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What is the Purpose of Employment Law?

What is the Purpose of Employment Law?

Employment Law… Explained

Simply put, the purpose of employment law is to provide legal protection to employees and employers.

The need for employment law became apparent when industrialization swept nations. Industrialization changes the face of any nation. Nations that were predominantly rural begin to see their citizens leave the farms and move to cities so that they can make more money working in factories. The factories provided regular income that farms did not. In some cases, this type of move from rural living to urban living takes place after a drought when many farmers feel that they have nothing to lose by leaving their farms.

Urban slums that were suddenly over run with people willing to work, often found that the limited number of jobs available meant that the factory conditions worsened. Employers discovered that desperate people would be willing to work for very little in bad conditions. As the conditions became worse, the number of people willing to work increased.

Governments were forced to take notice of the conditions that frequently resulted in death and dismemberment of employees.  When conditions of this nature exist, wages begin to go down. Required work hours go up, and some vulnerable members of the population are exploited. Historically, the first group to get exploited is women. They were often forced to work in sweat shop conditions, twelve or more hours a day, for very little pay. Child labor was rampant. These conditions are still in place in some countries that do not have labor laws.

Fair Wages and Hours

The purpose of employment law was to correct these conditions. Early employment laws created fair wages and limited the number of hours that people worked in a week without being paid for overtime. Age limits were set to prevent child labor. As the value of labor laws became more obvious, the power of them increased. Soon, guidelines were in place to require employers to make working conditions safer for employees and to give employees the right to sue the employers if they were injured at work due to unsafe working conditions. Many of these guidelines are still in place in current labor law.

Equality in the Workplace

The current purpose of employment law is to establish working conditions that enable people to work in an atmosphere free of bias. They establish working conditions that prevent harassment. Companies are required to maintain sanitary and safe working conditions. Many enforcement agencies have been developed to enforce the labor laws of the United States and other industrialized societies. Moreover, employment law has taken on the role of establishing hiring guidelines that are aimed at eliminating discrimination in all forms, so that every person has an opportunity to work any job that they are qualified to work.

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