It’s quite straightforward that employees should not be discriminated against or harassed in the workplace. Whether due to disability, age, sexual orientation, color, race, genetic information, or religion.
You may also know that employers are obligated to offer equal pay for equal work to all their employees. Beyond that, though, what other general obligations do employers owe their employees?
In this guide, we’ll look at the legal and ethical employer responsibilities towards their employees. From the duty of care to fair treatment, there are so many obligations. Employers must meet them for a healthy working environment.
Keeping Employees Safe
All employers are obligated to keep their employees safe by providing a safe and healthy workplace. If employees are below 18 years, then child labor laws apply to them in this case. The workplace should be free of any hazards.
Employees must use safe tools and equipment, and labels and signs should be used for warnings. All procedures must be communicated effectively to employees. Safety training should be offered from professionals, such as this company.
Duty of Care
Employers should ensure the physical and mental health or their workers. Safety and health issues extend to contractors and clients as well. Employers are required to assess work-related issues and determine the level of risk to the mental health of the workers.
Work-related stress could stem from a number of things. They include overworking, job insecurity, harassment, or inadequate training. Upon noticing these issues, employers should address them promptly.
They should also address and manage staff misconduct, and grievances effectively and promptly. Employers with more than five employees should write their risk assessments down. This would help manage and communicate them effectively to the employees.
Federal laws state that employers must pay at least the minimum wage to their employees. This also applies to tipped employees. Different states may have different rules about it. Still, employers are obligated to pay their employees.
Beyond that, employer obligations require them to pay any overtime worked by the employees. This only applies to nonexempt employees. Exempt employees, who are professional, managerial, or supervisory employees are excluded.
Exempt employees only qualify to get overtime payments if their salaries stand below a specific amount. In January 2020, the standard salary for exempt employees was raised to $684 per week. All exempt employees getting anything below that are entitled to overtime pay.
State laws, on the other hand, are quite different from federal laws when it comes to overtime pay and minimum wages. For instance, some states require full minimum wages for tipped employees, while others don’t. In a case where federal and state laws differ, employers must follow the option with the highest standards.
When it comes to time off, federal law does not require employers to pay for any time off work. This could be a vacation, sick leave, or rest breaks. Still, you’ll find that different states also have different requirements for time-off payments.
Treating All Employees Fairly
Treating all employees the same way is imperative. The Equal Pay Act requires all employers to give equal pay rates to employees doing the same job, regardless of gender. Employers must never discriminate against employees according to the Equal Employment Opportunities law.
Employer responsibilities also include providing accessible and usable features for disabled employees. They should also restructure jobs, and provide interpreters or readers for them. If they can modify work schedules, training materials, tools, equipment, or policies for them as well, even better.
All employees are entitled to respect from their employers or managers. It’s the employer’s responsibility to see to it that managers do not abuse their powers. They should not mistreat their subordinates and other colleagues.
Employees should feel free to raise any concerns without fear of retaliation from managers for employers. They are entitled to count on employers when it comes to their commitment to pay raises and promotions.
The Welfare of the Employees
Employers are obligated to look out for the welfare of their employees. This goes beyond fair pay and safe working conditions. Employers are morally obligated to be concerned about the well being of their employees.
They should implement policies that show considerations. Even when those policies are associated with costs. Plant closings, layoffs, and job terminations can have dramatic effects on the employees. The impact is not just financial but psychological as well.
Employers have an obligation to know when and how would be the best time to break such announcements. Implementing provisions to assist all employees losing their jobs to ease their burden is an added obligation.
Reporting to Employees
Employers should provide paycheck reports and annual earning statements. Employees need to see the gross pay, withholdings, deductions, and net pay. Employers should also put up posters about employee laws. All employees should have access and understand what they’re entitled to.
Paydays and Severance Payments
The federal government does not stipulate how often employees should be paid. State laws do have payment requirements, though. Payments could be weekly, bi-weekly, semi-monthly, or monthly.
Beyond that, employers are prohibited from withholding employee wages. They can, however, withhold taxes as stipulated by the law. Employers can also provide insurance and retirement policies for their employees.
It’s forbidden to withhold payment as a punishment to employees. More so to retaliate against employees that file compensation claims or complaints.
Employer Responsibilities Towards Employees
These are some of the ethical and moral employer responsibilities to employees. It’s important for both employers and employees to understand these obligations. This way, they can have a good working relationship.
Beyond that, employees are encouraged to read work contracts thoroughly before signing. They should understand if they have given up any of their rights.
Looking up the company website for more details could also reveal more. Check their policies, rules, regulations, and procedures in the company.
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