Employee in the Know (Take This New Job Offer Seriously)

From the beginning

When you seek out a company for employment, you are asking them to entrust you to be a part of an industry that many companies consider family. If you are hired, you are going to be at the business more than one quarter of the day. You are the greatest resource of the business because with your skills, work experience and education, you are valuable. The employer knows that managing people correctly can take up priceless production time. Therefore, to keep controversy to a minimum, the lawyers have given employers an employee blueprint on how to effectively hire and fire you. Beware!

– They are going to give you a Job Description. They are going to imply, but not tell you that the job description clarifies your role fully. They use the job description to avoid mystification about your role, define the essential functions of the position, and to have a leg to stand on legally if you sue them later.

– They are going to provide you with a document generally termed an “Employment Offer” or “Offer of Employment”. This letter is designed with more structure than the Golden Gate Bridge. Lawyers advise companies to give you this letter before you start the job. They want you to read the letter and sign it. Once you have signed the employment letter and returned it to the employer, you have officially signed a legal contract, which in most cases will be careful not to provide you with a property interest in the position. If the employer does not tell you that there is a probationary period in the letter, they may have negated an important key regarding your employment rights.

– The Probationary period can be used as a tool to summarily fire you at anytime during the specified time of probation. A usual feature of a probationary period is that the employer may end your employment without affording you a due process procedure that may be afforded to non-probationary employees. Usually a probationary period is ninety days. In most companies, employee’s legal status is at will. Simply put, “at will” employees may be terminated for any legal reason at the discretion of the employer. The employer may fire the employee for anything or the employee may leave for any reason without giving notice to the employer.

However, to play it smart, they may simply fire you without cause saying that you did not pass the probationary period and unless they have violated your protected rights, there is little you can do about an “at will” firing. Generally a private sector employee, who is not carried by a union, is considered to be “at will” under the law. Therefore, without a written employment contract, or prevailing enforceable verbal contract, an employer may without breaking the laws per se, fire an employee, so long as they do not breach a protected class or break the law. Remember: it is always wise to do your research, using the resources provided herein, and challenge an employer who fires you for no reason.

– Judges are keenly aware of the “at will” laws. They know the law allows employers to fire innocent people sometimes. Again, for probation to be sensible, and adequate, it has to be agreed upon between yourself and the employer before you start the job.

– References. Employment Defense Lawyers and other employer advocates believe that there are an increasing number of people providing false employment details and fake references to promote their bid for the job. TIP: They are telling the employer to confirm your references and to talk directly to past employers or they will use professional screening services to track down the truth. Advice: Be honest. Even if you had a bad relationship with a past employer, call them. Ask them to give you a start, and end date, of your last job on company letterhead. Tell them it is against the law to tell a future employer things about you that are not true. That way when you fill out an application for a new job, you have tangible proof from the Department of Human Resources that your dates are accurate. No company wants to risk a potential defamation lawsuit. Instead, your former company will be more than willing to give you a start and end date reference. You cannot always rely on friends or false references.

– Employment Defense Lawyers and other employer advocates are telling the employer to settle. If the employer has not done things right by you from the beginning, they dig themselves a hole. Let me be honest. There are unqualified people wearing big hats in companies that do not know how to be fair to employees. Unprofessional behavior and incompetence on the part of the employer can cost time and money regardless whether the company at issue is right or wrong.

– Good and fair employment practices are vital to a serious business. Good employment practice can reduce cost. Therefore, you can help your company maintain being a great employer by assuring yourself of the following:

• Follow the company rules
• Know your legal employee/employment rights
• Keep your own paper trail to match or better employer
• Stay calm, resolve work issues, try not to get fired
• Call your lawyer to read employment agreements, contracts

Remember: When it comes to being the top candidate with the new “Job Offer” don’t let a floundering economy cause you to defer getting what you deserve from this new job. Good luck. You are now the employee in the know.