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Casual Employment Laws

What is a causal employee?

A casual employee usually works on an irregular basis and may or may not be offered work which in turn he or she has the option to refuse. Workplace agreements and awards often contain provision for casual employees. However, many workers are called 'casual' when in fact they are part-time or full-time employees. Employees often have many questions regarding casual employment laws. Listed below are the Top Five casual employee rights questions that have been answered by the Experts.

In the State of Ohio, what is the definition of casual employee according to the State Employment Relations Board (SERB)?

According to the, Ohio- 5036. (Ohio App. Dist.6 09/30/2011) statute, for all practical purposes, has equated the meaning of a casual employee to be anyone who does not satisfy the definition of an "employee," pursuant to ORC 4123.01. Even though the statute uses the term "casual" in its definition, the court found that the definition is so all encompassing, that it effectively replaces any subsidiary definitions and creates the presumption that a worker is either entitled to workers compensation benefits or not, based on finding that the worker fits within some provision of the definition, which contains numerous factors, any one of which could bring the worker within the scope of the workers compensation law.

What right does casual workers have to ask for time off from work?

The casual worker has the same rights as any other employee to ask for time off to the extent that those benefits are provided to all casual workers equally.

The employer does not have to provide time off or paid time off, unless it is so stated in the work conditions at the time of hire, or as advertised to the employees at a later date. There are many casual worker rules and regulations that the employee and employer should follow, if you have questions concerning casual worker rights, these individuals contact the Experts.

If an employee of 61 years old with disabilities, has been working for one company for 4 years as a casual employee, and that company was bought out by another company and the employment is going to be terminated if the employee cannot or will not work 12 hours shifts, would this be grounds to file unemployment, or is this suitable work schedule for a casual employee?

No one, other than the State Unemployment Commission can tell you with any certainty whether or not the offer of a 12 hour shift job would be considered "suitable work." The State must gather all the evidence from you and your employer about what your work history has been, what company policies are, what they offered you, why you refused the work, and what other job prospects are in your community for someone with your skills.

Generally speaking though if someone has medical documentation that they cannot work over 8 hours and/or there is a significant change in the terms and conditions of employment, then the UI Commission will find that the work was not suitable for the employee and may grant unemployment benefits.

As a casual employee, how much notice does someone need to give before leaving his or her job?

There is no requirement to give any notice to an employer. A good rule of thumb is to give at least 2 weeks so that the employer will give a good reference if you need to use them in the future.

In Michigan, if someone has worked for a company who never paid them overtime or took taxes out of their check just straight cash is this illegal and what can happen to the employer?

Assuming that the employee is more than just an occasional casual worker, and are not an independent contractor, the employer must pay the employee overtime for any hours worked in excess of 40 hours per workweek. In addition, the employer should be deducting federal and state taxes, as well as paying into social security, unemployment and worker's compensation. If the employee is not being paid overtime, they can file can file a complaint with the Wage and Hour Division of the Department of Labor. In addition, the employee can report their employer to the Michigan tax authority and IRS for nonpayment of taxes.

Knowing the difference on what a casual employee is compared to a part time or full time employee can cause many questions that can often be tough to answer for the common person. The Experts can help answer questions regarding casual employee rights, general casual employee rules, as well as any casual employee law that may be in place. If you or someone you know has legal questions ask the Experts.
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