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Employee Rights Law Glossary

Trying to decipher an acronym? Attempting to understand legal jargon? The Employee Rights Law glossary gives you access to definitions for Employee Rights legal terminology commonly used in documents and court proceedings. This Employee Rights Law glossary will help you understand the legal terms and phrases which are relevant to wrongful termination, discrimination, and other areas of Employee Rights law.

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  • Ada
    (Americans With Disabilities Act) - Prohibits discrimination against any employee or applicant who could perform a job despite a disability. The act also requires an employer to provide an ...
  • Adea
    Short for the Age Discrimination in Employment Act, the ADEA is a federal law that prohibits discrimination on the basis of age for workers over the age of forty. Only employers with more than twenty ...
  • Ag
    Short for "Attorney General," usually referring to the U.S. Attorney General. The AG often becomes involved in civil rights and discrimination claims, as in some situations the U.S. Attorney General's ...
  • Age Discrimination In Employment Act (Adea)
    A federal law that protects older employees from employment discrimination on the basis of age
  • Americans With Disabilities Act (Ada)
    A federal law that protects employees from discrimination on the basis of disability, and imposes upon employers the requirement that they make "reasonable accommodations" for their employees' ...
  • At-Will
    A term used to describe many employment relationships. In a nutshell, "at-will" means that an employee can be fired for any reason, or for no reason at all. However, even an at-will employee is ...
  • At-Will Employment
    A type of employment relationship in which there is no contractual agreement and either party may end the employment relationship at any time, for any reason or for no reason at all, without incurring ...
  • B.F.O.Q.
    Short for the phrase "bona fide occupational qualification," in the employment discrimination context a B.F.O.Q. may absolve an employer from liability for discrimination when there is a legitimate ...
  • Back Pay
    A type of damages award in an employment lawsuit that represents the amount of money the employee would have earned if the employee was not fired or denied a promotion illegally
  • Cafeteria Plan
    A type of employment benefits plan in which the employee selects benefits from a "menu," up to a specified dollar amount
  • Civil Rights
    Civil rights are the rights of individuals to be free from unfair or unequal treatment (discrimination) in a number of settings, when that negative treatment is based on the individual's race, gender, ...
  • Civil Rights Act Of 1964
    A federal law that prohibits discrimination in a number of settings: Title I prohibits discrimination in voting; Title II: public accommodations; Title III: Public Facilities; Title IV: Public ...
  • Collective Bargaining
    : negotiation between an employer and a labor union usually on wages, benefits, hours, and working conditions see also bargaining agent at agent, bargaining unit Labor Management Relations Act in the ...
  • Comparable Worth
    : the concept that women and men should receive equal pay for jobs calling for comparable skill and responsibility
  • Consolidated Omnibus Budget Reconciliation Act (Cobra)
    A federal law that requires employers to allow employees to continue their health insurance coverage after termination, in the same insurance group, at the group rate, and providing the same benefits
  • Constructive Discharge
    see discharge
  • Criminal Civil Rights Violation
    A criminal civil rights violation requires that the offender use force or the threat of force against the victim. An assault that is committed because of the victim's race or sexual orientation (i.e. ...
  • Domestic Partnerships
    Legal recognition of unmarried homosexual couples and heterosexual couples, offered by some state and local governments. Domestic partnerships offer some of the same benefits enjoyed by married ...
  • Eeoc
    The Equal Employment Opportunity Commission is a part of the federal government, responsible for investigating and hearing claims of workplace discrimination or harassment. Usually, an alleged victim ...
  • Employee Assistance Program (Eap)
    A workplace program provided by the employer to assist employees in recovering from drug or alcohol abuse, emotional problems, job stress, marital discord, or workplace conflict
  • Employee Stock Ownership Plan (Esop)
    An employer-provided benefit that allows employees to purchase stock in the company under certain favorable terms
  • Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (Eeoc)
    The federal administrative agency that enforces laws prohibiting discrimination in employment
  • Equal Rights Amendment (Era)
    The proposed Equal Rights Amendment (ERA) to the U.S. Constitution was intended to explicitly guarantee equality to all persons, regardless of gender. After passing in Congress in 1972, the amendment ...
  • Erisa
    (Employee Retirement Income Security Act) - The federal statute that regulates private pensions. Governs the funding, vesting, administration and termination of private pension plans.
  • Fair Housing
    Federal and state "fair housing" laws entitle home buyers, renters, and mortgage borrowers with protections against discrimination based on disability, gender, marital status, race, and sexual ...
  • Family Medical Leave Act (Fmla)
    The federal law that requires certain employers to give time off to employees to take care of their own or a family member's illness, or to care for a newborn or adopted child
  • Fmla
    Short for the Family and Medical Leave Act, which applies to employers who have more than fifty employees on their payroll. The FMLA prohibits employers from discriminating against employees who ...
  • Front Pay
    A type of damages award in an employment lawsuit that represents the amount of money the employee would have earned if the employee was reinstated or hired into the higher-paying position from which ...
  • Garnishment Of Wages
    Taking or seizing the amount owing pursuant to a child support order or other order, directly from the employee's wages
  • Hate Crimes
    A hate crime is an act of violence or threat of violence that is intended to injure and/or intimidate the victim(s) because of their race, ethnicity, national origin, religious, sexual orientation, or ...
  • Hostile Work Environment
    The basis for a sexual harassment claim, a "hostile work environment" is created where the presence of demeaning or sexual photographs, jokes, threats, or overall atmosphere is so pervasive as to ...
  • Hostile Working Environment
    A work environment that is so charged with harassment or similar unwanted behavior that it interferes with the ability to do one's job and is said to violate anti-discrimination laws
  • Implied Contract
    see contract
  • Individual Retirement Account (Ira)
    A tax-deferred savings account in which the employee contributes no more than a set maximum amount annually
  • Individuals With Disabilities In Education Act (Idea)
    A federal law that guarantees the right to a free and appropriate education to disabled students. The IDEA typically requires an individualized education program (IEP) for each disabled child ...
  • Minimum Wage
    : a wage fixed by contract or esp. by law as the least that may be paid either to employees generally or to a particular category of employees compare scale
  • National Labor Relations Board
    (NLRB) Hears disputes between employers and unionized employees.
  • National Origin Discrimination
    Discrimination on the basis of an employee's ethnicity
  • Noncompetition Agreement
    A contract (or part of a contract) in which an employee promises not to work for a competing employer (or to set up a competing business) during, or for a certain length of time after, the employment ...
  • Occupational Disease
    : an ailment that results from the characteristic conditions or functions of one's employment rather than from the ordinary risks to which the general public is exposed and that renders one eligible ...
  • Osha
    (Occupational Safety and Health Act) - Federal law enacted to reduce injuries, illnesses and death among workers resulting from their employment.
  • Overtime Compensation
    A higher rate of pay (usually 1.5 or 2 times the regular hourly rate) an employer is obligated to pay employees who work more than a certain number of hours in a day or week.
  • Public Accommodations
    Federal and state laws prohibit discrimination against certain protected groups in businesses and places that are considered "public accommodations." The definition of a "public accommodation" may ...
  • Quid Pro Quo
    [New Latin, something for something] : something (as consideration) given or received for something else
  • Same-Sex Harassment
    The type of sexual harassment that occurs when a male sexually harasses a male, or a female sexually harasses a female.
  • Sexual Harassment
    : employment discrimination consisting of unwelcome verbal or physical conduct directed at an employee because of his or her sex ;also : the tort of engaging in such discrimination see also hostile ...
  • Social Security
    1 : the principle or practice or a program of public provision (as through social insurance or assistance) for the economic security and social welfare of the individual and his or her family ;esp ...
  • Stock Options
    A type of retirement plan in which employees have the opportunity to purchase stock in the company for which they work
  • Telecommuting
    Working from home or another location remote from the office, using technology such as telephones and computers
  • Title Ix
    Short for Title IX, Education Amendments of 1972, Title IX prohibits discrimination on the basis of sex in any education program or activity receiving federal financial assistance.
  • Title Vii
    Part of the federal Civil Rights Act of 1964 that prohibits discrimination in employment on the basis of age, color, national origin, race, religion, or sex
  • Tuition Reimbursement
    An employee benefit in which the employer pays all or part of the employee's tuition for coursework or training
  • Unfair Labor Practices
    Any act by a union or employer in violation of the National Labor Relations Act. For example, an employer's act that interferes with workers' attempts to organize or bargain collectively.
  • Union
    1 : an act or instance of uniting or joining two or more things into one ;esp : the formation of a single political unit from two or more separate and individual units 2 : something that is made ...
  • Whistleblower
    : an employee who brings wrongdoing by an employer or other employees to the attention of a government or law enforcement agency and who is commonly vested by statute with rights and remedies for ...
  • Wrongful Discharge
    see discharge

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