In a business environment, relationships between employer and employee can be delicate. Most employers want his or her employees to be dedicated and hardworking-giving a day's work in exchange for a day's pay. On the other hand for the employee, finding a job that pays what an employee what they feel that they are worth can be difficult; yet simply meeting material needs is only part of the picture. Equally important to an employee is fair and equitable treatment in regard to discrimination based on race, religion, sex, color or national origin, workplace safety, wages, and leave for family and medical emergencies. The good news is federal laws exist that prohibit certain actions by employers with respect to the employer-employee relationship. Vital employment laws have been enacted to regulate every aspect of business relationships. Regardless of the type of business relationship, the possibility that before, during, and after the course of any working relationship, employment conflicts, questions, grievances, and lawsuits can and will occur.
Therefore, employment law is a necessary part of operating any business for all forms of business relations, whether an employer-employee, an employee-agent, or an employer-union member connection.
The history of employment laws date as far back as the 1800s, during the Industrial Revolution period, and have been evolving ever since. In the beginning business relationships were basically governed by common laws and agency law, whereas employers and employees had the same bargaining leverage. After the revolution, that leverage became unequal in that large corporations had more bargaining power, which left employees vulnerable. According to Henry Cheeseman,"Ã¢ÂÂ¦the issues of child labor, unsafe working conditions, long hours, and low pay caused concern. Both federal and state legislation were enacted to protect workers' rights. Today employment law is a mixture of contract law, agency law, and government regulation (Cheeseman,