Myths About Your Rights in the Workplace
They were detailing and debunking some pretty common myths that we all - me included - had about rights at work; things like asking about your family or religion in an interview or thinking that your boss has to have a justifiable reason for firing you. A few interesting things here...
- It's NOT illegal for an interviewer to ask about your religion, origin, relationship status or family. What IS illegal is hiring - or not hiring - someone based on those answers.
- Former employers are allowed to tell future employers everything relevant to your performance, so long as it's factually accurate.
- You can't sue a company because your boss is a general jerk. It's legal for them to be a total jerk. You CAN sue if they are being a jerk based on your religion, gender, race, etc.
- Your company CAN require you to attend work-related events outside of work hours. If you're an hourly employee, you must be paid for the time required to take part in these things.
- There is no "warning" required before you are fired. This is true even if you've been praised for doing a great job right up until the day they terminate you.
- Your boss does NOT have to have a justifiable reason to fire you. You can be fired for any reason, so long as that reason isn't because of race, religion, gender, etc.
See? There were at least a few things there that I was wrong about (the interview questions and the reference check, for instance). Hope this helps, whether you're the employee or employer!