Whether you’re new to working a job or you just want a refresher, now is a good time to talk about your basic employee rights. Employees have a few rights no matter where they work, and these rights are protected by federal and state law.
Knowing your rights is important because of the risk that they could be violated. Here are a few that you should know about.
You have a right to freedom from harassment
The first thing to know is that you should be able to go to work without fear of harassment. You should not be harassed because of your gender, sexual preferences, age or other protected factors.
You deserve fair pay
Another thing you should know is that you have a right to fair pay. You should be paid for all time spent working, and there are restrictions on when your employer can deduct anything from your paycheck. You deserve payment that is in line with the law.
You have a right to be in a safe work environment
Whether violence or dangerous machinery, you have a right to be protected against injuries caused by hazards in the workplace. Safe work environments eliminate or minimize the risk of getting hurt because of the hazards around you.
You shouldn’t face a fear of retaliation
You have the right to report complaints or to take other actions without fear of retaliation. If you make a claim against your employer for sexual harassment, for example, you shouldn’t fear losing your job.
Whenever you go to work, these and other protections are there to make sure you can do your job and be treated fairly while you’re there. It’s unfair for people to have to worry about discrimination or harassment, dangerous hazards or violence.
If you are exposed to hazards or you aren’t paid how you should be, you may have a right to make a claim against your employer. Start by gathering documentation. Then, consider speaking with your supervisor or human resources department. If the problems aren’t resolved, then it may be time to look into your legal options.