After reading this chapter, you should understand the following:
- How common-law employment at will is modified by common-law doctrine, federal statutes, and state statutes
- Various kinds of prohibited discrimination under Title VII and examples of each kind
- The various other protections for employees imposed by federal statute, including the Age Discrimination in Employment Act (ADEA) and the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA)
In the next chapter, we will examine the laws that govern the relationship between the employer and the employee who belongs, or wants to belong, to a union. Although federal labor law is confined to that relationship, laws dealing with the employment relationship—both state and federal—are far broader than that. Because most employees do not belong to unions, a host of laws dealing with the many faces of discrimination shapes employers’ power over and duties to their employees. Beyond the issue of discrimination, the law also governs a number of other issues, such as the extent to which an employer may terminate the relationship itself. We examine these issues later in this chapter.