Employers have many rights that are protected by law, including:
- The right to hire and fire employees: Employers can choose who to hire and fire from their company as long as it does not violate anti-discrimination laws.
- The right to set working hours and conditions: Employers have the right to set working hours, work schedules, and conditions of employment. However, they have to comply with labor laws and regulations.
- The right to monitor employee performance: Employers have the right to monitor employee performance and conduct employee evaluations to make sure their employees are meeting expectations and performing their duties effectively.
- The right to enforce company policies and rules: Employers have the right to enforce company policies and rules and to take disciplinary action against employees who violate these policies.
- The right to protect company property: Employers have the right to protect company property and take action against employees who steal, damage, or misuse company property.
While there are many rights of employers, employees and workers have various rights that are protected by law. Some of these rights include:
- The right to a safe working environment: Employers have to provide a safe working environment for their employees.
- The right to fair pay and benefits: Employees have the right to receive fair pay and benefits for their work.
- The right to be free from discrimination: Employees have the right to be free from discrimination based on their race, gender, age, religion, national origin, or disability.
- The right to privacy: Employees have the right to privacy in the workplace, which includes the right to keep personal information private and the right to privacy in their communications.
Lawyers for employers’ rights typically help employers with legal issues related to employment law, such as drafting employment contracts, developing workplace policies, and defending against claims of discrimination, harassment, or wrongful termination. These lawyers also help employers stay up to date with changes in labor laws and regulations and ensure that their business practices comply with the law.
What Are Some Examples of Employer Rights?
Employers have the right to conduct background checks on job applicants and employees as long as they comply with federal and state laws, such as the Fair Credit Reporting Act (FCRA) and the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) guidelines.
Employers can terminate employees for legitimate reasons, such as poor performance, violation of company policies, or downsizing. However, they must comply with employment laws related to discrimination and wrongful termination.
Employers have the right to set work schedules and determine the number of hours employees work as long as they comply with federal and state overtime pay laws.
Employers generally have the right to monitor employee communications, such as emails, phone calls, and internet usage, as long as they comply with federal and state laws, such as the Electronic Communications Privacy Act (ECPA) and state wiretapping laws.
Employers can also enforce workplace policies and discipline employees who violate them as long as the policies comply with federal and state laws and do not violate employees’ rights.
Employers also have the right to protect their trade secrets and confidential information from being disclosed or misused by employees, competitors, or other third parties.
While employers do have these rights, they are obligated to comply with federal and state laws related to employment, such as those related to minimum wage, overtime pay, discrimination, and harassment.
What Are the Limitations of Employer Rights?
Employer rights, while essential for the smooth functioning of a business, are not absolute. Various legal and ethical limitations govern the actions and decisions of employers.
Here are some of the key limitations of employer rights:
- Discrimination: Employers cannot discriminate against employees on the basis of race, gender, age, religion, disability, or other protected characteristics. Discrimination can take the form of unequal pay, hiring or promotion practices, or harassment.
- Harassment and bullying: Employers are not allowed to engage in or tolerate any form of harassment or bullying in the workplace, including physical, verbal, or sexual harassment.
- Safety and health: Employers are legally obligated to provide a safe and healthy workplace for their employees by preventing accidents, providing protective equipment, and addressing any hazardous conditions.
- Privacy: Employers cannot violate the privacy of their employees by accessing personal information without consent, monitoring communications without authorization, or using personal information in ways that violate an employee’s rights.
- Freedom of speech and association: Employees have the right to express their opinions and engage in lawful activities outside of work. Employers cannot restrict these rights or retaliate against employees for exercising them.
- Labor laws: Employers must comply with labor laws, minimum wage laws, overtime laws, and laws governing working hours and conditions.
- Contracts and agreements: Employers must honor any contracts or agreements they have with employees, such as employment contracts, collective bargaining agreements, or non-disclosure agreements.
Employers who violate these limitations can face legal and reputational consequences and damage to their business and relationships with employees.
What Are Some Remedies for Violations of Employer Rights?
When an employer violates an employee’s rights, remedies are available under employment law to provide relief for the employee and ensure that the employer takes corrective action to prevent future violations.
Here are some of the most common remedies for employment law disputes:
- Back pay: This remedy requires the employer to pay the employee for any wages or benefits they were denied as a result of the violation, such as unpaid overtime or wrongful termination.
- Reinstatement: If an employee was wrongfully terminated, this remedy might require the employer to reinstate the employee to their former position or a similar position with the same pay and benefits.
- Injunctive relief: Injunctive relief seeks to prevent the employer from engaging in future violations of the employee’s rights. For example, an injunction may require the employer to change certain policies or practices that led to the violation.
- Compensatory damages: This remedy compensates the employee for any emotional distress, pain and suffering, or other harm they suffered due to the violation.
- Punitive damages: In cases where the employer’s conduct was particularly egregious, punitive damages may be awarded to punish the employer and deter similar behavior in the future.
- Attorney’s fees: In some cases, the court may require the employer to pay the employee’s attorney’s fees and other legal costs associated with the case.
The remedies available in any particular case will depend on the specific facts and circumstances involved. Employers who violate employee rights can face significant legal and financial consequences, so it’s essential to take proactive steps to prevent violations and address any concerns raised by employees promptly and effectively.
Do I Need a Lawyer for Help with Employer Rights?
If you are an employee who believes that your employer has violated your rights, you should seek the advice of a workplace lawyer as soon as possible. A workplace lawyer can help you proceed with your case.
Contact a workplace lawyer if:
- You have been wrongfully terminated or demoted.
- You have been discriminated against based on your race, gender, age, religion, or other protected characteristic.
- You have been harassed or bullied in the workplace.
- Your employer has violated labor laws, such as wage and hour laws or safety regulations.
- You have been retaliated against for whistleblowing or exercising your legal rights.
A workplace lawyer can help you file a complaint with the appropriate government agency, negotiate a settlement with your employer, or pursue a lawsuit in court. They can also protect you from retaliation or further harm from your employer.
Don’t wait to take action if you believe your employer has violated your rights. Contact a workplace lawyer today to discuss your situation and get the help you need.