People know their job’s duties and responsibilities but may not know their rights in the workplace, especially if they are new to the workforce. By the same token, you are responsible for understanding the terms of your employment. The employee-employer relationship should be based on mutual respect for each other’s rights. Employee rights cover a variety of aspects of work, such as pay, health, safety, discrimination, and more.
You can learn more about these rights below
The Right to Minimum Wage
Your employer is responsible for providing you with a regular payday. Any employee or worker has the basic right to receive a minimum wage, at the very least. The minimum wage can be set by an industry court, a wage board, and others with that authority. Minimum wage differs from state to state. It may also differ according to your age, experience, or if you work full-time, part-time, or remotely. Minimum wage protects you from unjustifiable low pay. Most minimum wages average to at least $7.25 an hour, but if you’re 20 years old or younger, it could be a lower amount for the first 3 months of employment. Some employees are exempt from minimum wages, such as executives or those with a professional career.
The Right to Overtime Wages
There are many disputes between employees and employers about overtime wages; or lack thereof. Overtime wages are one and half-times your regular pay. You’re entitled to receive this as money and not in any other form, such as in a gift. A workweek is calculated to be 168 hours. Any work done exceeding these hours is considered overtime work that you get paid for rightfully. Overtime is also calculated on a daily basis, so you can work 168 hours or less per week but receive overtime if one of your shifts crosses the eight-hour mark.
The Right Not to Be Discriminated Against
Discrimination in the workplace is an explosive topic and has many complicated legal factors. Discriminatory rights are actually awarded before employment. An employer cannot prevent you from applying for a job based on your race, gender, sex, origin, a disability (that doesn’t prevent you from working), or religion. At the same time, an employer cannot pay you less, reprimand you, refuse to train you, fail to promote you or demote you based on those same factors.
People who believe they’re being discriminated against need to educate themselves more on this topic and see more here to know if they have legal ground to bring a case against an employer, manager, or supervisor who does not adhere to anti-discrimination laws. Additionally, a hired lawyer can build a case and bring a suit against an employer and hold them liable for knowing about discrimination happening in the workplace and not taking any action to halt it, or a workplace that adopts certain discriminatory policies. These are expensive mistakes made by employers because employees may sue and receive heavy financial compensation.
The Right to Challenge Wrongful Termination
Wrongful termination often works in tandem with discriminatory laws. “At-will” employment presumes that the employer has the right to terminate an employee’s job at their own free will. This basically means the employer doesn’t have to have any reason for the termination, nor do they have to give the employee a fair warning of the termination.
Under the law, termination must be based on the employee’s work performance. Federal laws protect you from being dismissed on account of your race or gender, for instance. People are also protected by these laws if they report any form of illegal activities or abuses happening in the workplace. Firing an employee for reasons other than poor performance is subject to an investigation.
The Right to Work in a Safe Environment
Employees and workers have the basic right to work under safe, healthy conditions. Under The Occupational Health and Safety Act (OSHA), employers have the obligation to provide a safe workplace, maintain machinery and equipment for safe use, provide proper training for workers, and more.
You also have the liberty to notify your boss of any safety hazards and request an on-site inspection. These hazards are ones that can cause serious or fatal injuries. Workers can refuse to work under hazardous conditions without fear of being reprimanded or losing their job.
The relationship between employers and workers is much deeper and more complex than simply doing your job and getting paid for it. Dozens of situations happen during a normal workday that could be infringing on employee rights. If your rights are not fulfilled, a lawyer will explain to you what you can do to receive due compensation. As an employee, you have rights and privileges within the workplace to exercise.