Understanding Employment Rights: Seven Key Points to Know

Understanding employment rights

In the United States, every employee has a set of rights they can champion. Understanding employment rights can help you navigate potential issues in the workplace. It’s also useful for ensuring you’re getting the right level of treatment and that your rights are not being infringed upon.

If you’ve never stopped to think about what your rights as a working citizen are, you’ve come to the right place. In this blog, we will cover seven key employment rights that you need to know about. Keep reading to find out what they are. 

Whistleblower Protection

In  Cincinnati, like the rest of the United States, employees who report illegal activities or violations are protected by the law. This means you can call out your employer if you think they are actively engaging in any illegal behaviours or violating regulations.

Discrimination and Harassment

Discrimination and harassment based on specific characteristics is not tolerated in the workplace nor during the hiring, promotion, termination, or compensation process. This includes protected characteristics such as race, colour, national origin, religion, sex, age, disability, and pregnancy,

Minimum Wage and Overtime

As an employee in the US, you are entitled to a federal minimum wage. Additionally, employees have a right to overtime pay of around 1.5 times the regular wage if they are asked to work over 40 hours in a week, unless otherwise stated. 

Family and Medical Leave

You also have rights when it comes to taking time off of work for your family or your own medical issues. Under the federal Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA), employees are allowed to take up to 12 weeks of unpaid leave for specific family or medical reasons.

Safety in the Workplace

Your employer must ensure you are working within safety guidelines and in a non-hazardous area. There is no reason for you to go into work worried about your safety. If you do have any concerns, make sure to report this to your local Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA).

Timely Payment of Wages

Employers are expected to pay their employees in a timely fashion. This involves keeping accurate payment records as well as adhering to minimum wage and overtime requirements. If you fear you are owed wages, you must file a complaint with the Department of Commerce.

Workplace Monitoring and Privacy

Lastly, you are entitled to certain privacy rights in the workplace. For example, your employer may not monitor certain workplace activities such as emails, phone calls, or computer usage so make sure your personal boundaries are not crossed.

By understanding your rights as an employee, you can navigate your professional journey with confidence. We spend a large portion of our time at work, so it’s only fair that our time is spent fairly and rightfully. If you do happen to encounter any troubles across the aforementioned topics, it’s crucial that you speak to a legal professional. Lawyers specialised in employment law will help you deal with any violations and ensure your rights are protected.

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