What Are the Most Common Legal Issues in the Workplace?

Whether you’re an employer or employee, you might face legal issues in the workplace. Some issues are more common than others, and some are simple to resolve, while others require the input of a legal expert.

Employment law is complex, and navigating legal challenges in the workplace without the help of a professional can be tough. If you want to file a claim for a work-related issue, you will need to hire an employment lawyer for legal representation and expert guidance.

Whether you’re an employer or employee, it’s important to be aware of the most common legal issues that you might face. Being aware of such issues enables you to identify when something isn’t quite right and you need to take legal action.

Below, we’ve covered some of the most common problems that employers and workers face within the workplace.

Discrimination and Harassment

Sadly, many employees face unfair treatment in the workplace based on characteristics that they cannot change, such as age, sex, race, ethnicity, disability, or pregnancy. Discrimination based on protected characteristics is against the law, as enforced by the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC).

If an employer notices discrimination within their workplace, it’s their responsibility to take action and resolve this issue. Employees facing discrimination may need to hire an employment lawyer to take legal action against the perpetrator(s).

Wrongful Termination

Employees may pursue legal action against their employer if they believe their employment contract was terminated for unfair reasons. Wrongful dismissal may occur when an employer fires an employee based on discrimination or personal biases.

Wrongful termination cases require the help of an employment lawyer as they can be extremely complex and involve several laws and regulations.

Wage and Hour Disputes

The Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) enforces federal-level standards for minimum page payments, overtime pay, and child labor laws. There may also be state-specific laws surrounding these areas of employment to consider as an employer or employee.

Disputes relating to wages, overtime pay, and hours worked are some of the most common issues in the workplace. They can often be simple to resolve but may also be intricate and complex, leading to detailed legal claims against a person or organization.

Employment Contracts

Employment contracts can be several pages long, detailing every aspect of an employee’s rights and responsibilities and the requirements of the employer for the duration of the contract. Due to their complexity, they can easily be misunderstood, leading to disputes.

Employers can miss important aspects of employment in their contracts or make vital errors. Employees can misinterpret the information in their contract, leading to confusion or frustration. Legal claims relating to employment contracts may revolve around the terms of employment, non-compete agreements, wage payments, confidentiality clauses, and severance agreements.


Employees who report their concerns within the workplace, whether these concerns are about cybersecurity, harassment, or unsafe working conditions, are protected from employer retaliation.

Employers must acknowledge complaints and resolve workplace issues efficiently to ensure a safe and positive work environment. Retaliatory actions against employees who file reports or ‘whistleblow’, such as demotion or termination, are prohibited by law.

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