The Department of Labor (DOL) ensures the enforcement of over 180 federal laws, establishing a secure workplace for about 150 million U.S. workers. Though DOL handles violations of federal wage law, it does not handle violations of Florida wage law, leaving the state workers unprotected. Hence, in such circumstances, hiring a labor lawyer becomes a plausible solution.
Labor law helps protect the rights of employees and employers. A labor law attorney can work with employees who are part of unions, as well as with employers who hire union workers.
Labor Laws and Role of a Labor Attorney
Labor law deals with collective bargaining negotiation and maintaining cordial union-management relationships. The National Labor Relation Act (NLRA) oversees the U.S. labor law.
As an employee, you can hire a labor attorney to settle disputes with your employers. These lawyers can help you win claims asserting violations of the federal Fair Labor Standards Act’s (FLSA) overtime pay and minimum wage laws and claims under the Florida Minimum Wage Act (FMWA). You can hire them even if you are a victim of tip theft, improper tip pooling, unpaid overtime pays, unpaid minimum wages, and other pay violations.
In some cases, the labor lawyers defend employers accused of wage violations.
Dealing with Unprofessional Workers and Unethical Employers
If you are an employer facing labor-related charges, you might have to deal with the labor union. And that is not easy! You will come across errant workers. It is best to find a labor attorney to tackle such union members.
Likewise, employers can also be challenging. You might face bosses who do not continue with their promise of an hourly rate hike. Such situations require you to lawyer up and strengthen your stand.
Filing and Handling Lawsuits
If an employer constantly ill-treats you or gets involved in wage violations, it is high time you seek your legal options. If you work in hazardous environment conditions, and despite repeated requests, your employer doesn’t take any favorable steps, that also calls for legal action.
The qualified labor lawyers can diligently file and handle the lawsuits on your behalf, in the case of failed negotiations.
Help You Understand the U.S. Labor Law
When you are stuck in any labor law problem, you can consult a labor lawyer who is well aware of the prevailing U.S. labor law.
Do you know that you have the right to see your file, and your boss cannot reduce your salary if you make a reasonable mistake? These are some of the legal aspects that your lawyer will guide you about so that you can make the right claims and win them.
Assist You with Profitable Negotiations
Typically, it’s not easy to tackle a group of employees in a union. Likewise, the union leaders might also face issues while standing up against the employer’s highly-qualified management.
Thus, it becomes difficult to negotiate and arrive at a solution that works for both stakeholders.
A labor law attorney can ease the negotiation process, guiding the labor unions by informing them about their rights and the way forward in terms of the negotiations.
Help in Documentation
When an out of court settlement doesn’t seem possible, and you have to go ahead with a lawsuit, the labor attorneys can assist you in gathering necessary documents.
They help you create customized documents required for your lawsuit. For instance, in the case of wage violations, your attorney will ask you to collect information like business nature, pay rates, payments your employer owes you, and the payment date.
The FLSA entitles employees who work over 40 hours in a given workweek, a fair settlement. Also, it mandates a federal minimum wage of $7.25 an hour as of 2018. With the DOL understaffed and the absence of a wage enforcement agency in states like Florida, it is best to hire a labor lawyer to safeguard your rights and win the claims you deserve.