Employment law is a complex area of law with its own jargon and terminology. If you are involved in an employment law dispute, contact an Atlanta employment lawyer to help you resolve the situation. Below are a few employment law terms that can help you better understand this area of law.

Common Employment Law Terms:

Back pay:

A damage award that represents the money an employee would have earned if the employee had not been illegally terminated or inadequately compensated.


Physical or mental impairments that limit major life activities.

Employment at will:

An employment arrangement under which either the employer or employee can end the work relationship at any time for any reason without penalty.

Front pay:

A damages award that represents the money an employee would have earned had he or she been reinstated after being illegally denied a promotion or illegally terminated.


Continued unwanted actions in the workplace that create a hostile work environment. Harassment can include unwanted touching, threats and demands. Harassment based on race or sex is prohibited by law.

Hostile work environment:

A work environment that violates federal anti-discrimination laws or tolerates behavior that is offensive or unwelcome to a protected class. A hostile work environment is affected by harassment and other unwanted conduct to an extent that it interferes with an employee’s ability to perform his or her job functions.

Implied contract:

An unwritten, legally enforceable agreement that is understood because of the words or actions of one of the parties.

Minimum wage:

A pay rate that sets the lowest amount that an employer is allowed to pay its employees by hour under the law.


Actions that an illegally terminated employee must take to reduce the amount of damages he or she sustains. For example, an employee who was illegally fired must seek other employment to reduce the amount of damage he or she suffers.

Noncompetition agreement:

An employment agreement in which an employee promises not to work for a competing business for a certain length of time and/or within a certain area after ending work with the employer.


The amount of time a person works beyond a normal 40 hour work week. Under the FLSA, non-exempt employees are entitled to receive 1.5 times their normal pay rate for each hour of overtime worked.

Severance package:

An agreement that provides information about the pay and benefits an employee will receive upon ending the employment relationship.


Working from home while remaining connected to the office using computers, telephones, instant messaging, the Internet and other technology.

Tip credit:

The difference between a tipped employee’s required cash wage (a minimum of $2.13) and the federal minimum wage ($7.25). Under the Fair Labor Standards Act, an employer is allowed to take a tip credit toward its minimum wage obligation for tipped employees.

Legal Assistance from an Atlanta Employment Lawyer

If you are involved in a workplace dispute or simply want to learn about your legal rights, contact an Atlanta employment lawyer. Because employment law involves a large number of state, federal and local laws, resolving a labor dispute without the assistance of an attorney can be challenging.

The Georgia employment lawyers at Parks, Chesin & Walbert work with businesses and individuals to resolve employment-related disputes. We offer flexible payment options based on each client’s unique situation. Many of our clients do not pay any upfront costs.

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