Employment law A to Z in one easy-to-use desk reference
If you’re a human resources professional, it’s important that you have quick access to the information you need to do your job. Enter Nolo’s latest quick reference guide, Employment Law: The Essential HR Desk Reference, the all-in-one, easy-to-read guide every HR pro should have handy. From Absenteeism to Zero-Tolerance Policy, read entries on topics such as:
- Bereavement Leave
- Class Action
- Hostile Work Environment
- Minimum Wage
- Stock Options
- Trade Secret
- …and much more.
In usual Nolo fashion, Employment Law combines legal and practical information that can be used in real-world HR situations. Real-life case references, statistics, trends, and even pop culture references help to illustrate each entry’s summary of the law. Let this guide, the latest in Nolo’s Quick Reference series, give you easy and affordable access to the information you need.
- Employment Law makes no claims it cannot fulfill, it says on the cover it’s a “desk reference” and that’s exactly what it is. It’s meant to be used as a reference not to replace general counsel. The book is arranged like an encyclopedia in alpha order by the term. Once you find your term then the book offers a definition, case study in some cases and cross reference of related terms.
Nolo has always been a name I trust when it comes to legal issues. Even their website has helped me with personal issues where clarity was needed. When I first saw the book on Amazon; I made the mistake of overlooking the phrase “Desk Reference”. I didn’t expect the book to list HR terms and give definitions, but that is exactly what it is nothing more.
As an HR professional I think this book is great for the novice, as well as the seasoned HR professional in need of a quick definition or an explanation of terms. Knowing the terms are great but to use them correctly along with company policies and procedure is needed as well. I respect the fact that under the more complicated terms there’s footnotes which offer the reader a tad bit more detail.
Whether you’re trying to understand COBRA or what is meant by a “class action suit” it’s here. My personal disclaimer is I think this book should be used for what it was intended; a desk reference and not to replace or even be used until your internal counsel arrives.
A complimentary copy of this book was provided by Amazon Vine for the purpose of this review.
- I’ve used several NOLO books and have found them to be consistently useful, informative and well researched. Generally, these NOLO resource books are helpful both to laypersons and lawyers.
The Employment Law: The Essential HR Desk Reference seems to target HR professionals more than lawyers. The Desk Reference isn’t arranged according to topic but instead covers main concepts and terms in alphabetical order. The terms are covered carefully and with some of the most recent case law to give the reader/user a fuller understanding of each topic. But the HR Desk Reference should be used for a better understanding of the concepts and recent jurisprudence and should be relied upon hand in hand with specific advice from a lawyer.
I’m not a HR Professional and requested the book in order to get a better understanding of the concepts in employment law and HR – from an employee and small business owner’s point of view. I found the book helpful for my purposes. Considering that Employment Law: The Essential HR Desk Reference is sold for $49.99, while it is useful, I feel that the other NOLO publications that I’ve read and used offer better value.
- I noticed a lot of the other reviewers were less than pleased that this book is more of a desk reference (as stated on the front cover) then it is “street smart” approach to navigating the employee waters. I on the other hand think it is a valuable resource. Although it doesn’t go into any great detail on any one topic, it does cover just about every subject you may want to know in its 355 pages. It simply explains the basics of each topic; further information on a specific condition may require professional counsel.
With the complexity of determining an employee’s rights under different scenarios, precludes any author from being able to give you a solid answer, on any given topic, and that is compounded by the fact that different states have different laws/requirements adding to the complexity. So this book I found to be super informative, and does a great job of pointing out the requirements, and topics that should be considered, when hiring anyone. For example she covers the “At Will” employees, meaning that they for example signed an application that released the company from any obligation for extended employment (a phrase on most job applications stating there are no guarantees of employment) or signed an agreement at any time in which the employer may fire the employee without recourse at any time. Notwithstanding, it can’t be for sexual discrimination, or any other discrimination for that matter. It can get complicated to say the least, but this book will guide you through the waters by bringing up the various considerations that enable you to chart a course. It is not designed to steer your ship, but rather to make you aware of where the sand bars are, and other pitfalls that may make you run aground.
Knowledge is power and this book will get you on track fast. I found it to be an enjoyable read if only from the standpoint that it’s an eye opener. You will be saying to yourself as you read it, “Wow I am glad I found out about that”.
You will notice that there are no acknowledgments, no introductions, or any other explanations in the beginning of the book. It is written according to topic in alphabetical order. So if you wanted to look up “Marital Status Discrimination” you would go to “M” in the book; it is just that cut and dry, which is the reason why it has garnered so many 3 star reviews. I just found the information so beneficial that it deserved 5 stars instead. Besides it is not like we were deceived into thinking this was a narrative on how to shoot craps with your employees. It is an essential desk reference just like it says on the cover of the book. So I highly recommend it.
- Nolo publishes a variety of information, all in easily understood wording by authorities in their fields. This book follows that pattern in that the information is quite trustworthy, authoritative, and not difficult to follow. The book was somewhat smaller than I expected. Although there are 357 numbered pages, they all have a lot of white space. I like that because it makes reading much easier for me. The problem with using that much white space is that many topics must be given a broad brush instead of the depth often wanted and needed. Because this is sold as a Desk Reference, it cannot provide depth on the topics so it is best used as an introduction to the topic for HR staff, or as it says – as a desk reference. I wanted more depth in many areas and would have sacrificed some of the white space to get that depth in a desk reference.
One excellent help in the book is that most topics are ended with a list of related terms. That makes further research much easier and helps the reader to understand topics that do have multiple terminology or linkages to closely related topics. That feature was a strong “pro” for me.
The only “con” I had was the reader had to know the name of the topic to find it. That sounds reasonable, but sometimes we face situations that only experts know how to describe officially. A quick example is the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA). It covers the federal minimum wage, what counts as an hour worked, overtime, and child labor laws. If I didn’t know the terms “child labor law” or FLSA, I might have difficulty finding out more about teenagers’ work rules and laws. Basically, the reader has to know the basic terminology of a topic to find the right reference or related references in the book.
All in all, the book is excellent as a quick reference or desk guide. It falls just short of 5 stars.