Understanding Your Rights & Employment Law

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  • Employment law protects employee rights and governs employer obligations, covering discrimination, wage, and termination laws.
  • An employment law attorney can guide you on issues like discrimination, wrongful termination, and wage disputes.
  • Unions represent collective employee interests, offering legal representation and aiding in collective bargaining.
  • Understanding employment law empowers employees to protect their rights and take necessary actions against infringements.

Knowing your employment rights is extremely important in today’s society. As an employee, understanding your rights will empower you to act justly and fight against infringements on your rights. Employment law is vast, broad, and often confusing. This guide is aimed at providing comprehensive knowledge of employment law so that you can make informed decisions and take necessary actions to protect yourself and your career.

Overview of Employment Law

Employment law is a branch of civil law that deals with the rights and obligations arising from the employer-employee relationship. It covers various aspects, including recruitment, wages, working conditions, employment contracts, and non-discrimination. Some of the significant employment laws that govern employers and employees include the Civil Rights Act, the Fair Labor Standards Act, the Americans with Disabilities Act, and the Occupational Safety and Health Act. Here’s a rundown of some of its essential branches:

Discrimination Law

Discrimination law prohibits employers from discriminating against an employee based on their age, gender, race, color, national origin, religion, or disability. Employers are required to provide reasonable accommodations to employees with disabilities. Moreover, employers cannot harass employees or create a hostile work environment.

Wage and Hour Law

Wage and hour law ensures that employees are appropriately compensated for their work. It deals with minimum wage, overtime, working hours, and breaks. The Fair Labor Standards Act sets the minimum wage and overtime laws. Employers must keep accurate records of all employee wages and hours worked.

Termination Law

Employers have the right to terminate employment for valid reasons. Termination of employment must be done in a non-discriminatory and non-retribution manner. Severance pay and unemployment compensation usually depend on state laws and the terms of employment.

man termination with box of belongings

When To Get An Attorney

In some cases, it may be helpful to get the assistance of a seasoned employment law attorney. These attorneys can provide legal advice on matters like discrimination and wrongful termination. They can also help you file complaints against your employer if necessary. Here’s when to get one:

Work-related Injuries and Illnesses

Employment law dictates the obligations of employer and employee regarding workplace safety and the prevention of work-related injuries and illnesses. Employers must create and maintain safe working conditions, provide employees with protective equipment and training, and keep records of all injuries and illnesses that occur in the workplace.

Wrongful Termination

Wrongful termination refers to a situation where an employee is discharged from their job unlawfully. This could be due to discrimination, retaliation, refusal to commit an illegal act, or violation of employment contracts.

If an employee believes they’ve been wrongfully terminated, they should gather as much evidence as possible, such as emails, memos, or witness testimony. An attorney can review the evidence, determine if the dismissal was indeed wrongful, and guide the employee on the next steps, which could include legal action against the employer.

Wages or Tax Disputes

Wages or tax disputes arise when there are disagreements between the employer and employee over salary or tax deductions. This could involve disputes regarding unpaid overtime, unremitted tax deductions, or incorrect wage calculations.

These disputes can often be resolved through open communication or through the human resources department. If these avenues fail, consulting an attorney could be beneficial. Legal counsel can provide guidance on labor laws, assist in negotiations, and, if necessary, represent the employee during legal proceedings.

man calculating his salary in calculator

The Role of Unions

Unions are organizations that represent the collective interests of employees and negotiate with employers on their behalf. They can provide assistance to individual workers or a group of workers facing labor-related issues, such as discrimination in the workplace or improper wage payments.

Unions offer various services, including legal representation and advice. For instance, they may help an employee organize a strike or file a lawsuit against an employer.

They may also provide assistance with collective bargaining, which is the process of negotiating wages and other benefits with the employer. If possible, unions will try to arrive at an agreement that is beneficial for both the employees and the employer.

Employment law is a crucial subject that every working person should understand. It is crucial to know your rights as an employee to avoid infringement and take necessary action in case of an infringement. Hopefully, this guide has equipped you with comprehensive knowledge of employment law so that you can make informed decisions and take necessary actions to protect yourself and your career. Remember, knowledge is power, and it will empower you to fight for your rights.

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