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Employment Law: Home

A guide to researching Employment Law for law students, bar examinees, and other library patrons


Zone of Employment: The physical place of employment within which an employee, if injured there, can receive compensation.

Employment at Will: Employment that is usually undertaken without a contract and that may be terminated at any time, by either the employer or the employee, without cause.

McDonnell Douglas test: The principle for applying a shifting burden of proof in employment-discrimination cases, requiring the plaintiff to show evidence of discrimination and the defendant to show evidence showing that the employment action complained of was taken for nondiscriminatory reasons.

Mixed-Motive Doctrine: The principle that, when the evidence in an employment-discrimination case shows that the complained-of employment action was based in part on a nondiscriminatory reason and in part on a discriminatory reason, the plaintiff must show that discrimination was a motivating factor for the employment action and, if the plaintiff makes that showing, then the defendant must show that it would have taken the same action without regard to the discriminatory reason.

Workers’ Compensation: A system of providing benefits to an employee for injuries occurring in the scope of employment.

Respondeat Superior: The doctrine holding an employer or principal liable for the employee's or agent's wrongful acts committed within the scope of the employment or agency.

Collective Bargaining: Negotiations between an employer and the representatives of organized employees to determine the conditions of employment, such as wages, hours, discipline, and fringe benefits.

Scope of Employment : The range of reasonable and foreseeable activities that an employee engages in while carrying out the employer's business

All definitions are from Black's Law Dictionary (11th ed. 2019).


Employment law, also referred to as labor law, governs the rights and duties between employers and workers. Employment laws are based on federal and state constitutions, legislation, administrative rules, and court opinions. A particular employment relationship may also be governed by contract.

Many of the employment disputes that result in litigation deal with “wage and hour” violations. Federal law establishes baseline rules with respect to these issues, and then states are free to pass laws providing additional protections. Discrimination in the workplace is another basis for many employment law cases. The Civil Rights Act of 1964 and subsequent legislation makes it illegal to treat workers differently based on ethnicity, religious beliefs, gender, age, or disability.

Description taken from, (last visited 10/27/2015).

Subscription Databases

Bloomberg Law: Select the Practice Centers Tab on the home page. On the drop down menu select Labor & Employment. From there you can refine your search by topic or source.

Lexis Advance: Click on Browse Topics located above the search box, and you can select Labor & Employment Law or Workers' Compensation & SSDI. There you can choose from a small number of preselected topics or search for additional topics.

Westlaw: Under the Practice Areas tab of the Browse menu located on the main page select Employment. On the new page you can browse Employment Law materials by type, or you can search specific employment topics in the search box at the top.

Subject Guide

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U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission: The EEOC is responsible for enforcing federal laws that make it illegal to discriminate against a job applicant or an employee because of the person's race, color, religion, sex, national origin, age, disability or genetic information. Besides general information about the EEOC, you can also find information geared toward workers, employers, and Federal agencies

Texas Workforce Commission: Geared toward the Texas community, the TWC website provides resources and tools for employees, businesses, and community partners, including links to Texas laws and regulations related to employment law.

Employment Law Guide, U.S. Department of Labor: This Guide describes the major statutes and regulations administered by the U.S. Department of Labor (DOL) that affect businesses and workers. The Guide is designed mainly for those needing "hands-on" information to develop wage, benefit, safety and health, and nondiscrimination policies for businesses.