As an employee, you should receive fair treatment from your employer. You are not simply at the mercy of your boss. But you may be unclear about your rights.
Some questions you may have about your employment rights include the following:
- What constitutes illegal discrimination?
- How do I know if I am being harassed?
- Am I entitled to overtime pay?
Additionally, you may not know what to do if you feel like your employer is violating your rights. Here is a quick guide to some of the most important protections you have under the law.
Right to be free from discrimination
Your employer has an obligation to provide you with a work environment that is not discriminatory in any way. According to the U.S Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, it is unlawful for an employer to discriminate against employees based on these characteristics:
- National origin
There are many laws that uphold these rights, including the Civil Rights Act, Equal Pay Act, Age Discrimination in Employment Act, Americans With Disabilities Act and Immigration Reform and Control Act.
Right to be free from harassment
Many of these same laws also protect you from harassment. Harassment can take place based on the aforementioned characteristics. Workplace harassment generally takes two different forms:
- Quid pro quo: When an employer makes decisions based on the rejection of or submission to unwelcome conduct.
- Hostile work environment: When there is offensive conduct that is severe or pervasive enough to cause an uncomfortable work environment or negative employment decision.
Sexual harassment is one of the most common types of workplace harassment.
Right to overtime pay
If you are a nonexempt employee, federal and state law requires your employer to pay you overtime pay for any hours you work beyond 40 hours in a single workweek. The rate you should receive is one-and-a-half times your regular rate of pay.