What Are Your Rights As an Employee

As an employee, you need to inform yourself about all the rights you have. This will help you learn how to protect yourself from bad workplace conditions and discrimination. The U.S. Department of Labor is responsible for establishing these rights and can provide access to information for improving an employee’s life.

Rights to a Safer Workplace

There are three main safety rights – the right to know, right to participate and right to refuse. The Occupational Safety and Health Administration is in duty to provide you with these rights and investigate the violation of them.

Your right to know is focused on getting information about what hazards are presented on the job and how can they affect you. You should be provided with this knowledge during the training session or throughout the working process. The Workplace Hazardous Materials Information System can provide you with information on safety hazards of included chemicals in your workplace.

The right to participate means that you’re eligible for taking part in safety activities linked to your workplace. This refers to having the rights to be a health representative or a member of the safety committee. This section also includes rights to report unsafe work conditions without a concern of losing your job.

The right to refuse comes to action when you think that the work is dangerous enough to harm either you or your coworkers. In this case, you should inform your supervisor and state why you think safety is an issue within the workplace. The supervisor is then required to investigate your statement and resolve the issue. If the problem remains unsolved, you should call a health and safety inspector.

Workplace Injuries

If you’ve suffered an injury on the workplace, you have the right to get health coverage for all medical treatments that follow. If you get injured while at work, you should immediately notify your employer. The best way to protect your legal rights is to report your injury as quickly as possible. “It never hurts to report the injury when it happens. It is better safe than sorry”. advises lawyer Neal Strom. In this case, your aim is to settle a fair compensation and you’re likely to search for a good attorney. With a legal entity by your side, you’ll increase your probability of reaching a settlement.

If you’re unable to arrive to work because you’re sick, you may refer to Department of Social Protection. They can benefit your illness if you’re covered by the appropriate class of social insurance. Yet, if you don’t satisfy their conditions, you may qualify for Disability Allowance. They could provide you with payment if your condition is based on a physical or mental disability that is expected to continue at least a year.

Rights to Equality

Despite your gender, race, sexual orientation or disabilities, you have the right to work in an environment that is free from harassments. This law is enforced by The Equal Employment Opportunity Commission and demands the employer to maintain the workplace free from discrimination. Every worker has the equal opportunity for the benefits, promotions, fair treatments and wages that his workplace provides.

Parenting Rights

If you’re a female employee with a baby on the way, you’re eligible for a maternity leave. You should also be provided with the maternity pay, since this treatment is necessary. Employees who’ve adopted a child also have the protection from dismissal and detrimental treatment, especially if the child has to be under supervision.

Not every worker is entitled to statutory employment rights. These rights are only applied to workers that work for a company or an individual employer. If you’re self-employed or working as a freelancer, you don’t have the access to statutory rights, but you still have the rights to a minimum wage as well as to protect yourself from discrimination. Some professions also aren’t eligible for statutory rights. For example, if you’re a police officer, merchant seamen, trainee doctors or an armed force employee, you aren’t eligible for statutory rights.