Many types of paralegal specializations exist. A labor law or employment law paralegal works in the field of those bodies of law. An employment paralegal will typically assist a lawyer or attorney who represents clients having legal issues or disputes concerning employment.
What Is a Labor Law or Employment Law Paralegal?
The employment law paralegal job description can have some variations depending on which labor or employment laws the paralegal will mostly deal with. For example, if the employment paralegal works for an attorney who deals with business or corporate clients, then the applicable labor laws will typically have to deal with defending those businesses.
If the employment paralegal works with an attorney who represents clients who are victims of unfair labor practices, then the job duties will change. In all cases, a paralegal in this field should have a working knowledge of employment laws in their locality.
An employment law paralegal is not an attorney and therefore cannot represent clients or give them personal legal advice. In most cases, an employment law paralegal will deal with case management, paperwork, and research. This can include things like requesting employment records, researching applicable labor laws, drafting legal documents, and performing administrative tasks.
Some employment law paralegals also work in a contractor or independent capacity. Once again, they cannot perform attorney duties, but they can help people and businesses with general advice, paperwork, and instruction on how to proceed with the administrative part of a legal matter.
What Kind of Jobs Are Available to Employment Law Paralegals?
Employment law paralegal jobs will usually involve working for a lawyer, attorney, law office, or firm. However, some employment law paralegal jobs can come from other places that have to routinely deal with labor and employment law.
For example, HR departments can have a need for an employment law paralegal. Insurance companies can hire paralegals as well. Generally, any time a person or business needs to deal with certain aspects of labor laws, they may want a permanent, temporary, or for hire employment law paralegal.
Aspects of labor law can include any or all the following:
- Health and Safety
- Workers Compensation
All these things require some knowledge of the proper paperwork and procedures that each of them requires.
In many cases, a person or business may not need an attorney for these things, but they do need someone to help them figure out what documents they may require or how to go about a particular legal process. Employment paralegals can fill that role for them.
For this reason, it’s a good idea to remember that employment law paralegal jobs aren’t just about working with a lawyer. Although, it’s in that capacity that most of these jobs exist.
What Are Some Typical Employment Law Paralegal Salaries?
The salary for a labor and employment paralegal can vary depending on a few things. One variable for employment law paralegal salary has to do with the sub-specialization of the paralegal. For example, the salary for a paralegal who deals mainly with employee benefits can differ from a paralegal who deals with workers’ compensation issues.
Consider that lawyers themselves often specialize in a particular category. They tend to choose paralegals who have some knowledge of the niche along with the broader knowledge of general employment law.
In addition, paralegals who first earn their Legal Studies degree tend to make more than paralegals who only earn certification or find themselves in the position in another way. The average salary for a general paralegal, according to PayScale, is $47.6k, and Glassdoor lists it at $53.7k. As these are averages, understand the range can contain salaries up to $100k.
Since employment law is a specialization, their average salary will always sit higher than that. In addition, certain industries pay more for paralegals with specialization. For example, insurance companies tend to offer higher wages to paralegals who match their specializations. Experience also factors heavily into employment law paralegal salary.