A Labor Attorney assists clients with legal issues stemming from the relationship between employers and employees. They interpret and advise clients on wage and hour laws, workplace safety, laws regarding rest and breaks, disability and leave requirements, workplace harassment, discrimination, and wrongful termination. Labor Attorneys can work for private firms, government agencies, labor unions, or on staff for companies, and can represent either employers or workers or both. Some Labor Attorneys litigate labor and employment cases in court, while others draft, consult on, and review company policies and employee handbooks. Labor Attorneys can also argue cases before the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC).
Typical Duties and Responsibilities
- Advise and counsel clients on legal issues stemming from the relationship between employers and employees
- Litigate cases in court
- Litigate cases before the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC)
- Draft and review employment agreements, contracts, company policies, and employee handbooks
Education and Background
This position requires a Juris Doctorate as well as a license to practice law in the state where the candidate will work.
Coursework in history, government, labor law, legal writing, contracts, and related subjects is preferred.
Skills and Competencies
- Expertise in written and verbal communication
- Knowledge of state and federal laws
- Research skills
- Analytical thinking
- Negotiation skills
- Litigation experience
According to Payscale the median annual salary of a Labor Attorney with
1 Year of Experience:
- Orlando, Florida: $68,000
- Tampa, Florida: $58,000
- Jacksonville, Florida: $78,000
- Miami, Florida: $65,000
- Atlanta, Georgia: $65,000
- Chicago, Illinois: $60,000
- Houston, Texas: $73,000
- Los Angeles, California: $70,000
- New York City, New York: $93,000
- Seattle, Washington: $65,000
- Overall: $70,000
5 Years of Experience:
- Orlando, Florida: $83,000
- Tampa, Florida: $80,000
- Jacksonville, Florida: $88,000
- Miami, Florida: $87,000
- Atlanta, Georgia: $80,000
- Chicago, Illinois: $80,000
- Houston, Texas: $90,000
- Los Angeles, California: $85,000
- New York City, New York: $109,000
- Seattle, Washington: $81,000
- Overall: $87,000
Similar Job Titles
- Employment Attorney
- Union Labor Attorney
- Wage and Hour Attorney
Labor Attorneys are required to have a Juris Doctorate from an accredited law school and a license to practice law in the state where they work. College coursework in areas like history, government, labor law, legal writing, contracts, and related subjects is helpful and can make candidates attractive to employers.
Most attorneys start in law firms as associates, then progress on either a partner or non-partner track, leading to positions as partners, senior attorneys, or of counsel. Corporations, government agencies, and labor unions can also employ Labor Attorneys.
Labor and employment laws change often, so Labor Attorneys need to stay on top of changes in the law to serve their clients best. According to a recent article in Forbes magazine, some trends could change how Labor Attorneys do their jobs in the next few years. These changes to labor laws include new federal requirements for how much overtime exempt employees need to be paid, changes to legislation regarding independent contractors’ rights, and varying changes to state laws on everything from drug testing to salary history to criminal convictions.
According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, the need for attorneys is expected to grow by six percent between 2018 and 2028, which is as fast as average.
The work hours in an office setting for a Labor Attorney are usually from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. However, many attorneys work more than 40 hours a week, especially when nearing deadlines or preparing for court proceedings.
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