Protecting your rights as you work begins with educating yourself on what those rights are in the first place. In the U.S., there are tons of laws in place at the state and federal level to protect workers from having their rights violated in the workplace.
Start educating yourself today to fully protect your rights as your work your way up the corporate ladder. Here is a brief synopsis of a few helpful tips to protect your rights in the workplace.
Workers with disabilities:
Workers with disabilities are protected by the federal government in the United States. Employers are not allowed to deny you a job you are fully capable of performing due to a physical disability or otherwise.
The government’s definition of disability covers a broad range of afflictions, and it’s important that you understand the provisions. Protect your rights as a disabled worker, and research what the federal government has to say about the issue.
Protection against discrimination:
Your rights to work free of discrimination are also protected by law. In the United States, employers don’t have the right to deny you employment based on your gender, age, sexual preferences, religion, or race.
Your right to privacy:
You have a right to a private life aside from your job. Your employer is not permitted to dig into your personal affairs. No employer is allowed to run a credit or background check on you without your signature. Your employer is also not allowed to search your personal belongings.
You have a right to a safe workplace:
Your employer has a responsibility to provide you and your coworkers with a safe workspace. If you feel like your workplace is unsafe, you have the right to ask questions. Your employer does NOT have the right to fire you for being a “whistleblower.”
Fair labor standards are important:
Workers in the U.S. have the protection of the government when it comes to the hours they work and the pay that is disbursed by employers. You have the right to be paid time and a half for every moment over 40 hours you work, and some states have even more stringent standards.
FMLA stands for the Family Medical Leave Act. If you are not familiar with the provisions of FMLA, you need to start learning now.
When someone in your family is injured or ill, you have the right to take time off without worrying about losing your position. Your employer legally has to hold your position for some time before you forfeit your job.
Know that you can discuss wages:
Employers often instruct their employees that it is against company policy to discuss wages. This is a lie. Prohibiting the workers’ right to discuss wages would prohibit the work of unions. The rule would be unlawful.