Employees in the modern workplace are not merely cogs in a machine. They contribute to their work and help make profits for their employers or customers. They are the most important part of an organization and should be valued in the best way possible. But some employers tend to abuse their power in the workplace and violate their rights.
But it is important to know that all employees have certain rights in the workplace. No matter what type of job you have, your employer will protect you, and some laws ensure this protection.
No one, not even those unemployed, likes having their rights violated, so it’s important to know what they are how you can take action when they are being violated. That said, here are six rights that all employees in the workplace can enjoy:
You have a right to be free from discrimination and harassment
This means that you cannot be discriminated against based on race, sex, age, or disability. You also cannot be made to feel uncomfortable or threatened in your workplace because of your sexual orientation or religious beliefs. There are workplace instances that a group of people is discriminated against or harassed by other people. If you and other employees experience this, you have a valid reason to hire a lawyer for class-action mediation. That is, if you do not want the problem settled in court.
Harassment includes not only direct sexual advances but also unwelcome physical contact or unwelcome verbal comments of a sexual nature. For example, you have a right to seek legal advice if your employer or a fellow employee has been sexually harassing you, whether in the workplace or after hours via email, text message, etc.
You have a right to learn about your organization’s culture
It’s important to know what type of workplace you are entering before you start working there. When it comes to employment, the employer must ensure an environment free from discrimination so that employees are treated equally.
This also applies to working conditions, health and safety records of the establishment, how employees are paid, and hours worked each week, to name a few. Note that you are obligated to inform your employer if you have a disability that might require special accommodations at work.
You have a right to work in a safe environment
No matter where your working environment is, it should be safe for everyone there. Your employer should provide safety equipment and also make sure that premises are clean and free of hazards. This way, everyone at your company can stay safe and healthy. This is especially important when you work in a manufacturing environment or when you work with hazardous chemicals.
Your employer must provide adequate safety equipment and training for employees who will be dealing with these types of conditions every day. By doing so, they can ensure that you’re working in a safe environment.
You have a right to be protected from retaliation
In other words, your employer cannot punish you for reporting unequal pay, harassment, or a violation of workplace safety. If you have experienced any of these things in the past but did not speak up about them because you were afraid that it would be risky, your silence does not mean that this behavior is okay.
Because of this, you should no longer be afraid to speak out for fear of retribution if your rights are being violated. Plus, if retaliation does occur, you can sue your employer for damages and file a complaint to hold your employer accountable for their actions.
You have a right to organize and communicate with coworkers
Many organizations exist to give workers the freedom of association, such as unions and professional associations. The National Labor Relations Act gives employees the freedom to form, join or assist labor organizations, engage in collective bargaining through representatives of their choosing, and possess other rights.
Employers cannot retaliate against employees who reasonably exercise these freedoms by way of communicating with one another about the terms and conditions of employment. Employees have a right to meet for informational purposes or participate in concerted activities during working hours or at a location close to your work facility.
Knowing what your rights are is the first step in protecting them. If you feel that your rights are being violated or incorrectly applied, seek help immediately by contacting an attorney who specializes in employment law. This way, you can be proactive in resolving any workplace issues that might arise.