What are the responsibilities and functions of labor law lawyers? Typically, these professionals work for both employers and employees depending on the circumstances. From an employer stand point, a labor lawyer works to inform companies and organizations of changes in the laws regarding employees, and helps in advising a company regarding labor disputes as well as contracts regarding employees.
What labor law lawyers do on behalf of employees
Many of these lawyers choose to work on behalf of company employees. Some may work for a union, in which case there may be thousands of employees the lawyer may be responsible for representing. Employee discrimination, employee/employer disputes and contract negotiations are some of the areas that these professionals frequently work in.
Litigation is often not necessary with labor issues
Labor law lawyers do not frequently engage in litigation; instead, their job is often to consult and negotiate between parties in order to avoid litigation when possible. While these professionals do represent an employer or employee in legal disputes, it is often over the conditions of employment or the terms therein.
New companies or those opening a new facility may engage the services of this type of lawyer as a routine aspect of the planning process. A new employer often is not familiar with local labor laws, and may need guidance concerning union activity in the area.
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Unions and the need for lawyers skilled in labor laws
Employees often form a union when they feel that they have been unfairly treated or violated in some way. Many employers will obtain the services of a labor law lawyer to fight the union or to determine what actions they may take on their own behalf that are legal, so that the employer does not accidentally take actions that may violate employee rights.
On the other hand, some law professionals provide legal assistance on behalf of labor unions. When employees want to assert their own rights or feel that they have been violated, the unions formed will often engage in legal counsel while organizing committees to ensure that laws are not being violated, and that employment relationships are not in danger.
Labor law lawyers are skilled in complex issues, having in-depth knowledge in the areas in which they work. While most represent either employees or employers the majority of the time, some are able to represent both with success. Typically, the issues involved in labor disputes may include harassment charges, disability claims, and wage/hour complaints.