Employment law is one of the most controversial areas of law because it relates to one of the most fundamental social relationships, that of work. It governs the relationship between employers and employees, unions and the state. These relationships can and do cause conflict on a regular basis and are of great importance to almost everyone in society. This is because in the capitalist economic system, the majority of people depend on paid work to support themselves and those who depend on them. In general, people also derive a sense of dignity and self-worth from their work, which can also be a source of conflict due to the personal and sometimes emotional investment that people have in their work.
Industrial relations are also a very political issue. It is one of the few areas where there are significant political differences between Republicans and Democrats. In essence, labor law aims to organize and harmonize the relationship between employers and workers, between organized labor and the state, and to moderate the functioning of the labor market for the benefit of workers and employers. One of the main assumptions for the traditional view of labor laws is the concept of labor. It is usually assumed that this means paid work. Unpaid or voluntary work is therefore not treated with great attention in the formation of case law in the field of employment law. The law also avoids examining the problem of household ‘work’ in families, as it is so often done without expectations of payment. Feminist commentators on labor law often call this criticism of labor law because the traditional definition of work can contribute to women’s subordination.
There is also another presumption in the labor law that can be made by policymakers and legislators and deserves investigation. This is the difference between people who independently outsource their services to another organization and those who work as employees for an organization. At times, the need for independent contractors has increased in the economy, as employers have preferred to use contractors as a method to reduce their labor procurement obligations. Contractors do not have the same need to withhold tax, pay retirement benefits or the same rights with regard to termination benefits and termination procedures, so it is often much more convenient for employers to choose to use these types of employees as a replacement for an employment-based model. Regardless of the work model, it is often necessary to have an employment contract in writing to determine the desired relationship between the parties.