What Are Your Rights as an Employee in the Workplace?

Photo by Arlington Research on Unsplash

The modern-day employee has rights which protect them from discrimination or harm. Learning your rights as an employee can help you prevent poor workplace treatment as you progress with your career.

When you start a new job, you do not sacrifice your rights as a human being to do so. Employees have certain rights while they work which make sure that they receive equal and fair treatment. While most places in the US use at-will employment, this also doesn’t mean that you lose your rights. This article explores the rights you retain as a worker and explains how your employer cannot treat you.

Knowing Your Rights as an Employee

As an employee, your boss can hire you or fire you when the need arises if you are on an at-will work contract. Unless you have an employee, a contract which states otherwise, your employer is within their rights to withdraw your employment when they or you need to. Although this keeps things easy, it doesn’t offer employees much reassurance.

Your Rights Include:

  1. The right to a safe workplace which is health focused, inclusive of protective clothing and equipment when necessary.
  2. The right to ‘fair compensation’ for your employment. This right prevents slavery.
  3. The right to experience an equal chance at employment.
  4. You have the right to take medical leave or visit your family.
  5. You have the right to a harassment-free workplace.
  6. You have the right to privacy, the right to form or join a union, and the right to be a whistleblower without fear of recrimination.
  7. You have the right to fair dismissal.
  8. And you have the right to ask your employer to provide accommodation for your disability.

Your employer is responsible for insuring the premises against liability damage. This applies to employees while they use the premises as well as customers. This means if you are injured in the workplace, your employer’s insurance ought to cover it.

Examples of Infringement of Employee Rights

Based on the above guidelines, your employer can infringe upon your rights if they do not behave accordingly. A common breach might be a lack of fair compensation for work done. If employers refuse to pay wages, they infringe upon this right.

In a second example, your boss could ask you to work at height on a windy day and without a safety harness. This would not provide you with a safe and healthy working environment and would breach your rights.

Another popular problem lies in workplace harassment. If you are discriminated against for your race, religion, gender, color, or any other named difference, you are one of the thousands of harassment cases the EEOC deals with every year. Start documenting your treatment and gather evidence to take to your employment solicitor.

What to do if Your Rights are Ignored?

When you are part of a workplace, you can use their reporting policies to make sure the breach of your rights is recorded and addressed. If you escalate the issue within your workplace and it does no good, then you may wish to bring in a specialist employment lawyer such as HKM. As experts in your legal rights, their professional team can offer you a consultation to discuss further options. You may pursue the legal route and reclaim compensation for your suffering. Protecting your own rights also protects those who work for your employer in future.

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