Employment law is generally the law governing the relationship between employers and employees. Several decades ago, this was generally referred to as labor law. That was back when labor unions and collective bargaining agreements were about the only legal protection employees had against unfair employment practices by employers.
But in the 1960’s Congress passed Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964. That act, and several amendments made to it, made it illegal for employers to discriminate against employees on the basis of race, color, religion, sex, and national origin. Later, Congress passed laws making it illegal to discriminate on the basis of age, pregnancy, and disability. Most states, including Ohio and Kentucky, then passed their own versions of these federal laws, so it is generally against both federal and state law for an employer to discriminate against an employee on the basis of age, race, sex, national origin, and disability.
Employment law has changed a lot since Title VII was first passed in 1964, and the laws are constantly being interpreted and reinterpreted by the courts. Employment law is a very specialized area of the law, as most areas are these days. A lawyer who practices employment law federally, or in Ohio, Kentucky, or other states, must understand how the laws work and be kept up-to-date on the most recent court interpretations of the law. It is dangerous for a lawyer to dabble in employment law—he or she should be an expert in that area of practice or not get involved in it at all.
Filing a claim or a lawsuit for employment discrimination is not the same thing as filing a regular lawsuit in court—for personal injury, or breach of contract, for example. There are specific prerequisites to filing an employment claim, and there are short deadlines to be met in order not to lose your claim altogether.
If you think you might have a claim against an employer—for wrongful termination, sexual harassment, discrimination on the basis of race, sex, pregnancy, religion, or whatever—you need to consult with an experienced Cincinnati or Ohio employment lawyer immediately. Feel free to do all the research you want on the internet, but don’t make any decisions or take any definitive steps until you’ve consulted with an experienced employment lawyer.
One mistake a lot of employees make is to quit or resign before they consult with an experienced Ohio employment lawyer, and then they call a lawyer and talk about how the employer was so unfair they just quit. While you may still have a claim a lawyer can help you with if you quit, it is much better to talk with a lawyer first and consider all your options before you voluntarily leave your job. In some circumstances quitting may mean you don’t have any claim to be pursued. Understand all your options before you make any drastic decisions, so you can make the best decision for you and your family.
Don’t hesitate to call an experienced Ohio employment law attorney to ask advice. Some lawyers may meet with you initially for no fee while they learn whether or not you have a claim. Other lawyers will ask for a fee for the time and advice they give you in understanding and analyzing your situation. If you value your job and your employment security, it is worth spending some money to understand your legal rights and to talk with an experienced Ohio employment law attorney about your options. The main thing is, don’t go it alone, and don’t assume you know the law. When it comes to something as important as your job or career, you owe it to yourself to protect your rights. You can only do that by consulting an experienced Ohio employment law attorney.