Glossary Of Employment Terms ...


A - B - C - D -E - F - G - H - I - J - K - L - M - N - O - P - Q - R - S - T - V - W


Affirmative Action - refers to policies that take gender, race, or ethnicity into account in an attempt to promote equal opportunity. The focus of such policies ranges from employment and public contracting goals to educational outreach and health programs. The impetus towards affirmative action is twofold: to maximize the benefits of diversity in all levels of society, and to redress disadvantages due to overt, institutional, or involuntary discrimination.

In many cases, affirmative action in the United States is meant to encourage public institutions, such as universities, hospitals and police forces, to be more representative of the populations they serve

Applies to companies that have more than 50 employees or that have government contracts exceeding $50,000

Age Discrimination in Employment Act ( ADEA) - Prohibits discrimination against workers over 40.

Americans with disabilities Act of 1990 prohibits employment discrimination against qualified individuals with disabilities. It applies to employers with fifteen or more employees. The ADA states that a covered entity shall not discriminate against a qualified individual with a disability. This applies to job application procedures, hiring, advancement and discharge of employees

Aptitude test - an assessment, often administered on paper or on the computer, intended to measure the test-takers' or respondents' (often a student) knowledge, skills, aptitudes, or classification in many other topics (e.g., beliefs). Tests are often used in education, professional cerification, counseling, psychology (e.g., MMPI), the military, and many other fields. The measurement that is the goal of testing is called a test score, and is "a summary of the evidence contained in an examinee's responses to the items of a test that are related to the construct or constructs being measured."[1] Test scores are interpreted with regards to a norm or criterion, or occasionally both. The norm may be established independently, or by statistical analysis of a large number of subjects.


Body language - is a term for communication using body movements or gestures instead of, or in addition to, sounds, verbal language or other communication. It forms part of the category of paralanguage, which describes all forms of human communication that are not verbal language. This includes the most subtle of movements that many people are not aware of, including winking and slight movement of the eyebrows. In addition body language can also incorporate the use of facial expressions.

Bona Fide Occupational Qualifications (FFOQ) - Bona fide occupational qualifications generally only apply to occupations where the BFOQ is considered necessary to that profession. For example a Catholic college may lawfully require such positions as president, chaplain, and teaching faculty to be Catholics but membership in the Catholic Church would generally not be considered a BFOQ for occupations such as secretarial and janitorial positions.


Child Labor Laws -in the United States include numerous statutes and rules regulating the employment of minors. According to the United States Department of Labor, child labor laws affect those under the age of 18 in a variety of occupations

Civil Rights Act of 1964 - was a landmark piece of legislation in the United States that outlawed racial segregation in schools, public places, and employment. Conceived to help African Americans, the bill was amended prior to passage to protect women, and explicitly included white people for the first time. It also created the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission.

Coasters - Employees just coasting along until retirement. These employees have usually gone as far as they can in their jo..

COBRA  (Consolidated Omnibus Budget Reconciliation Act) - is a law passed by the U.S. congress and signed by President Reagan that, among other things, mandates an insurance program giving some employees the ability to continue health insurance coverage after leaving employment. COBRA includes amendments to the Employee Retirement Income Security Act of 1974 (ERISA). The law deals with a great variety of subjects, such as tobacco price supports, railroads, private pension plans, disability insurance, and the postal service, but it is perhaps best known for Title X, which amends the Internal Revenue Code to deny income tax deductions to employers for contributions to a group health plan unless such plan meets certain continuing coverage requirements. The violation for failing to meet those criteria was subsequently changed to an excise tax.

As originally enacted, Title X of the Act provided that a qualifying employer will not be permitted to take a tax deduction for its health insurance costs unless its health insurance plan allows employees of the employer and the employee's immediate family members who had been covered by a health care plan to maintain their coverage if a "qualifying event" causes them to lose coverage. However, the legislation was subsequently amended to instead impose an excise tax upon an employer whose health plan fails to satisfy the applicable rules. A qualifying employer is generally an employer with 20 or more full time equivalent employees.

Among the "qualifying events" listed in the statute are loss of benefits coverage due to (1) the death of the covered employee; (2) an employee loses eligibility for coverage due to termination or a reduction in hours as a result of resignation, discharge, layoff, strike or lockout, medical leave, or slowdown in business operations; (3) divorce or legal separation that terminates the ex-spouse's eligibility for benefits; or (4) a dependent child reaching the age at which he or she is no longer covered. COBRA imposes different notice requirements on participants and beneficiaries, depending on the particular qualifying event that triggers COBRA rights.

COBRA also allows for coverage for up to 18 months in most cases. If the individual is deemed disabled by the Social Security Administration, coverage may continue for up to 29 months. In the case of divorce, coverage may continue for up to 36 months.

COBRA does not apply, on the other hand, if employees lose their benefits coverage because the employer has terminated the plan altogether or if the employer has gone out of business.

COBRA does not, unlike other federal statutes such as the Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA), require the employer to pay for the cost of providing continuation coverage. Instead it allows employees and their dependents to maintain coverage at their own expense by paying the full cost of the premium the employer previously paid, plus up to a 2% administrative charge (50% for the latter 11 months under the disability extension).

Employees and dependents can also opt for a lesser form of coverage, e.g., to choose continuation coverage under a plan that only covers the employee, but not his or her dependents, or that only provides medical and hospitalization coverage and does not pay for dental work, if those options are available to covered employees.

Employees and dependents lose coverage if they fail to make timely payments of these premiums. Employers are required to inform employees and dependents upon loss of coverage, in writing, by at least fifteen days before the coverage ceases.

Constructive Discharge - constructive dismissal, also called constructive discharge, is where an employee resigns because of their employer's behaviour. The employee must prove that the behaviour was unlawful — that the employer's actions amounted to a fundamental breach of contract, also known as a repudiatory breach of contract.


Documentation - Written description of all disciplinary actions taken by a business to protect a business in a legal action.

Downsize - To lay employees off when business becomes slow.


Employee Assistance Program - EAPs) are employee benefit programs offered by many employers, typically in conjunction with a health insurance plan. EAPs are intended to help employees deal with personal problems that might adversely impact their work performance, health, and well-being. EAPs generally include assessment, short-term counseling and referral services for employees and their household members.

Employee stock ownership program - occurs when a corporation is owned in whole or in part by its employees. Employees are usually given a share of the corporation after a certain length of employment or they can buy shares at any time. A corporation owned entirely by its employees (such as a worker cooperative) will not, therefore, have its shares sold on public stock markets, often opting instead for mixed ownership arrangements involving a trust. Employee-owned corporations often adopt profit sharing where the profits of the corporation are shared with the employees. They also often have boards of directors elected directly by the employees. Some corporations make formal arrangements for employee participation, called Employee Stock Ownership Plans (ESOPs).

Employment at will - An employee can quit without notice and an employer can fire without notice.

EMPLOYEE POLYGRAPH PROTECTION ACT OF 1988 - To prevent the denial of employment opportunities by prohibiting the use of lie detectors by employers involved in or affecting interstate commerce.

Equal Pay Act of 1963 -  prohibits wage discrimination between men and women in substantially equal jobs within the same establishment


Fair Labor Standards Act of 1938 (FLSA) - The Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) establishes standards for minimum wages, overtime pay, record‑keeping and child labor.  The FLSA applies only to employers whose annual sales total $500,000 or more, or who are engaged in interstate commerce. It is the single law most often violated by employers.  This law covers nearly all workplaces because the courts have interpreted the term interstate commerce very broadly. The courts have ruled that companies that regularly use the U.S. mail to send or receive letters to and from other states are engaged in interstate commerce.  A Business that gets its products or food from another state also engages in interstate commerce.

 Wage and Hour Division investigators will  recommend changes in employment practices to bring the employer into compliance, and they will  request  payment of any back wages due to employees. Willful violators might  be prosecuted criminally and fined up to $10,000. A second conviction can  result in imprisonment. Employers who willfully or repeatedly violate the minimum wage or overtime pay requirements can be subject to civil money penalties of up to $1,000 per violation. When the Department of Labor assesses a civil money penalty, the employer has the right to file an exception to the determination within 15 days of receipt of the notice. If an exception is filed, it is referred to an administrative law judge for a hearing and determination as to whether the penalty is appropriate. If an exception is not filed, the penalty becomes final. The Department of Labor may also bring suit for back pay and an equal amount in liquidated damages, and it may obtain injunctions to restrain persons from violating the Act.

Family and Medical Leave Act of 1993 (FMLA) - Requires employers to provide up to 12 weeks of unpaid leave to eligible employees for the birth or adoption of a child or for the serious illness of the employee or a family member of the employee. It applies to employers with fifty or more employees. To be eligible for FMLA leave, an individual must (1) be employed by a covered employer and work at a work site within 75 miles of which that employer employs at least 50 people; (2) have worked at least 12 months (which do not have to be consecutive) for the employer; and (3) have worked at least 1,250 hours during the 12 months immediately before the date FMLA leave begins.

FICA  - Social security and Medicare taxes withheld from an employees' wages. Employers must also pay a matching amount of FICA taxes for their employees. Currently the social security tax rate is 6.2%. Employers are required to withhold 6.2% of an employee's wages for social security taxes and to pay a matching amount in social security taxes until the employee reaches the wage base for the year. The wage base for social security tax is $76,000 for the year 2000. Once that amount is earned, neither the employee or the employer owes any social security tax.

FUTA - State and Federal Unemployment Taxes (SUTA and FUTA). The FUTA rate is 6.2 %, but you can take a credit of up to 5.4% for SUTA taxes that you pay. If you are eligible for the maximum credit your FUTA rate will be 0.8%. The wage base for FUTA is $7,000. Employers stop paying FUTA for each employee once his/ her wages exceed $7,000 for the year.  Check with your state about SUTA tax rates and the wage base. Generally, your SUTA tax rate is based on the amount of unemployment claims that are filed by employees that you have terminated. When your business is new, your SUTA tax rate starts at the maximum and declines if you build a history of few claims.




Immigration and Reform and Control Act of 1986 (IRCA) -  Employers can only hire persons who can legally work in the U.S. (citizens and nationals of the U.S. and aliens authorized to work in the U.S).  Employers must verify the identity and employment eligibility of anyone to be hired, which includes completing the Employment Eligibility Verification Form (I-9). Employers must keep each I-9 on file for at least three years, or one year after employment ends, whichever is longer.  Employers who fail to complete and/or retain the I‑9 forms are subject to penalties. The Immigration Reform and Control Act prohibits employers from discriminating in employment on the basis of citizenship or national origin.  The law applies to employers with as few as four employees.




Layoff - Termination of an employee permanently or for a period of time due to lack of business or restructuring.


Medicare tax - Employers withhold 1.45% of an employee's wages and pay a matching amount for Medicare tax. There is no wage base for the Medicare portion of the FICA tax. Both the employer and the employee continue to pay Medicare tax, no matter how much is earned.



OSHA Act of 1970  - To assure safe and healthful working conditions for working men and women; by authorizing enforcement of the standards developed under the Act; by assisting and encouraging the States in their efforts to assure safe and healthful working conditions; by providing for research, information, education, and training in the field of occupational safety and health; and for other purposes.


Payroll taxes -  The state and federal taxes  an employer is  required to withhold and/or to pay on behalf of their  employees. Employers are required to withhold state and federal income taxes as well as social security and Medicare taxes from their employees' wages. They are also required to pay a matching amount of social security,  Medicare taxes and State and  a Federal unemployment tax.

Performance Standards -  The results expected from persons performing a job.



Religious practices - traditional, moral and ethical beliefs.

Results Oriented Evaluation System - a tool employers use to review the performance of an employee used to create future results..

Usually, the employee's supervisor (and frequently, a more senior manager) is responsible for evaluating the employee. A private conference is often scheduled to discuss the evaluation.

The process of an evaluation may include one or more of these things:

  • An assessment on how well the employee is doing. Sometimes, this may include a scale rating indicating strengths and weaknesses in key areas (e.g., following instructions, promptness, and ability to get along with others). Often, the supervisor and manager will discuss the key areas.
  • Employee goals that are expected to be met (or have significant progress made) by a set time, such as the next evaluation. Sometimes, the employee may voluntarily offer a goal, while other times it will be set by his boss. A significantly underperforming employee may be given an performance improvement plan, which details specific goals that must be met to maintain his/her job.
  • Sharing of feedback by a worker's fellow employees and supervisors. The employee is given his chance to share his/her feelings, concerns and suggestions about the workplace as well.
  • Details about workplace standing, promotions and pay raises. Sometimes, an employee who has performed very well since his last review period may get an increase in pay or be promoted to a more prestigious position. However, a pay raise that is denied is not always the result of a poor review, as economic conditions and other factors dictate the ability for employers to raise their workers' pay.

The frequency of an evaluation, and policies concerning them, varies widely from workplace to workplace. Sometimes, an evaluation will be given to a new employee after a probationary period lapses, after which they may be conducted on a regular basis (such as every year).


Sexual harassment - is unwelcome attention of a sexual nature and is a form of illegal and social harassment. It includes a range of behavior from seemingly mild transgressions and annoyances to actual sexual abuse or sexual assault.

Stress - A chronic state of anxiety caused by unremitting pressures of job, personal or societal problems.


Training Manuals - Can be handbooks, used for employees to reference routine jobs; they can be used for training amd make it easy for both trainer and trainees.

WARN (Worker Adjustment and Retraining Notification Act) - A law that applies to companies employing more than 100 when a mass layoff or closing occurs.  The employees must have at least 60 days notice before their final day of work.

Business Plan Pro