We all share and pass around common beliefs on the workforce, but not all the things you hear are true. In fact, sometimes your facts are coming from those who have little experience themselves.
It isn’t surprising that some myths spread like wildfire, but here are the top ten myths we tend to believe:
Myth #1: If your boss is unfair or hostile, you might have legal recourse.
The truth is, it’s not illegal for your boss to be unfair. The exception to this: if your boss is being a jerk to you because of your race, gender, religion, or other protected class, then you do have legal options. But most rude bosses act so rude because that’s just the way they are.
Myth #2: : The First Amendment “Freedom of Speech” Clause protects your right to say whatever you want at work.
This is not the case for private employers. In most states, an employer can fire you for what you say at work, or even outside of work. Also be careful with what you say on social media. Although maybe unethical, employers can and may look at your Facebook, Twitter, etc to judge your character.
Myth #3: HR’s main function is to help employees.
In reality, HR is there to serve the needs of the business; its loyalty and responsibilities are to the employer. It may help out employees, because good relationships proliferate work, as well as stop legal issues between employees before they arise. But mostly, HR is doing what is best for the employer, which may not always be your best interest.
Myth #4: HR has to keep things confidential if you request it.
In truth, if an HR representative hears information that she or he judges needs to be shared or used to address a situation, his or her job obligates him or her to do that.
But that doesn’t mean you cannot talk to an HR in confidence, but make sure you establish confidentiality before speaking.
Myth #5: An employer needs to warn or you a reason before firing you.
Unfortunately, with the exception of employment contracts, you can be fired at any time without reason or warning. The only major exception being you cannot fire someone based on race, sex, religion, or national origin.
Myth #6: You can’t get unemployment benefits if you’re fired.
Most people believe that you can only collect unemployment benefits if you are laid off, but most states allow fired employees to collect too. The only exception being if the employee was fired over misconduct.
Myth #7: Employers can’t give references beyond just confirming your title and dates of employment.
Honest, detailed references are completely legal. This misconception came from the fact many companies only give the time and date of employment to avoid headaches and lawsuits, but these policies aren’t law.
Myth #8: Your employer can’t require you to attend work-related events outside of regular work hours.
Quite the opposite, actually. The employer can definitely require you to attend events outside of work hours.
Myth #9: If you disagree with a performance review, you should refuse to sign it.
Your signature on a performance review doesn’t mean you agree with it, rather you are indicating that you received it. Refusing to sign it has no impact or purpose.
Myth #10: Salaries are set fairly.
Although often challenged, a person with the same job as you may make more or less than you for the same work.
Factors that do effect salaries are: different hands-on skills, different charisma levels, different time periods of being hired (one may have been hired during a time with a better market), different degrees, and similar skills.
Prepared by: Erin Zimmermann