Simple Employee Rights That Employers May Not Know

Making sure your employees are following the Company policy is a job of itself, but it is equally important to know that you are complying with workplace rights as well. Employers can avoid making potentially costly mistakes by reviewing the basics and constantly staying aware of changing city and state laws. The Department of Labor and the Internal Revenue Service are attempting to navigate this challenging economy, and the victim of this navigation is the small business employer.

Employers cannot dock an employee’s salary because of poor performance.

Even if an employee makes a mistake that costs the business thousands of dollars, that money cannot come out of his or her paycheck. An employer can fire someone for poor performance, but they are still obligated to pay for any hours worked.

Employees can discuss salary and working conditions with other employees.

The reason for this is because employees cannot be prevented from unionizing, if they are not allowed to reveal unfair treatment. Even if this is an unlikely possibility within your company, employees are still given this right. You can provide employees various levels of benefits and salary, but you cannot prevent them from discussing within the company.

Contractors should not be treated like employees.

Employees and contractors are not interchangeable labels. If you hire a contractor and are controlling how, when and where they work, the Department of Labor may qualify them as as an employee. This means an employer is obligated to offer them the same benefits as other employees and cover their payroll taxes unless they can be properly distinguished as a contractor. The Labor Department has become increasingly stringent regarding this distinction, so be aware of your rights and obligations.

Employees are not required to give two weeks notice when leaving a job.

It is considered standard practice to provide your employer two weeks notice before leaving a job. However, if this is not specifically outlined in the employee handbook, an employee is not legally required to provide such notice. Similarly, an employer is not required to provide notice preceding a termination.

While there has been major progress with employment law, there is still a lot of work to be done in terms of legislation. The best thing employers and employees can do is to stay informed and know their basic workplace rights. If you have any questions about workplace treatment, feel free to contact us.

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