What are the basics of the labor relationship?
A person engaging in the act of work, dedicating time and energy to any task in an occupation, trade or business is considered an employee. Employers are people (or entities) obtaining the services to perform the work and providing the means enabling employees to carry out their occupation. While employment is a dual way relationship, the employer still maintains control over the manner in which the work is performed and executed.
What is the difference between “at will” employees and “for cause employees?”
Most employees are “at will” employees. Consequently the employer can terminate the employees on a moment’s notice for any reason. Unless no federal or state law is violated or unless no contract that prohibits such termination, the employee can do very little only to protest against the employer.
If you are an “for cause” employee, the employer has no right for such actions, especially if the company policy requires for-cause justifications for termination. At the same time, a written or oral contract also protects employees from such firings. Government employees of a labor union are generally protected by the collective bargaining agreement and are also not subject to abrupt terminations.
Can my employer force me to take a personality assessment?
Generally speaking, no. But because most employees are “at will” employees, the boss can fire them rather quickly.
How does an independent contractor differ from an employee?
The distinction between the two lies in how the income earned is handled for tax purposes and whether relationship-governing laws will apply.
An independent contractor is self-employed and files income taxes quarterly, pays the whole contribution to social security and Medicare taxes and pays for his/her own insurance. In addition, an independent contractor’s wages are not subject to hourly regulations and does not benefit from unemployment insurance.
On the contrary, employees’ paychecks are withheld for personal income tax. Social Security and Medicare are deducted while the employer pays the remaining 50 percent. An employer provides worker’s compensation in case of work-related injuries and contributes to the unemployment insurance system. Finally, the employer pays an additional 20 percent to 30 percent over an employee’s gross wage, but is in control of the means by which the work is performed.
What can’t employers ask when interviewing?
Any disabilities that don’t related to the ability to perform the job
To participate in a polygraph
Part-take in physical examination (unless specifically stated prior to interview)
Are employers required to notify in advance about any firings?
Not particularly. However, if there is a some kind of agreement that states the requirement of advanced notices, the employer would violate a law or policy. Union and government employment both call for advanced notice before termination. Mass layoffs, where there are at least 33 percent of the workers affected, require a 60 days notice.
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