. Redding: BVT Publishing.
Robert W. Emerson, J. (2009). Business Law. In J. Robert W. Emerson, Business Law. Hauppauge: Barrons 's.
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