Share
Explore BrainMass

Labor and Employment Law

Labor and employment law is a type of law intended to control and mediate the relationships between employees, employers, labor unions and the government.  Under labor law, there are a few separate categories:

  • Collective labor law which concerns employees, employers and labor unions
  • Individual labor law which concerns the rights of the employees

The history of labor law is fairly recent. Labor law first emerged during the Industrial Revolution as a result of the changing nature of production from small-scale to large-scale.  This shift allowed employers to hire many more employees, however, the growth of production allowed for exploitation of workers.  Enter, labor law. Employees wished to have better working conditions.  Another issue that labor law was created to protect was child labor.  As the Revolution progressed, laws were passed to limit the age group of children who could work, then eventually, eliminate child labor all together.

As previously mentioned, collective labor law mediates the relationship between employees, employers and labor unions.  Terms of collective labor law are:

  • Labor unions:  collective labor law controls the participation or lack of participation of employees in a labor union or trade union.  Some trades require that all workers be a member of the respective trade union, while some do not make participation mandatory.
  • Workplace participation: a right that binds workers to participate in workplace management, such as elect the board of directors.
  • Information and consultation: requires that employers inform employees of issues within the company
  • Collective action: this describes the procedures required to legally start and participate a strike on the part of the employees

Individual labor law, as mentioned, concerns the rights of the employees as individuals.  The terms of individual labor law include:

  • Employment terms: the terms of employment under which the employee is hired, as legally confirmed by a contract.
  • Minimum wage: this term defines the minimum amount of pay the worker can receive per hour of work.
  • Living wage: this is designed to protect workers who are hired under full-time conditions and need to support a family
  • Hours: the amount of hours a worker can work a day is defined in this section. This also ensures that workers who do go overtime receive suitable compensation.
  • Health and safety
  • Discrimination: concerning the presence of racial and gender discrimination
  • Dismissal: this term defines the conditions under which an employee can fired and the compensation they receive as a result of this.

Many governments have specific and defined labor laws to protect the rights of all workers in their respective country.  For example, in the United States, the Fair Labor Standards Act of 1938, with an amendment in 1950, sets standards that require an employee to work a maximum of 40 hours a week. This law applies to all citizens of the United States who are employed. 

Categories within Labor and Employment Law

Interference in Union Formation

During a campaign to organize a union at Total Manufacturing Co., two employees of Total asked other employees in the break room at Total if they would sign cards indicating their support of the union. The Vice President for Human Resources for Total was in the break room at the time and overheard the conversation about signing

Entitlement to a Worker's Injury Compensation

Oil Service Company has an office in a remote area in North Dakota. During an uncharacteristically heavy snow, three employees in the office of Oil Service Company called the manager of Oil Service Company to say that they did not think that they could get to work because of the heavy snow. The manager told each of those employe

Age Discrimination: Airline Case Study

In accordance with FAA regulations that require commercial airline pilots to retire at age 60, Fast Airlines has a broader policy that requires that all member of a flight crew - pilots, co-pilots, and flight engineers - must retire at age 60. Richard worked as a flight engineer for Fast Airlines for more than 25 years, and, whe

Reasonable accomadation for an employee's disability

Sidney worked for the post office as a letter carrier, but after Sidney had hip surgery, he was no longer able to do the work of a letter carrier that required extended periods of walking and lifting of moderately heavy loads. After Sidney had exhausted the sick leave that he was entitled to take, he asked to be reassigned from

Age Discrimination Case Study: Cable Fixers

Gene Johnson, who worked for Cable Fixers, Inc. for 21 years, was terminated when he was 69 years old and was replaced by a much younger man who Cable Fixers paid a significantly lower salary than it was paying Gene. Gene's only evidence of age discrimination is an email from his manager stating that he (the manager) understood

Disability Discrimination: Utility Company Case Study

William worked for a utilities company, Power, Inc., in an installation and maintenance position which sometimes required that William use man-lift equipment and climb utility poles. William was obese, and the utility company had safety regulations that required that employees who worked in William's position not weigh more than

Hiring Practices: Nationality Discriminiation

Robert's father was an American and a citizen of the United States, and Robert's mother was a citizen of Great Britain. Robert was born in Great Britain, so he had dual citizenship - United States and Great Britain. When Robert became an adult, he renounced his United States citizenship, reaffirmed his citizenship in Great Brita

Religious beliefs and discrimination case study

Meredith is a devout, evangelical Christian. She believes very deeply that she should tell everyone that she meets about her religion and that she should try to convert everyone that she meets to her religion. To accomplish those goals, Meredith tells everyone that she has contact with to "have a blessed day." Since Meredith is

Religious Discrimination: Government Employee

The First Amendment to the U.S. Constitution prohibits Congress from making any laws with respect to the establishment of religion or that interfere with the free exercise of religion. It is generally agreed that the provisions of the First Amendment apply to all levels of government. The United States Supreme Court has recently

Religious discrimination in the context of Meredith

Meredith is a devout, evangelical Christian. She believes very deeply that she should tell everyone that she meets about her religion and that she should try to convert everyone that she meets to her religion. To accomplish those goals, Meredith tells everyone that she has contact with to "have a blessed day." Since Meredith is

Hooter's Hiring Practices

Several years ago, Hooters Inc. was sued by several men who applied for waitress jobs at a Hooters restaurant and who were not hired. The basis of this suit was that Hooters engaged in sex discrimination in hiring. Hooters contended that though it is a restaurant serving food and drinks, its primary attraction is the Hooters Gir

Velma Sue Bates v Dura Automotive Systems

Please read the Velma Sue Bates v. Dura Automotive Systems, Inc. case in the attached files. Once you have read and reviewed the case scenario, respond to the following questions: 1. Do you agree with the court's decision? 2. Is termination of non-disabled employees permissible when they have a prescription for the medicatio

Quick Software Recruitment Practices

Quick Software, Inc. is a software development company that annually hires a large number of software engineers, mathematicians, and administrative personnel. Each of these classifications of employees requires different qualifications. Software engineers need to have a background in computers and engineering principles, mathema

Height and Weight Discrimination for Firefighters

I would appreciate your help in helping me with this. Thanks. Rachel, a female, is 5'2", weighs 110 pounds, and is in good health. She wants to be a firefighter with the Middlebury Fire Department. In response to an ad in the local newspaper, Rachel submitted an application for a firefighter position with the Middlebury Fire

Polygraph test legality case study

Taylor is applying for a position as a teller at First Bank and Trust Company of Tinseltown. He submits a resume and attends an interview with the human resources department and, a few days later, gets a call from the human resources department telling him that he has moved to the next level of consideration that involves him ta

Wrongful Dismissal Due To Testimony

Robert was the assistant dean of administration at a small college. Several months ago, Robert was called as a witness to testify in a sexual harassment suit filed by a former employee of the college, against the college and the dean of administration at the college. Robert testified truthfully about an incident that he observed

Non compete agreements

Tiny Software Company creates software security applications intended to protect point of sale terminals in retail stores from being hacked. While Tiny Software hires talented and experienced employees, it provides a significant amount of training for those employees. There are two other companies that produce similar software a

Fair Credit Reporting Act

The Fair Credit Reporting Act requires that employers obtain permission from an employee before the employer hires a third party to conduct a background check on the employee, but it does not require the employer to get the employee's permission if the employer is going to conduct the background investigation. Why does the emplo

Independent Contractor vs Employee

Best Accounting, Inc. is a full service accounting practice that does work for businesses and individuals and during the months of January through June, consults with clients and prepares their tax returns. Best Accounting has two owners who are accountants, three staff accountants, and five administrative assistants. At the end

Is Affirmative Action The Right Path To A Color-Blind Society?

Is Affirmative Action The Right Path To A Color-Blind Society? Is Affirmative Action The Right Path to a Color-Blind Society? I would like guidance with my outline to show what I should or need to be discussing with readers. It has been a long time since I have had to do an outline and really need help.

Employment and Labor Law in a Color-Blind Society

I need help with my research paper. I have constructed my research topic in the form of a question and would like an opinion whether the topic is phrased correctly and in an interesting way. Research Topic: Is Affirmative Action The Right Path To A Color-Blind Society? I need help constructing an outline for this 8-10 p

Sexual Harassment & Unfair Firing

A co-worker named Erica calls you and tells you that she has just been fired from her job at your company. According to Erica, around six months ago, she filed an internal company complaint against her supervisor John for addressing unwanted sexual comments to her. Although the company investigated John, nothing was ever done

Burlington Industries, Inc. v. Ellerth Case

Do you understand why the court would allow this affirmative defense in cases where there is no loss of tangible job benefit, but not cases where there is such a loss?(Burlington Industries, Inc. v. Ellerth Case)

Ethics and the workplace.

You are a Regional Assistant Vice President in charge of Sales of a national company. While at a baseball game with some colleagues, one of your coworkers, who is also a comparable Regional Assistant Vice President, tells you, when you offer to buy him a beer, that he is a recovering alcoholic, has been involved with AA for t

Unions: Employer Conduct and the Law

What types of employer conduct with respect to unions does the law prohibit? Do you agree with these prohibitions? What role do you believe unions have in today's economy?

U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity

Review the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission's website, specifically the section regarding laws as they apply to small businesses. Is there anything on this site that surprised you? Why are small businesses treated differently than large businesses? Why would laws differentiate between the two?

Questions about Employment Law

QUESTIONS ABOUT EMPLOYMENT LAW 1. An employer who closes the business rather than deal with the union his employees have formed: a. does not violate the National Labor Relations Act. b. cannot do it to inhibit unionizing c. is required under the WARN Act to give the employees 60 days' notice d. must bargain in good faith wi

Firing Employees and Employment Law

Instructions: (1) Review the following case scenario and address the issues outlined in the scenario (2) Identify and discuss all of the applicable laws and how they apply to each of the individual situations. (See employee descriptions below) You must fire 3 Reduction in Workforce Exercise More Beer, Inc. is a 25 mil

Employment Relationships

Assume you are the Director of Human Resources in a large corporation. Review the case Medina v. Gramham's Cowboys, Inc post your response to the case. Outline the procedures that you might put in place to help the company avoid liability for negligent hiring and retention. Discuss the concept of at-will employment and distin