Once you start working, you will have your own rights. But did you know that many people don’t even know what their rights as an employee are? Knowledge is your best defense when it comes to getting proper treatment and compensation at work.
But what are the things worth knowing now that you are an employee yourself?
What It Means to Get Terminated “at Will”
Some companies have employees that come and go. There are reasons when it is illegal for your employer to terminate you. For instance, they cannot fire you just because of your gender, sexual orientation, race, age, nationality, color, disability, or medical condition.
Employers are allowed to fire you just because you reported them to the police or a government agency. It is also illegal for them to terminate you if this violates the contract you signed with them or as retaliation because you enforced your own rights.
But know that there are times when your employer can fire you “at will.” They are not obliged to give you a reason for discharge at any reason. This is why one of the best pieces of financial advice you can get is to always have more than one source of income.
If you are an at-will employee, your employer can make alterations to the terms of your employment with no notice. On the other hand, you have the right to change jobs as you please. Of course, it will still be better to tender your resignation notice.
You Can Hire an Employment Lawyer
When it comes to road accidents, you need a car accident attorney to help you get proper compensation. The same goes for when you need assistance negotiating or seeking justice against an employer who wronged you. If your employer failed to exercise your rights, then what you need is an employment lawyer.
The law that governs the relationship between an employer and their employees is called employment law. If you believe that your employer fails to comply with employment law, you can seek the support of an employment lawyer. They can help you negotiate with your employer or in succeeding in an employment lawsuit.
You can contact such a professional if your employer:
- retaliated, harassed, or discriminated you
- the grounds for your termination are illegal
- forced you to sign a document that surrenders your rights as an employee
- failed to give you the benefits you deserve
- violated any rules that aim to protect their employees
You Have the Right to Complain About Unsafe Work
Some jobs put employees at great health and safety risks. While some working environments are more unsafe than others, employers are required to boost the safety of their workers. This includes setting policies in place, having signage posted around the worksite, giving all employees proper training, and providing the right personal protective equipment.
But if your employer fails to ensure your health and safety, you have the right to complain. You can reasonably refuse to work. Just make sure you inform your supervisor verbally in front of others or in writing. Make sure to state your reason for refusing work and that you are willing to return back to work once they managed to improve the working conditions.
If your employer fires you or does not acknowledge your request, you can then contact Occupational Safety and Health Administration or OHSA. You can file your complaint in many ways. You can visit in person, call, send a mail, fax, or email or fill their online complaint form.
Know that you cannot file a complaint against your employer anonymously. You need to be able to state the key elements to rightfully file a complaint. Also, save the names and contact details of your witnesses during the investigation.
What They Can Say When Giving Employee References
When applying for jobs, most employers would ask for your character references. They do this as part of their background check. They want to find out if you are reliable, honest, and a good fit for the position they are trying to fill.
You may think that it is illegal for your past employers to say bad things about or your job while working for them. But in reality, they are legally allowed to say bad things about you. Of course, this is for as long as they are giving truthful information.
Your employers can say something about your ability, skills, and work performance. They can tell about your strengths, weaknesses, and character. But note that they are not allowed to give false statements.
There are many others you about employment law that you will find useful. You may have plans to say goodbye to your nine-to-five job and start a business soon. But knowing these rules will give you a better idea of how to treat your own employees to avoid legal issues in the future. Know your rights and keep yourself updated to make sure you are getting the right treatment from our employer.