Employer Rights Manual 2nd Edition

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State and federal laws grant numerous rights to American workers to protect their safety and health, to guarantee timely payment of a fair wage for hours worked, and to ensure that all workers are treated fairly and equally regardless of gender, race, national origin, or other protected characteristics. Most employment laws also grant specific legal rights to employers, which can be asserted to mitigate legal risks, impose terms and conditions of employment, and maximize business productivity.

Employers who fail to exercise their legal rights are more susceptible to legal issues, lost productivity, and workplace theft. According to enforcement statistics released by federal agencies, last year employers paid over $2 billion in penalties, fines, lost wages and back-pay in order to settle violations of applicable employment laws. A Gallup report estimates that 70 percent of workers are not engaged in their jobs, which is disruptive and decreases productivity.

These actively disengaged employees cost businesses more than $450 billion each year in lost productivity. Using the Internet for non-work related purposes, such as accessing social media sites, can cost employers up to $63 billion in lost productivity each year. Some 30 to 40 percent of employee Internet activity is non-work related, and 50 percent of employees spend at least four hours per week on non-work websites.

In addition, the U.S. Chamber of Commerce estimates that 75 percent of all employees steal at least once, and half of them steal repeatedly. While government-mandated state and federal labor law posters are intended to educate workers about their rights, very few government publications exist that fully explain the rights of employers. According to recent statistics, nearly 80 percent of all U.S. corporations have been involved in litigation with a former employee. Employers who understand their legal rights, and know when to exercise them, can minimize the potential for legal issues.

Examples of specific legal rights (subject to certain conditions or exceptions) include the following:

  • The right to terminate an employee at any time for any nondiscriminatory reason, if no contract exists
  • The right to refuse a warrantless OSHA inspection
  • The right to monitor employee communications on company-provided electronic devices
  • The right to require a doctor’s note as proof of illness for multiple-day absences

To help employers fully understand and exercise their specific legal rights under applicable laws, Personnel Concepts has revised its comprehensive Employer Rights Manual. This all-in-one reference manual provides the most in-depth coverage of employer rights available anywhere, and includes overviews of over 50 specific available rights under various workplace laws and regulations. It includes a legal brief from an attorney, plain language explanations of each critical right, and information on specific conditions and exceptions that may apply.

Designed for use by owners and managers at companies of any size, this manual can help decision-makers legally and effectively solve critical business problems relating to risk, productivity, and performance.

Who Needs It

Every employer in the U.S. with one or more employees on payroll must understand their legal rights pertaining to misuse of company time/assets, employee theft, prevention or elimination of erroneous employee lawsuits, and aggressive government inspections. All businesses must know how and when to exercise these legal rights to avoid fines/penalties/litigation under state and federal laws, which can cost an employer thousands of dollars.


Lawsuit Prevention and Defense
Knowing your legal rights as an employer and when to assert those rights can mitigate legal risks by resolving possible issues or complaints before they progress into a lawsuit. Additionally, asserting the legal right to regulate employee performance by establishing strict conditions of employment can ensure that termination decisions are less likely to result in a claim of wrongful termination.

Proper Handling of Investigations and Inspections
Employers have specific legal rights before, during, and after an audit or inspection by a government agency, including OSHA inspections and discrimination investigations. Understanding those rights can make the difference between penalties/settlements and administrative closures.


Our exclusive, revised-for-2019 Employer Rights Manual includes the following information:

  • A legal brief from an attorney on the most critical legal rights available to employers
  • Plain language overviews of over 50 specific employer rights under workplace laws, organized into the following topic areas: • Recruiting and Hiring • Workplace Policies and Procedures • Attendance Management • Work-Related Injuries and Illnesses • Termination Procedures • Audits, Claims and Investigations
  • Information on the specific conditions or exceptions that may apply to each right