Your Rights – Employment Act

On July 28, 2013

En Haswan (Manager) would like to know why he has to attend employment law training. What does employment law have to do with Haswan’s job anyway? His job requires him to make sure his employees are being productive and making money. Employment law is HR’s responsibility. Haswan has no time or patience for such matters.

Unfortunately, Haswan’s conclusion could not be further from the truth. Now more than ever, managers need to understand and be familiar with employment laws because acting within the law, following the company’s policies, and avoiding liability are all part and parcel of the manager’s job duties.

Begrudgingly, Haswan  attends the training class and is pretty shocked by what he learns. The first part of the training deals with hiring and what he can and cannot ask the applicants he interviews. He never knew, for instance, that you could not ask an applicant if they are a Malaysian citizen, if a female employee is married, or if an employee is disabled. Who knew?

In many states the laws prohibit employers from asking questions about citizenship, marital status, disabilities, and sexual orientation, among other things. More accurately, the laws prohibit an employer from refusing to offer employment to an applicant based on the applicant’s citizenship, marital status, disability, sexual orientation, or any other protected class under federal, state, or local law.

Once the manager asks questions on these topics, the applicant who is not hired might claim that the real reason he was not hired was a discriminatory motive on the employer’s part as evidenced by asking such questions and now having such information regarding the applicant.

Moving from hiring issues to the major issues that arise during an employee’s employment, Haswan learns that under many state laws, he as a manager can be held personally liable for harassment that he engages in or condones under the state’s aiding and abetting law.

What does personal liability mean? It means that he has to pay out of his own pocket damages awarded against him for his harassment in the workplace. In one case, a manager was held personally liable for ten thousand ringgit! Haswan’s ears perk up now. Haswan needs to understand how to not engage in harassment himself and how to ensure his employees do not engage in harassment.

Haswan next learns about the other major problems that arise during an employee’s employment. Moreover, Haswan thought that if an employee was a poor performer, it would be no problem to get rid of him. Little did he realize that even at the termination stage, the employment laws control every move a manager makes. Although every state is an employment-at-will state, he should not just fire an employee for being a poor performer without engaging in progressive discipline. He needs to warn that employee that his behavior is unacceptable and that, if he fails to improve, he could be subject to further discipline up to and including discharge. He also needs to provide the employee with an opportunity to improve before terminating him.

Haswan also learns that before he can terminate an employee he better create a paper trail complete with disciplinary warnings as well as the poor performance being reflected in the employee’s performance review. Otherwise, Haswan learns when the employee sues for discrimination, as he ultimately will, he will be successful because there will be no documentary evidence substantiating Haswan’s claims that he fired this employee because he was a horrible employee and not because the employee was too old, Hispanic, and gay.

Haswan comes running to HR after the employment law training thanking them for providing this valuable and enlightening training. He encourages HR to provide it to all managers at the company so they, too, can better understand the important role they play in enforcing the company’s employment law policies and protecting the company and themselves from liability.

A Practical Guide to Employment Act 1955


This one day program is crafted to provide participants with a thorough knowledge and understanding of the Act,  complemented by ‘hands on’ practical guidelines and examples for worksite implementation. The course will also provide participants the information on the recently introduced Minimum Wage Order 2012 and Minimum Retirement Age  2012.

What You Will Learn

  • Understanding EA 1955 – Scope of Coverage
  • Revision to Section 2 – Interpretations and Definitions
  • Revision of First Schedule- As at 1st April 2012
  • Terms and Interpretations of in Employment Act 1955
  • Contract of Service – Terms, Scope and Conditions
  • Contractors and Contractor for Labour
  • Working Hours Regulations
  • Payment of Wages ( New Revision – Minimum Wage Order)
  • Sexual Harassment Complaint and Procedures – New regulations
  • and many more

Please drop us an email requesting for the full course outline.

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