No wonder many organizations today value their employees to be more productive and improve overall performance. However, there are still many employers who are not fairly treating their employees. These employers either make their workers work for long hours but with less pay, terminate them without logical reasons, or any other unjust behavior. Due to these scenarios, it is crucial now more than ever for workers to know and understand their rights.
Workers' rights cover a wide range of fundamental human rights, from equal pay rights to safety protection in the workplace. Though, workers' rights may vary based on the type of work, location, or the size of the company. Nevertheless, below are some of the ways law can protect all workers' rights:
Many people consider that their termination was wrongful if the employers fire them for an unknown cause. However, wrongful termination, by definition, has a more specific meaning. It refers to employees' illegal dismissal based on discrimination, race, religion, gender, etc.
Workers have the freedom to take action against wrongdoings in the workplace. They can file complaints against employers, whistleblow if they find them defy and break the laws. Employees have the right to press charges in the following cases:
Breach of contracts
Violation of labor and discrimination laws
Sexual misconduct and harassment
Defamation and retaliation
Therefore, employees can consult unfair dismissal lawyers and claim strict measures against their employers. These lawyers can help the workers fight lawsuits and provide guidance on how to proceed with the case.
Occupational safety and health
Workplace safety has been a serious concern lately. Employees face unsafe and unhealthy conditions every so often in companies. Some of these conditions include loud noise levels, extreme temperatures, and electrical hazards areas. Companies should ensure safe working conditions and post different posters and notices about safety hazards and practices. Also, they should provide training and guide workers about common injuries and how to fight emergencies.
Family and medical leave
The family and medical leave act let employees take a break from work due to health issues and family responsibilities. Companies should allow workers to have twelve weeks of unpaid leaves to tend to family matters and their families' medical problems. However, organizations must let employees resume their work and back to the former job after completing leaves. Employers should offer back the same job or the equivalent one with similar benefits as previously.
Fair wages and work hours
The Fair Labor Standard Act (FLSA) of 1938 ensures workers receive overtime pay and standardize minimum wage. The overtime pay is one and a half times a regular employee's salary. The law provides workers with the right to a break during work hours.
It prohibits employers from hiring workers below age 18 for high-risk work. Law restricts the number of hours for workers under the age group of 16.
Often employers don't recruit well-qualified married women because they believe they would get pregnant and cannot perform well in their tasks. Due to this reason, many women faced discriminatory behavior in the workplace. However, the Pregnancy Discrimination Act (PDA) protects women from this unfair treatment. It prevents employers from discriminating against pregnant workers about hiring, assignments, training, terminations, and promotion. Pregnant women can claim acts of discrimination against employers. The law does not restrict itself to just pregnancy and covers childbirth duration, abortion, or other medical issues. The law allows pregnant employees to take pregnancy leave of the same duration as any workers' disability or sick leave.
Some employers don't allow old-age workers to participate in training programs in their organization because they believe they would retire soon. Few don't consider elderly workers in their company for a job post since they don't have the latest knowledge and skills. However, every individual, including old age people, has the right to work without discrimination or unfair treatment.
Moreover, employers forcing their workers to retire is unlawful, and workers can claim against those employers. Some of the aggressive behavior or attitudes by employers that leads old page people to unnecessary retirement may include:
Making older workers work demeaning tasks
Not giving them a chance to train along with young staff
Pull back benefits and bonuses
Workers can also benefit from Employee Retirement Income Security Act (ERISA) that regulates pension and benefit plans for retirees. The law does not force employers to set benefits for retirees; instead, it provides different programs. Every employer can choose accordingly.
Employers should know that it's not healthy to stay blind even after they see injustice, rather an addition to the conspiracy of crime. Laws in a workplace ensure equality, justice, and integrity for employees. These laws give the liberty to employees to enjoy their rights and speak up in case of infringements. Had there been no workplace rules, the workers would have to face threats now and then.