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Employment & Labor Law Research

Resources for research in employment law, employment discrimination law, and labor relations law.

Employment Law

black & white photo of black women at desksThis portion of the guide discusses how to research employment law—the law concerning all aspects of work except labor law the relations among employees, employers, and unions) and employment discrimination law (the law concerning discrimination on the basis of race, sex, national origin, religion, or other protected classes).

Employment law includes a variety of topics, including employment contracts, workplace safety, wage and hour law, unemployment compensation, workers' compensation, and employee benefits. It involves many types of legal authority: federal and state statutes and regulations, judicial decisions, and local ordinances.

For example, most workers' compensation law is state; most employee benefits law is federal (ERISA); and workplace safety is addressed by both federal and state statutes. Starting your research with a secondary source will help you figure out what type of law governs.

Graphic: Edwin Rosskam, photographer. Employees of Negro insurance company, Chicago, Illinois, July 1941. Library of Congress.