Attorneys Eric Wersching and Philippe Weiss offer more surprising facts about your employment rights:
1. Your boss doesn’t need to be nice to you. He or she can’t create a hostile work environment, but this form of harassment usually isn’t recognized unless it’s severe and pervasive. Click here to learn more about anger in the workplace.
2. You don’t have a right to privacy on company computers.
3. You boss can likely fire you at any time, without notice. Most employees are at-will employees, meaning they can be terminated at the will of their employer as long they aren’t fired because they’re a member of a protected class—for example, because you’re woman, you’re 40 or older, you’re disabled, you’re of a certain national origin or ethnicity or you’re a whistle blower. In some states, such as California, discrimination based on sexual orientation is also prohibited.
4. Bad things can happen to good employees. “There’s a huge difference between something bad happening to you at work and having a legal claim,” Weiss says. “And in the economy we’ve experienced recently, it’s been exacerbated because people are desperate if they’ve been separated from their jobs. So they’re looking for recourse, but it’s not always there.” Unless a lawyer can find a law was violated, such as showing their identity and protected status was somehow connected to the decision, it’s difficult to make a case, Weiss says.
5. Lies on your resume have long-term consequences. As of the time the employer finds out you lied on your resume or application, your damages are cut off—even if you can prove wrongful termination.