Our economy is built around the concept of, work for a living, the harder you work, the better living you create for yourself and your family. Therefore, often times, even though some things may seem unfair, as consumers, we grin and bear it thinking that there is nothing that can be done.
We all know about our rights to equal opportunities and know that sexual harassment is wrong. However, there are a few workplace legal rights that you have which, you may not know you have. Often times, these legal rights are infringed upon and, not knowing they have rights, the employees feel helpless to find a solution to the problem!
Here are 3 of the most common legal rights you probably don’t know you have that are often infringed upon.
Your Right To Discuss Working Conditions With Co-Workers
In many cases, employees are asked not to discuss their working agreements with their co-workers. This can mean anything from hours to how a manager treats you to the amount of money that you are paid. However, the National Relations Labor Act says the exact opposite. On a National level, this act gives employers of any employee to discuss their work conditions with their cohorts if they so please.
Under this act, you cannot be fired, written up or given any other form of disciplinary action as a result of discussing pay, treatment, hours or any other work condition matter with another employee! If the company you work for required you to sign an agreement stating that you will not discuss these matters with other employees, that agreement in and of itself is evidence of wrongdoing on your employers behalf. In this case, you may want to contact an employment attorney to discuss your rights.
You Have The Right To Be Paid Overtime For Overtime Hours Worked
In many cases, employers try to find sneaky ways to get out of paying employees overtime. After all, overtime is much more expensive than regular hours worked. Therefore, your employer may say that you are a salaried employee or even pretend they didn’t see you working through your lunch break to avoid having to pay you the overtime compensation you have earned. However, there are few exemptions from the overtime law…even if you are misclassified as a salary employee. To learn more about the classifications, exemptions and more having to do with overtime compensation.
You Have The Right To Complain About Poor Working Conditions
In some cases, employees may feel as though the working conditions they face are so poor that not only do these conditions negatively affect them but, they also negatively affect their co-workers. In these cases, you are legally allowed to publicly or privately complain about or protest the working conditions at hand. This is why when the employees of Wal-Mart or Best Buy create such a big protest that it makes the news, they are not all immediately fired and replaced.
As long as the poor working conditions being protested effect more than one employee of the company, these employees jobs are protected by law! However, in matters where the poor working conditions only effect 1 employee, the law does not protect you. So, always keep in mind that sending a long drawn out email about how bad your boss treats you to the owner of the company can be met with retaliation. However, if in that email, you mention that the problem does not only have an effect on your ability to perform but, it also affects your co-workers, you are protected!
It is easy for us to get into the daily grind and forget about our rights as employees. However, it’s important to not let this happen to you. The laws that protect these rights were put in place to ensure a work environment that is fair to all and stress-free. Although, you would be hard pressed to find that kind of environment these days, when you see things that need to change, these laws make it so that you don’t have to bite your tongue as many of us have become so accustomed to doing!