Top 5 Employee Rights Your Employer May Be Violating
With rare exceptions, virtually everyone knows and understands that there are core rights and liberties afforded to us as U.S. citizens. Things like “The Freedom of Speech” or “The Right To Bear Arms” are regularly spoken of in almost any political conversation. However, did you know that you also have a series of rights and protections afforded to you at your job or in the workplace? In fact, not only do you have a separate set of rights when it comes to being an employee, there’s a good chance your employer may be violating them and you not even know about it.
Because many employees are unaware of everything related to their employer or job, it can be easy to allow many, at the moment, harmless acts to pass by even if they seem uncomfortable or emotionally upsetting. In reality, there’s a good chance you may have been exposed to an employee rights violation, against which you may have a legal claim. Here are the top 5 ways employers violate an employee’s rights, often without the employee even realizing it.
#1. Right To Privacy
A huge area to be aware of, the right to privacy is an incredibly important right that is often violated. This can be something as simple as going through your desk while you aren’t there, to entering your locker regularly without your permission.
While telephone and internet monitoring may seem like a violation of these laws, because you are technically engaging with work property (the work computer, work phone, etc.) it is allowed under the law.
#2. Freedom From Harassment Or Discrimination
One of the more common ways in which a person’s workplace freedoms are violated. Freedom from harassment and discrimination includes the ability to go to the workplace without fear of suffering discrimination due to your race, color, gender, sexual orientation, age, or disability.
#3. Whistleblower Protection & Freedom From Retaliation
If you observe the violation of another’s rights, you are entitled to whistleblower protection as well as freedom from workplace retaliation. This means that, if it is found out that your supervisor has made offensive jokes to female staff, your reporting of that information should not result in you suffering retaliation, either from your boss or employer at large.
#4. Fair Pay & Overtime
The Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) is a federal law that establishes a minimum wage as well as the requirement that all businesses pay their employees for time worked. As such, if you are not paid for any time worked, they are liable for a suit lobbied against them.
Just the same, employees made to work overtime are entitled to time and a half of your standard pay. This is only given to certain employees, however, so be sure to know if you qualify for overtime before determining if there is a reasonable cause.
#5. Reasonable Work Accommodations
According to the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA), all employers are meant to provide reasonable work accommodations for any and all employees that may be recognized to have a disability. These accommodations can vary based on the disability, ranging from implementing lifting limits for warehouse workers to ramps for individuals with a wheelchair, to even speech-to-text for deaf employees. Depending on the size and scope of the business, they may be able to argue that these accommodations are unreasonable due to their cost. For large and established companies, however, this is likely to be an intentional violation for the sake of reducing costs and increasing profits.
What To Do If Your Rights Are Violated
If you feel like your employer has violated one or more of these employee rights, your best bet is to seek legal assistance through an employee rights attorney. One example of this includes the LA-based firm, employeerightsattorneygroup.com. If you are in the area and are dealing with any of these issues, be sure to contact the group as soon as possible.