The workplace can be full of productivity, prosperity, and even friendship. However, this is not the case for many people in toxic and outright unlawful job situations. Here are some of the workplace laws your employer may be violating.
Job applications are your foot in the door when looking for jobs. However, companies might ask inappropriate questions on job applications. They might ask prohibited questions to gain more specific information by which to discriminate between job candidates. Though some employers may be doing this unknowingly, there are clear boundaries for what is allowable to ask when hiring someone. Prohibited questions usually revolve around age, marital status, religion, or plans for pregnancy. All of these factors could potentially dissuade employers from choosing you for their open position.
At the end of the day, you receive money for the work you do. Though there are plenty of nonpaying positions such as interns and volunteers, any explicitly paid positions must be compensated for the work they do. Any employer who withholds the proper pay is breaking the law. Whether you are not receiving overtime pay, not being paid at least the minimum wage, or your paychecks are being withheld, your employer is failing to uphold their side of the deal. If you find yourself in any of these situations, contact a wage claim attorney like those on our team here at Rossman Law Group. You deserve the proper payment for the work you do.
Nonsalaried jobs require a clocking system to track employee hours. This helps both employee and employer to understand how many hours of work people do. Though clocking in and out can be annoying, and it is difficult to arrive and leave at exactly the same time every day, these boundaries help uphold the law. Without them, employers can swindle employees out of hard-earned money for hours not counted. That is why it is entirely inappropriate for an employer to ask for or even allow off-the-clock work. You may want to show your dedication to your work or the company. However, it is best to stay within the limits of your allotted weekly hours. Employers are responsible both to the employee and the government to dispense the correct payroll and payroll tax.
The workplace may not always be a fun or exciting place when the grind becomes monotonous. However, outright hostile workplaces are not okay. Employers must work to create a safe environment for people of all backgrounds. This includes providing sexual harassment training, a clear employee handbook, and a secure reporting system. If an employer allows a hostile workplace, this means they are overlooking or perpetuating offensive conduct that intimidates or abuses an employee. A hostile environment can even come home with an employee when another worker harasses them after hours.
Though certain cultural expectations in the US may dissuade people from discussing their salaries or benefits with their coworkers, it is important to have the option if needed. No employer can rightfully suppress your conversations about salaries. This can be a way to manipulate employees to work for less without knowing about it. Discouraging employees from talking about their salaries can be seen as employers preventing organizing and unionizing, which is unlawful. Be sure to take note if your employer tells you to keep your job salary quiet or tells you that you cannot mention any wage-related information to others.
In the US, freedom of speech extends to the workplace and even online. Like the situation with salary discussion suppression, employers cannot discipline you for complaining about your work online because it is understood as impeding employee organizing and unionizing. Though it may reflect poorly on them, you are able to say what you want about your company or superior. If your superior punishes you with a decreased salary or outright dismissal, you may have a legal case on your hands. You are entitled to discuss your employment publicly in person and on social media, so be aware of your rights if something happens at work.
Discrimination can take many forms and attack many aspects of a person. The most common foci of discrimination include race, national origin, color, religion, sex, gender identity, pregnancy, age, and disability. With each of these comes a long list of specific actions and words that are particularly offensive and classify as harassment. If you are being notably bullied, harassed, passed up, or put down because of your identity characteristics, you need to say something, whether you address the situation with your superior at work or with a discrimination lawyer like those here at Rossman Law Group for corporate or legal resolution.
Many jobs across the US involve work with large machines, heavy items, and dangerous chemicals that can cause serious damage. If an employer is allowing an unsafe workplace in these situations, the consequences can be grave. As an employee, you should be outfitted with the correct protective equipment, trained in handling dangerous materials and machinery, and encouraged to work within a safe capacity.
People can be laid off or fired for an array of reasons. But there are a few that qualify as unlawful dismissals. One situation would be dismissing you from your job without valid and explicit reasons. Though they are not necessarily required to give you a second chance, you should know the exact reasons why you are being terminated. However, you should know that employers can dismiss you for habitual absences or proven misconduct.
Know about these workplace laws your employer may be violating so you can stand up for yourself and those around you experiencing unfair working conditions. Your place of employment must be regulated, and you should not be harassed, endangered, or unpaid while working. If you have any more questions about workplace law or how to use an employment lawyer, reach out to our legal team at Rossman Law Group today.