Five Rights Employees Don’t Know They Have

By  //  February 10, 2020

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Maybe you know all the ins and outs of your job, know all your colleagues by name, and maybe even understand your boss and their expectations. But are you that educated on your rights as an employee?

Maybe you know all the ins and outs of your job, know all your colleagues by name, and maybe even understand your boss and their expectations. But are you that educated on your rights as an employee?

Employees tend to think that they’re only guaranteed rights if they belong to a union, but the truth could not be further off. As an employee, you are granted several rights regardless of whether you are represented by a union or not. As a matter of fact, you actually may have more rights when you don’t belong to a union.

For instance, a union may call on you for a strike, whether you agree with the principle of the strike or not. You can also approach your employer directly with concerns about your salary, which isn’t the case if you’re unionized.   

Lots of people are not very aware of their rights, so let us help you to know 5 of them.

Discrimination

Laws against discrimination have been put in place since the 60s. Yet unfortunately, discrimination continues to be a major issue in the workplace.

The Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) had received 1,889,631 discrimination complaints between the years 1997 and 2018. Discrimination on race, gender, religion, pregnancy, and disability are all illegal, and you have a right to file complaints and lawsuits if needed.

Workplace safety

You have the right to work in a safe environment. The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) is the governmental entity in charge of setting the criteria for workplace safety. 

According to the regulations set by OSHA, you are entitled to:

  • Receive proper training on machines, general safety, and avoiding workplace hazards
  • Obtain and review documents that present potential hazards
  • Receive copies of any test results concerning health hazards, such as chemicals. 
  • Make a complaint to OSHA on a confidentiality basis
  • Accompany or take part in an OSHA investigation

Despite these laws, workplace accidents are up at an alarming rate, with around 4,600,000 work-related injuries being reported every year. 

Despite these laws, workplace accidents are up at an alarming rate, with around 4,600,000 work-related injuries being reported every year.

The valuable information provided by https://www.stewartlawoffices.net/workers-compensation-lawyer/ alerts you to the fact that you have the right to claim compensation when an employer breaks any of these laws. Work accidents and hazards can lead to serious injuries, disabilities, and fatalities.

This will result in loss of wages, hospital bills, doctor visits, and much more. You need competent lawyers to handle your case and get you fair compensation if you’re a victim of a workplace accident.

Wages

Most states have their own laws that settle wages and overtime payments. Yet, you also have to know if your employer is under the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA), which is a federal law that guarantees the right for overtime payment. An employer must at least abide by either the state law or the FLSA. 

Non-exempt employees, those who are allowed to receive federal minimum wages, fall under FLSA. These employees are eligible for overtime pay, which is determined by several factors, including inflation and incentives from enterprises.

The laws can get confusing when you work as a part-timer.

Minimum wage

Federal laws make it that employees receive $7.25 per hour of work. This minimum wage can differ from state to state. There are exceptions to this law, such as those who make part of their income based on tips and those employed as a youth. The combination of tips and salary must reach the $7.25 benchmark. 

The U.S. Department of Labor principles states that all those who earn less than $23,660 per year are entitled to receive overtime pay. 

Wrongful termination

Despite the belief of a whopping 89% of bosses in one survey believe that employees leave because of low pay, the same survey actually revealed that only 12% leave because they want more money.

Another survey showed that 79% of employees leave because they don’t get their due appreciation. 

Wrongful termination must be proven to be illegal in a court, which means providing proof that a termination happened based on a form of discrimination or another incident rather than performance. Because it needs court evidence, you would do well by hiring a lawyer to prove the case.

Lots of legal disputes that happen in businesses are due to employee rights not being granted. Employment laws cover your legal rights as well as your obligations.

It is necessary to know that your rights do not only have to concern your current employer and place of employment, but also previous jobs if any.

Even job applicants have rights before they’re hired. If you don’t know your rights, you will not know if you’re being treated unjustly or know that you can be compensated for that injustice.

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