Employee Rights in the Workplace, Part 1
In the workplace, prospective employees and hired employees (collectively “employees”) have certain rights that an employer must not violate. These rights begin during the interview process and extend through termination. Specifically, employees have the right to not be discriminated against. Employees in certain positions are also entitled to overtime pay when they work more than a typical forty (40) hour work week. There are other rights that any employee has, however, those will be addressed in Employee Rights, Part 2, which shall be released in next week’s blog.
First, employees cannot discriminate against employees. That includes discrimination and/or limiting job opportunities based on an individual’s race, gender, disability and/or age (“Protected Classes”). In some cases, the protected classes above overlap. Businesses are typically subject to both state and federal laws regarding discrimination. In some states, there are actually more state laws that apply than federal laws. For example, most federal discrimination laws apply only to companies with (fifteen) 15 or more employees, but state laws may apply if a business has even one (1) employee.
Further, employees have the right to receive fair pay for the work they complete for the employer. If an employer requires certain employees to work overtime, then the laws mandate that the employer must pay the employee for such overtime. Some categories of employees, however, are exempt from overtime pay (such as professionals). These exempt categories may be required to work many hours beyond their normal forty (40) hour weeks. A lawyer would be able to determine whether or not you are in one of these exempt categories or whether you are entitled to additional compensation pursuant to federal law and state employment laws.
If you or someone you know have an employment law issue, it is advisable to contact the Attorneys of the Ticktin Law Group so that you can determine your rights and/or whether you have a claim against your employer.