EMPLOYMENT LAW FIRMS
Employment law firms with national and global reaches are much in demand these days, as myriad legal issues confront employers in a global economy.
Barbara Brown, chair-elect of the American Bar Association's labor and employment law section, says she sees a lot of growth in the employer-defense niche of the legal world. In a characterization that won't please many employers, she said the field is "very vibrant at the moment," with federal and state court caseloads growing in the area of employment law.
Among those areas of growth are cases of overtime-rule disputes and claims of unpaid compensation for "off-the-clock" work performed, discrimination, whistle-blower retaliation and allegations of unpaid benefits and compensation brought by employees who have jumped from job to job.
A big legal issue in California, says Brown, involves claims that rest and mealtime breaks required by the state labor code haven't been provided by some employers.
The U.S. Supreme Court, meanwhile, is expected to rule in 2008 on arbitration procedures for discrimination cases. And Brown expects a future federal law banning discrimination against employees based on sexual orientation.
Meanwhile, the largest employment law firms have been adding offices overseas in recent years. To tap into the global market for their services, they're setting up shop in places like London, Paris and China.
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