Employment laws are a natural consequence of a society that seeks to protect the rights of the labour force. Employment laws were implemented to make minimum wages, standard timings, and injury compensations mandatory for workers. They also did their part in doing away with child labour, hazardous working compensations, pay for overtime, and income parity between men and women. In addition, each state adds additional measures to help localize the Employment act to address local issues. This is all in order to protect employees, and ensure that they are treated well and are in safe working environments.
What are the main issues concerning employment law?
There are a few main issues when dealing with employment law, such as
- Wrongful Termination
- Wage and Time rules
- Whistleblower protection
- Workplace Safety
In order to be in compliance with these laws, employers are required to post a copy in accessible locations in the workplace, as well as maintain payroll records.
How does “At Will” presumption impact me?
This clause assumes that the employer-employee relationship is an “at will” one. The consequences of this are that either side can terminate employment at any time “at their will” for any cause.
This can be modified if either party decides to agree on a contract for employment, or when they mutually agree on when employment will end.
In case of a contract, the terms including the length employment, nature of compensation, and the reasons an employee can be terminated. Subsequently, if there is a dispute, the courts are left to adjudicate the arbitration due to an interpretation of the contract.
What rights are entitled to an employee in the workplace?
All working employees, as well as interviewees, have workplace rights. For prospective applicants, the employer cannot discriminate against a possible future employee for reasons like gender, race, age or religion. When they apply, unless the employer notifies them in advance, they cannot run a credit or background check either.
What is the difference between an illegal termination than just an unfair one?
Everyone can relate to an unexpected termination being harsh. However, there are occasions when it is actually illegal to be terminated. In “at will” states, employees can be terminated by an employer at any time. However, if the termination was due to
- Your race, gender, color, religion, country of origin, sexual orientation, age, disability, language, or marital status
- As retaliation for exercising your constitutional rights
- As retaliation for whistleblowing to a federal agency or the police
Then that may be an illegal termination.
Can I be restricted from seeing my personnel file?
No. You cannot be restricted from seeing your personnel files. Even if you have left the job, you have the right to inspect and get a copy of all the information your employer has about you, and your job performance. Your employer has only a limited amount of time after your request to view it. If you disagree with the contents of the file, you can also add your own documents to the file.
Can Money be deducted from my pay if I make a mistake?
Absolutely Not. If you make an unintended mistake, show up short on the register, or there is some loss due to a simple mistake, and your employer tries to deduct money from your pay, then that is illegal. It is also illegal to charge the worker for tools that are required in the course of the job. However, if the employer can prove that the loss was due to willful dishonesty by the employee, then the employee may be liable for damages.
Can I refuse to do unsafe work?
Yes! According to the California labor code, you can refuse to do work that you feel is unsafe if it violates an OSHA standard or labor code provision, or if it is so hazardous that a normal person would think that they were in danger if they did the work. You should inform your immediate supervisor if this is the case, and offer the company a chance to make amends, in writing, and inform OSHA, if you think they did not.