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Workplace Rights – What You Need to Know

Written by: Previant Law Firm

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So your boss makes you sit through hours of talking about his new pet ferret and how his son is the next Bill Gates. It’s a tough break, but unfortunately not enough to take legal action. However, if your boss is refusing to pay you overtime or refers to you in derogatory terms, that is a different story.

In the United States, there are both federal and state level laws that are designed to keep workers performing at their best and safe. We spend the majority of our time in the workplace–and everyone deserves fair treatment and respect while at work. The more you are aware of these rights, the better your work experience will be.

Here are 10 instances of workplace rights infringement:

  • Hiring
    Your workplace rights start from the beginning at the hiring process. Has someone asked you an outrageously inappropriate question? There can be grounds of your workplace rights being violated.
  • Discrimination
    It is against the law for an employer to discriminate someone based on race, gender, age, religion, marital status, having a disability, or anything else for that matter.
  • Harassment
    Harassment in the workplace can be physical and emotional. If someone is using racial slurs, telling unsuitable jokes, or touching an employee inappropriately—this is all considered harassment. It is illegal to be subjected to stark and pervasive comments or behavior.
  • Unpaid Wages
    Have you been working overtime to get a big project done, but when your paycheck comes you don’t get the pay you deserve? Depending on the position you have and your state laws, there could be an unpaid wages case. It is your right as a worker to get paid for the amount of work you have done for your employer.
  • Privacy
    As privacy laws vary from state-to-state, it is important to be aware of your rights in the workplace.
  • Whistleblowing
    Notice that something isn’t quite right at the office and you report it? It can be scary to fight against your employer when they are doing something wrong, but there are laws in place that can keep you and your job safe.
  • Benefits
    Life happens, and when life happens it can sometimes lead to having to see a doctor and taking some time off. Most jobs come with benefits, and it’s important to know what kind of leaves you can take. Make sure that you are entitled to the right kinds of leave before you continue to work with a broken leg or the flu.
  • Unions
    Whether you want to join a union, take part in a union event, or are being criticized for being in one—you need to know your workplace rights. Always find out where your company stands with unions; and where that stance is in accordance to the law.
  • Workplace Safety
    Do you need to walk a tight rope over boiling-hot lava to get to your desk? Most likely not, but some workplaces are still unsafe for workers. If you feel that you are in danger of getting injured at work, it’s important to know that employers are legally required to provide safe working conditions for employees.
  • Termination
    If you have recently been laid off or fired, know that it is your right to know exactly why that decision was made, and if in fact it was a lawful one.

If you would like to learn more about your workplace rights or would like to speak with one of our attorney’s, please contact us today!

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