Pay Day! Knowing Your Rights as an Employee
Being self-employed has its perks. You have freedom in regards to when you work, where you work and how much you charge for your products or services. You don’t have to ask for permission to take time off and have complete control over what you do on a day to day basis. But being employed has big benefits. So many so that the majority of people opt for this type of work over self-employment. Think about it: you don’t have to deal with your own taxes, you are still entitled to pay if you are sick or require time off on maternity or paternity leave, you work set hours and can go home at the end of the day and rest. The upkeep of the company at large is taken out of your hands. So, when it comes to being an employee, things can be a lot simpler. Especially if you are fully aware of your rights and what you should be in receipt of. Here are a few basics to bear in mind.
General pay should be processed through a payroll system, either by the company owner or a professional payroll clerk. Most companies nowadays opt to pay you by direct debit, as it is simpler for both parties. You receive the money straight into your bank account rather than having to bank a cheque, and the company doesn’t have to actively track the paper checks. It’s a win-win situation. The payroll schedule should be included in your contract and should remain consistent, meaning that you receive your pay on the same day each week or month (depending on how regularly you are paid). Once you have been paid, you should receive a pay stub. You or your employer can generate these pay stubs online.
Your employer will have access to your tax profile and will withhold income and payroll taxes from your total wages. This will then be sent to the relevant governmental bodies. This saves you a whole lot of time when it comes to filing your own taxes at the end of the financial year, so consider it a bonus!
The USA is one of the few developed countries that do not strictly regulate sick leave policy on a national level. However, there is a certain law that most employees should understand: the Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA). This act determines that any company with more than fifty employees must allow any employee time off for medical reasons or to take care of sick family members. However, it is not mandatory that this leave is paid. You may, however, be able to negotiate with your employer when setting out the terms of your contract.
Under the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA), your employer is not obliged to pay you for any work that you haven’t carried out. This means that you can’t expect paid holidays. However, you are entitled to time off. Consult your employer to find out how much leave you are entitled to and how it is best divided throughout the year.
These are the main aspects of pay that you should concern yourself with. However, if you do find concern with other areas, do your research or speak directly with your employer or an HR manager.