At some point in everyone’s lives, people are thrown into the wild and often unpredictable world that is employment, and with that comes every employee’s right to safe and fair work. Under the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA), every employee is guaranteed the same basic rights, such as the right to minimum wage and Occupational Safety and Health (OSH) regulated workplace hazards.
While this isn’t new news to you, you may have been working long enough to see employment laws change a few dozen times – everyday laws are being updated and amended. This can make knowing your employee rights a bit difficult to remember. Here’s what employee rights you may have forgotten or overlooked:
Harassment and discrimination protection
Discrimination is a big issue that many people have fought over for years. While some people may get away with an occasional slur or comment, even though they shouldn’t, employees have protective rights against such notions. The following are protected from discrimination:
- Race, religion, national origin or citizenship status
- Age (40 years of age or older)
- Gender identity or sexual orientation
- Disabilities or pregnancy
- Political beliefs
- Criminal background
Discrimination can easily lead to harassment. Victims may constantly fear for their lives or find their work disrupted because of someone else’s actions or beliefs.
Whistleblower protection rights
While many businesses and companies keep public and employee safety in mind and follow the laws, others don’t. When this happens, employees may blow the whistle on unlawful actions.
However, while many employees fear they’ll be retaliated for their actions, they do have protective rights for whistleblowing. What this means is that employees have the right to retain their employment and pay, while not facing harassment, firing or demotion.
Rights to fair pay
Not only do employees have the right to minimum wage, as stated above, but they also have several other fair pay rights. In other words, employees have a right to be paid for their work and not become victims of wage theft. For example, people lose their pay when employers take advantage of overtime pay, which should pay employees one-half their regular salary.
If you believe your employee rights are being taken advantage of, then you may need to reach out for legal help.