As a worker, you have the right to a safe work environment. But, most American workers don’t feel supported by their boss or their workplace. This can result in a lot of stress and anxiety, which can lead to serious chronic health issues like depression and heart disease. In fact, almost 44% of working Americans report that they’ve even been verbally, emotionally, or physically abused by their boss.
Toxic work environments affect employees even years after they’ve left a bad job. Poor management and even poorer conflict resolution can affect a worker’s productivity and performance.
At the end of the day, your company’s HR department still works for your boss. It’s entirely possible that even after HR makes a full investigation on your claim, they still reject it. Employment lawyers will always be in support of their clients and their rights, no matter how much trouble the company could possibly be in. Employment lawyers protect whistleblowers and workers who’ve had their rights violated by handling cases such as:
- Wage and hour laws
- Sexual harassment in the workplace
- Discrimination in the workplace
- Whistleblowing and retaliation
- Workplace Safety
- Wrongful dismissal
Also Read: 7 Red Flags You Should Sue Your Bad Employer
What Is A Whistleblower?
A whistleblower is someone who reports their employer’s crimes to authorities. The crimes aren’t always illegal, but they are almost always unethical and potentially dangerous. The 1989 Whistleblower Protection Act protects a worker’s freedom of speech rights.
Essentially, your workplace cannot threaten any worker for calling out any kind of offence. Employers who do threaten workers in any way can face up to 5 years in prison.
6 Workers Rights Everyone Should Know About
Your workplace cannot discriminate against you based on your sex, age, ability, nationality, or race. This means workers cannot be fired, demoted, or treated differently based on any of these things. These rights also include legal protection against temporary situations such as pregnancy. Every state will also have even more legislation on wages, breaks, and LGTQ+ discrimination.
Some of these rights might seem a little obvious, yet employers constantly violate their worker’s rights. You should call a lawyer if your employer has violated one of these rights.
Also Read: What To Do About Pregnancy Discrimination and LGBTAI+ Discrimination
1. Wage And Hour Laws
Every state has different laws on what minimum wage is. If you work over 40 hours a week for your employer, you’re entitled to overtime pay. Employees are also entitled to hazard pay or danger pay if the work they do is hazardous. Work is hazardous if it could potentially cause workers harm or stress even with the help of protective gear.
2. Sexual Harassment Laws
Sexual harassment in the workplace goes beyond inappropriate touching. It also includes inappropriate or suggestive comments, questions, favours, advances, and jokes. Sexual harassment creates a dangerous power dynamic for many vulnerable workers.
The 1964 Civil Rights Act protects workers against any discrimination based on their race, age, nationality, religion, sex, and ability. Similarly to sexual harassment, no one in your workplace can make inappropriate jokes or suggestive comments about these things. Management should handle these reports seriously and effectively.
4. Whistleblowing And Retaliation
Whistleblowing means a worker reports unethical or unlawful behaviour to the authorities. This act often results in the termination of the whistleblower. Whistleblowing sends a powerful message to the company and others not to continue with their unlawful behaviour. Whistleblowers shouldn’t have to lose their jobs or ruin their reputation because they call out their employer’s poor behaviour.
5. Workplace Safety
The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) requires employers to commit to health and safety standards, even in harsh conditions. Workers deserve the right to safe working conditions. Without these regulations, many workers risk serious health complications or serious injuries.
Also Read: What Is Workers Compensation?
6. Wrongful Dismissal
Wrongful dismissal happens when a worker is unjustly fired or let go from a breach of contract. The No Call No Show clause is one of the most popular ways an employer will find grounds to fire a worker.
Also Read: What If You’re Wrongfully Fired For A No Call No Show?
Despite knowing their rights, many workers don’t stand up to their employers. Oftentimes, workers won’t leave their job, despite how awful it is, because they cannot risk the financial strain of being unemployed. You might feel a little helpless if your rights are violated. Calling a lawyer will help you regain some agency and may even find a solution to your problem with your employer.
Filing A Lawsuit Against Your Employer
You can sue your employer, your boss, or your company for violating your worker’s rights and mistreating you. If you’re seeking to sue your employer, speak with an employment lawyer. They’ll be honest about your case and give you insight as to how it might turn out.
Also Read: 8 Questions To Ask An Employment Lawyer Upon Consultation