of what you read and hear refers to an employee's rights in the
workplace but an employer has legal rights as well. In general,
an employer has the right to expect an employee to perform the
duties and tasks required of the job in return for payment. But
with the frequency of employee lawsuits, it is important that
employers know what their legal rights are.
Employers Rights Legal Hiring Practices
First, you as an employer have the legal right
to not hire someone unqualified for the position. You must make
sure a person does not have the right combination of qualifications
for the job. Further you must prove the person you do hire was
the best-suited for the job. You do not have the right to refuse
an employee a job based on race, gender, and religion. You also
cannot refuse to hire a person because of a disability if they
meet the qualifications and their disability will not prevent
them from performing the job.
Second, you have the legal right to not hire someone
with a current drug problem. This is why many employers require
a preemployment drug screening test. However, you may not refuse
to hire someone solely based on a prior drug problem which they
have overcome. If their addiction is not longer a problem, this
is not a valid reason to not hire this qualified individual.
Your Rights When Firing An Employee
You have the right to fire someone whose work
performance is unsatisfactory. But like other reasons for termination
such as insubordination and poor work habits, you must give the
employee feedback, training and chances to improve.
For some terminations, you have the legal right to fire immediately. Let me
explain. If the employee performs illegal acts, is violent or jeopardizes the
safety of other employees, you have the right to fire them right away. Make
sure you clearly explain any behavior that is grounds for immediate termination
in the employee handbook.
Also once you fire an employee, you have the legal
right to refuse to give a positive reference. Your safest policy
is to only confirm the employee worked for the company and the
dates of employment. Make no further comment. An employer's lack
of words should be enough.
There have been instances where employees are
hired under false Social Security numbers. The Social Security
Administration may discover this. When they do, they will send
a mismatch letter back to you. You can fire the employee for
And when you fire an employee, you have the legal
right to not let that employee return to his or her work area
to recover personal belongings. In this case, you must box up
the articles and either put them in a safe place where the employee
can later pick them up or mail them to that person. This ensures
the safety for not only the employer and but also the remaining
employees remaining in the work area. A terminated employee has
the potential for doing all sorts of malicious acts.
If you ever have any doubts about your legal rights
as an employer, the Employee Termination Guidebook is a valuable
reference to have to answer your questions.
right way to fire an employee. Fair and legal.