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Employment Lawyers

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Employment Lawyers

Best Employment Law Attorneys in the United States

Lawyer Legion Top Picks for 2023

The following list was determined using a number of factors including both objective and subjective criteria. Lawyers were selected based on their career accomplishments, high-profile cases, professional involvement, community leadership, and board certifications.

This list includes many of the most highly accomplished employment law attorneys currently practicing in the United States.

When reviewing this list, please be aware of each of the following:

  • Lawyers cannot pay to be included in this list.
  • Only lawyers who are active on Lawyer Legion were selected.
  • It is difficult to compare lawyers who practice in different states across the country.
  • It is impossible to accurately determine a national list of attorneys who are actually “the best” at practicing employment law (but our list comes close).
Janet Ellen Wise
Sass Law Firm
Tampa, FL
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Stuart Gale Torch
Elfvin Klingshirn Royer & Torch, LLC
Independence, OH
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Holly B Williams
Williams Law Firm, P.C.
Midland, TX
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Erin G Jackson
Johnson Jackson LLC
Tampa, FL
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Yvette D. Everhart
Sass Law Firm
Tampa, FL
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Jonathan James Downes
Zashin & Rich Co., LPA
Columbus, OH
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Gregg Gerlach
Gerlach Employment Law, PL
Jacksonville, FL
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Heather Moore Collins
Collins Law Firm
Nashville, TN
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William S Hommel Jr
Hommel Law Firm
Tyler, TX
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Karen Meyer Buesing
Akerman LLP
Tampa, FL
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Susan M Coler
Halunen Law
Minneapolis, MN
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Bruce James Highman
Highman & Highman
San Francisco, CA
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Employment Law Bar Associations and Legal Organizations

National Employment Lawyers Association (NELA) - The NELA is a national professional association of lawyers who represent employees against their employers and former employers in the areas of employment discrimination, illegal workplace harassment, wrongful termination, denial of employee benefits, and other employment-related matters. The National Employment Lawyers Association is the largest national association advocating for employees rights in the United States.
California Applicants’ Attorneys Association (CAAA) - The CAAA is a nonprofit professional association that serves California's injured workers and the attorneys who represent them in workers' compensation cases. The California Applicants' Attorneys Association's goals are to provide fair compensation benefits to injured workers and their families. The organization also advocates for gender equality, immigrant rights, and government accountability in workers' compensation cases.
California Employment Lawyers Association (CELA) - The CELA is a nonprofit association of lawyers representing plaintiffs in employment law cases against their employers. Many of California's top employment law attorneys are members. The California Employment Lawyers Association (CELA) is an affiliate of the National Employment Lawyers Association (NELA). The organization provides education and resources to practicing attorneys while advocating for labor issues that are in the interest of workers across California.
Florida Chapter of the National Employment Lawyers Association (NELA) - The Florida Chapter of the National Employment Lawyers Association (FL-NELA) unites legal professionals dedicated to advocating for employee rights. With a focus on workplace fairness, FL-NELA members work to counter workplace discrimination, harassment, and wrongful termination. Through education, collaboration, and legal initiatives, FL-NELA contributes to fostering just and equitable work environments across the state.
Illinois Chapter of the National Employment Lawyers Association (NELA-IL) - The Illinois Chapter of the National Employment Lawyers Association (NELA-IL) is a dynamic community of legal professionals dedicated to workers' rights. Committed to fair employment practices, the chapter offers resources, advocacy, and networking opportunities. By uniting legal experts, NELA Illinois promotes justice, safeguards employees' rights, and shapes the landscape of labor law in the state.
North Carolina Advocates for Justice (NCAJ) - The North Carolina Advocates for Justice (NCAJ) is an organization supporting the rights of those injured by the wrongdoing of others, workers, the disabled, those with family problems, consumers, those in debt, and those accused of a crime. Founded in 1962, the NCAJ continues enhancing the practice of attorneys to better serve the cases of clients. The NCAJ is an affiliate organization of the National Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers (NACDL).

Specialty Certifications in Employment Law

State Bar of Arizona Board of Legal Specialization
Workers' Compensation Law -

State Bar of California
Workers' Compensation Law - Worker’s compensation is a system designed to manage workplace injuries. Attorneys that focus on workers' compensation law involves employees' rights, employers' defenses, and benefits provided for workplace accidents. Workers' compensation law includes activities before the state administrative agencies that regulate workers' compensation claims, as well as jury trials and appellate practice. An attorney seeking board certification in Worker's Compensation Law must demonstrate that within the applicable time period the attorney has substantially involved in the specialty practice area of the law.

The Florida Bar Board of Legal Specialization and Education
Workers' Compensation Law - Find information on the requirements to become board certified in workers' compensation law. The category of Workers' Compensation was established as a field for specialty certification in Florida in 1988.

The Florida Bar Board of Legal Specialization and Education
Labor and Employment Law - Find the requirements for becoming Board Certified in Labor and Employment Law in Florida. The board certification is awarded by the Florida Board of Legal Specialization and Education.

Minnesota State Bar Association
Labor and Employment Law -

State Bar of Nevada
Workers' Compensation - Workers' Compensation Board Certification is an area of specialization offered by the State Bar of Nevada through the Nevada Justice Association. Attorneys can earn the designation as a certified specialist if they pass the requirements which include demonstrating substantial involvement in the practice of workers' compensation law, providing references, meeting the legal education standards, and passing a written examination.

New Jersey Board on Attorney Certification
Workers' Compensation Law -

North Carolina Board of Legal Specialization
Workers' Compensation -

Ohio State Bar Association
Labor and Employment Law -

Ohio State Bar Association
Workers' Compensation Law -

Texas Board of Legal Specialization
Labor and Employment Law - More than 600 attorneys in Texas have become board certified in Labor and Employment Law since the Texas Board of Legal Specialization (TBLS) launched the program in 1975.

Texas Board of Legal Specialization
Workers' Compensation - In Texas, attorneys can become board certified in Workers' Compensation by the Texas Board of Legal Specialization (TBLS). At last count, 93 attorneys have become board certified in Workers' Compensation Law.

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United States Government and Court Resources

National Labor Relations Board

National Labor Relations Board - The National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) is an independent federal government agency established in 1935 by the National Labor Relations Act (NLRA). Its primary purpose is to enforce and interpret the provisions of the NLRA, which concerns the rights of employees to unionize and collectively bargain with their employers. The NLRB conducts elections for labor union representation and investigates claims of unfair labor practices committed by employers or unions. The NLRB's decisions and interpretations set precedents for workplaces across the United States.

Supreme Court of the United States

Supreme Court of the United States - The Judiciary Act of 1789, Article III of the Constitution allowed for the establishment of the Supreme Court. Additionally, the United States Supreme Court is the highest in the Nation. It has jurisdiction over all state and federal cases that involve a violation of Constitutional or Federal laws. The court has the power of judicial review and is the interpreter of the Constitution. Furthermore, the court consist of the Chief Justice of the United States and associate justices.

U.S. Department of Labor

U.S. Department of Labor - The Department of Labor (DOL) is a cabinet-level department of the U.S. federal government, established in 1913. Its primary mission is to foster, promote, and develop the welfare of the wage earners, job seekers, and retirees of the United States. The DOL oversees federal labor laws related to workers' rights, workplace safety, wage and hour standards, and unemployment insurance benefits. It also administers and enforces a variety of statutes covering topics like workers' compensation and labor management relations.

United States Courts

United States Courts - Article III of the Constitution helped create the United States Courts. Congress also created several legislative courts, such as the U.S. Court of Appeals for Veterans Claims, U.S. Tax Court, and U.S. Court of Appeals for the Armed Forces. Federal courts hear cases in which the United States is an interested party, bankruptcy cases, disputes between states, maritime law, and cases involving the violation of federal or constitutional laws. Additionally, the courts help decide what happened, what should be done about the situation, if a person committed the crime, and what punishment to give to the persons.

Overview of U.S. Employment Law

Introduction to Employment Law

Most states are "at-will" employment states, meaning employees can be hired and fired with any or no reason. However, there are laws that protect workers from discrimination and harassment, and protect an employee's right to receive health care and take care of family members.

Federal laws like the Fair Labor Standards Act create standards for how employers must pay employees, and which employees must be paid overtime when they work more than 40 hours per week. The Family Medical Leave Act ensures that if an employee must receive health care or take care of an ailing family member, they have a job when they return. States may have additional protections for workers.

Despite these laws, some employers are accused of engaging in unfair and illegal practices. Employment lawyers practice in civil court. These attorneys seek to enforce laws protecting workers and fight for compensation for workers who have been injured financially by illegal actions of employers. Attorneys that practice employment law also represent the employers when defending against such actions.

Issues in Employment Law

  • Discrimination: Federal laws prohibit discrimination on the basis of race, religion, national origin, sex, disability, genetic information, color, or age. Additionally, many states prohibit discrimination on sexual orientation and gender identity or expression. Discrimination can exist in hiring, firing, promotion and pay practices.

    Find a discrimination lawyer.

  • Workers' Compensation: Workers' compensation is a state program that provides payments to employees who are injured on the job. Every state has some kind of workers' comp program. Attorneys who practice in workers' compensation often help employees get their fair share.

    Find a workers' compensation lawyer.

  • Wrongful Termination: While a state may be an "at-will" employment state, there are still often exceptions and other reasons that a person cannot be fired. Additionally, if a a worker has an employment contract, the contract will usually contain a clause requiring cause for firing.

    Find a wrongful termination lawyer.

  • Sexual Harassment: Federal law prohibits sexual harassment. The key for sexual harassment is whether the employer has created or allowed a hostile work environment. If can come in the form of physical assault, unwanted advances or touching, threats of firing or demotion, or promises of promotion for sex, and crude jokes and comments.

    Find a sexual harassment lawyer.

Certifications in Employment Law

Eleven states have programs by which lawyers can become certified as specialists in employment law or workers' compensation. A certified attorney has earned the ability to call himself or herself a "specialist" in his or her area of practice.

Hiring an Employment Lawyer

An employment lawyer may practice exclusively in labor employment law, or may be a general civil attorney. If an attorney has been certified in employment law or in workers' compensation, it means an independent organization or agency has deemed that lawyer worthy of calling himself or herself a specialist in that field.

The National Employment Lawyers Association is a nationwide organization of attorneys who represent plaintiffs in employment law. Their members have access to continuing legal education and publications that keep them up to date on employment law matters.

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