Most people know that employees and workers have various rights when they get hired.  However, employers also have their own set of rights when it comes to the way they can deal with employees, manage their business, and interact with other companies.  Many employment law disputes arise because there is a conflict between employee rights and employer rights.

Every state has different employment laws when it comes to employer rights.  There are also federal laws that govern the subject.  As such, employer rights can be very different from state to state, and may focus on different aspects of employment.

What are Some Examples of Employer Rights?

Some examples of employer rights include:

  • Right to keep their company secrets private and confidential (they may require the employee to sign a non-disclosure agreement, stating that they will not release private company information)
  • Right to hire or not hire employees pursuant to background checks, which allow them to avoid liability in circumstances such as being accused of negligent hiring, and set aspects of employment, such as wages, hours, benefits, and retirement/termination.
  • Right to have an employee work solely for them (for instance, requiring them to sign a non-compete clause in an employment contract)
  • Right to investigate suspicious behavior of an employee to determine if the employee has violated company policy or is engaged in criminal activity that is harming the company, such as stealing or embezzling from the company

An employer may also have various other rights when it comes to making public disclosures, dealing with other businesses, and when dealing with the government. These usually involve various forms of privacy rights that the employer is entitled to.

What are the Limitations of Employer Rights?

Each right that an employer has is usually restricted or limited based on state and federal laws.  For instance, while an employer has the right to set employee wages or salaries, they can’t pay them below the state and federal minimum wage.

Also, although an employer is free to set worker hours, they can’t do so in a way that violates overtime pay laws or other restrictions.  And employers cannot discriminate against workers when hiring, promoting, firing, or taking other such actions with an employee.  Thus, employers need to exercise caution whenever they attempt to enforce or claim their own employment rights.

Do I Need a Lawyer for Help With Employer Rights?

Understanding employer rights can sometimes be challenging.  You may wish to hire a workplace lawyer if you need help interpreting the employment laws in your area, or if you need to file a claim.  Your attorney will be able to assist you and answer any questions you might have regarding employer rights.  Also, if you need to file a lawsuit, your lawyer can be on hand to provide you with representation during court meetings.