As employees, it is easy to forget that we have certain rights guaranteed to us by the federal government.
Did you know that there are in fact lists out there that show all of them? You can find them in places like this, but for a more nuanced coverage of them, make sure you follow along.
Alongside this, of course, it is key for us to remember that we are able to take legal action against any employers that violate these rights. There are lawyers that specialize in this field.
If you did not know that, then this might be the article for you!
What are Employee Rights?
With this conversation, I think it is important that we start here. After all, how can we know if we need representation if we do not know the potential violations, right? There are several things that we have rights to.
The first one is not always followed, but it is the right to equal pay. Unfortunately, many women still are not being paid the same hourly wages as women.
If that sounds like something that you are experiencing, do not forget that you can seek out an employee rights lawyer to assist in mitigating that situation.
In a similar vein, we are protected from discrimination based on several factors. Those are religion, race, gender, sexual orientation, disability, nationality, color, age, or any genetic information. That includes not being harassed or treated differently from co-workers.
One that many of us forget is the right to reasonable accommodations if and/or when required by law. This could be for religious beliefs or medical needs.
Either is eligible to receive these accommodations when applicable and employers should be willing to do this without being discriminatory or giving you a hard time about it.
So – What about Lawyers Who Specialize in This?
Often, a professional who specializes in this topic is called an employee rights lawyer or an employment lawyer. They can do a variety of things, and usually, most of them have their own niche priorities as well. So, it is a good idea to do your research and find one that can help you with the issue that you have been having.
For example, some of them focus on wrongful termination cases. This is when someone is fired for a reason that is illegal. You can read further on this here: https://www.dol.gov/general/topic/disability/employeerights.
Obviously, that is not the only thing though. Many of them prefer to focus their attention on discrimination or harassment cases. Both of these experiences can be traumatic events for the person who has been harassed or discriminated against.
Finding a lawyer with tact and empathy or compassion for you is something that you should think about as you search.
Harassment can come in many different forms, not just sexual, even if that is the one that we hear about most in the news. Understanding the differences is key, and most professionals will be aware of them. Never be afraid to ask questions.
Some other things that they could potentially assist with are any wage and hour law cases or whistleblower retaliation. These do tend to be on a case-by-case basis more than the others, so just bear that in mind. You may want to inquire with them first.
The Bottom Line?
Knowing our rights is something incredibly important. No one wants to be taken advantage of.
It is sad but true that we are seeing more and more of that with each passing day though, especially in the modern workforce. Some boundaries that we used to have seemed to be fading.
However, thankfully there is still some hope. We can find legal representation for ourselves when needed and do our best to protect ourselves. Often, though, things like this go unreported because employees are too scared to report them. That is even more true when it involves higher-ups in a company.
Remember that your right to report these incidents is also protected, so do not be afraid. If having someone on your side before you do so would make you feel better about it, then do so. Just do not let these cases of injustice go unknown.