HR & Employment Law

Human Resources Policy & Employment Law


Employment law is a broad area of the law encompassing all areas of the employer/employee relationship except the negotiation process covered by labor law and collective bargaining. Most of the laws about employment are made by the federal and provincial governments. These laws are referred to as legislation.

Employment law consists of thousands of Federal and state statutes, administrative regulations, and judicial decisions. Many employment laws (e.g., minimum wage regulations) were enacted as protective labor legislation. Other employment laws take the form of public insurance, such as unemployment compensation.

Every employee works under a contract of employment, even when no contractual document has actually been signed. Once the legal relationship of employer – employee is made a number of duties and obligations arise. These duties and obligations, which make up the contract of employment, come from a range of sources including:

  • terms agreed by the parties
  • federal or state legislation
  • awards
  • common law principles

Employment law includes issues such as wages and hours, employee benefits, occupational safety and health, worker’s compensation, and unemployment compensation. Some of the more cutting-edge issues involved in employment law are privacy rights in the workplace, wrongful discharge, restrictive covenants, and new causes of action and remedies for discrimination.

A list of topic areas you can expect to find in this field are as follows:

Harassment/Discrimination Issues

  • Discrimination
  • Sexual Harassment
  • Other Harassment
  • Americans with Disablities Act

Leave of Absence

  • The Family Rights Act
  • The Family and Medical Leave Act
  • Maternity Leave
  • Military Leave

Safety/Health Requirements

  • Safety and Injury
  • Prevention Programs
  • Drugs and Alcohol
  • Smoking


  • Reduction in Forced Severance and Releases
  • Termination
  • Job Reference Checks

Wages and Hours

  • Overtime
  • Exempt/Non-exempt
  • Employees
  • Vacation Pay

Miscellaneous Employee Issues

  • Personnel Files
  • Off-duty Activities
  • Records
  • Retention


  • Erisa
  • Cobra

Employee Handbooks