It is very important to know a person’s right not just according to the constitution, but also as a worker and a part of the labor force that drives a country’s economy. So, if you are interested in finding out what your rights are, go ahead and read on.
- Minimum Wage – According to the Fair Labor Standards Act of 1938, the federal minimum wage is currently at $7.25. However, state legislation can also set the minimum wage so different states can have a different amount of minimum wage. The same law also states that a full-time job can only have 40 hours of work per week. Working beyond the 40 hrs per week required work time requires the employers to pay an overtime pay in time-and-a-half. This means that an hour of overtime work requires the employer to pay an amount equal to 1.5 hrs of work.
- Work Leave – Unfortunately, in the United States, Family of Medical Leave Act of 1993 only requires employers to give its employees of 12 weeks of unpaid leave. This is very sad since a lot of industrial countries have more benefits in terms of leave.
- Safe Working Environment – According to the Occupational Safety and Health Act of 1970, employers, meaning the company you work for, should provide a safe working environment for you. This is particularly very important for workers in factories whose work involve interacting with machineries that can potentially harm them. Therefore, your company must provide you with training or orientation with regards to the proper way of handling these machineries. Safety equipment must also be provided in order to keep you from bodily harm while working.
- Right to Equality – Civil Rights Act of 1963 states that employers cannot discriminate employees according to their race, color of the skin, religion they practice, sex, and/or national origins. According to Equal Pay Act of 1967, you also have the right to be paid an equal amount with someone doing equal work as you, no matter what your gender is. However, gender pay gap is still a very real problem in corporations especially in higher positions such as executive. Laws like Age Discrimination in Employment Act of 1967 and Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990 also aims to protect the elderly and persons with disabilities in their work place to be treated equally and without discrimination. Unfortunately, federal laws that prohibit discrimination based on sexual orientation and/or sexual identity has yet to be made. Thankfully, in 2016, 22 states have already passed state laws that protect LGBTQs from discrimination in their workplace. These include Wisconsin, Pennsylvania and District of Columbia among others.
- Unions – National Labor Relation Act of 1935 has allowed the formation of Unions. Union is an organization whose purpose is to protect the rights of workers by speaking to the company or employers to improve their working conditions, salary and other things pertaining to your work. Under the Labor Management Reporting and Disclosure Act of 1959, unions are required to follow the principles of democracy in running their organization. So, if your company offers more than what is required by the federal and state laws, it is most likely thanks to the union.
- Other Employment Laws that you must be aware of are the Employee Retirement Income Security Act of 1974 and Worker Adjustment and Retraining Notification Act of 1988. The first law requires that the employers must practice the “standard prudent management” of the employees’ pension, health care plans and other benefits if the company decides to give these sad benefits. The latter states that if more than 50 people or more than a third of the total employees in the company are to be fired or lose their job, then a 60 day notice must be given to the said employees.
As an employee, it is very important to know your rights according to the employment laws and the responsibilities of your employer because if these laws are not met, then a lawsuit is possible. If you feel you have been mistreated at work, contact The Cooper Law Firm here. They are available for a free consultation to investigate any potential lawsuit.