Good businesses are all about cultivating relationships with their employees. But sometimes things can get sticky and it’s hard to know where the law intersects in those relationships. Here are 3 ½ things that are important to know about employee rights for both employees and employers. 


1)  At-Will Employment vs. Contract Employment


At-will employment means that an employer can dismiss an employee without having to establish “just cause for termination” or without giving a warning. For example, the employee may be fired for poor performance, poor attitude, lack of work, bad attitude. An employer may also let someone go from a job because of payroll or workload capacities. This also applies to employees. An employee may quit working for a company without having “just cause” or without giving notice. This is meant to protect both the employee and the employer from being required to stay in destructive or unfavorable employment relationships.


Contract employment is the opposite of at-will employment. This means that companies must have a “just cause” to be able to fire someone. They must take steps to be sure they are treating the employee fairly. This means that they must prove that they have properly investigated the problem, have warned the employee of consequences, apply the same standards to all employees, and have written documentation of “just causes.” 


2)  Fair Pay and Equal Pay Acts


Most states have fair pay and equal pay acts. Because of this, there are several things that employers can’t base their job decisions off of. These include: 

  • Race
  • Color
  • Religion
  • Sex
  • National origin
  • Disabilities
  • Age 
  • Genetic info about employee

Employers can’t terminate employment or pay employees with equal experience and skill different wages based on these categories. 


 3) PTO Benefits are Sometimes Discretionary 


In some states, PTO or Paid Time Off benefits are discretionary while in others it is not. This means that in some states employers are required to give employees paid sick days while in others they have a lot more flexibility. Even in states where employers aren’t required to give PTO for things such as vacation time, sick days, or holidays, there are a few things they may be required to give PTO for including: 

  • Family and medical leave
  • Military leave
  • Military family leave
  • Jury duty 
  • Voting 

 Where’s the Half? 


The most important thing that employees and employers can know about employee rights is that a lot of these complications can be avoided when companies seek to build strong bonds between employees and employers. Magellan has 5 main values we seek to remember in all we do in order to foster these relationships. 

  1. Trust – keep all promises
  2. Be Cool – treat all people with respect and common sense 
  3. Own It – never make excuses when dealing with problems 
  4. All for One and One for All – have each other’s backs and avoid gossip and negativity 
  5. Kaizen – strive for mastery by learning from each other 

We get it, running a business is busy! That’s where we come in. We can help you to strengthen those connections with your employees by overseeing HR compliance, payroll, accounting, and other business services. Click here to learn more about how we can help you today with our services.