Your job is more than just a way to pay your bills—if you are like most of us, it’s where you spend most of your time when you are not at home. So it’s important that it not become a place that you fear to go, either because of concerns about you safety, or worries about harassment or unfair treatment. One of the best ways to protect your rights is by learning as much as you can about the laws and procedures governing the workplace.
GetLegal.com’s Employment Law Center addresses all the legal issues that arise at work, from hiring to termination or discharge. We’ve included overviews of key labor laws protecting workers, as well as information on pensions, minimum wages, unemployment and workers’ compensation, and workplace safety.
The laws governing the hiring process seek to balance employer needs with the protection of employee rights. Things that employers do before and after an interview may be regulated by laws such as the Americans with Disabilities Act, the Fair Labor Standards Act and the Civil Rights Act of 1964.
Employees who have been wrongfully terminated have certain rights under state and federal law. It’s important to know these rights and limitations, and to understand the various methods of insuring yourself in the event that you lose your job.
Unemployment compensation laws provide benefits to unemployed workers for a specific period of time, so that they can meet their financial needs while they find a new job.
Employment discrimination laws seek to prevent discrimination by employers based on criteria such as race, sex, religion, national origin, sexual orientation, physical disability and age. Discriminatory practices include bias in hiring, promotion, job assignment, termination and compensation along with various types of harassment.
Sexual harassment, a form of workplace discrimination, can take different forms. It may involve the exchange of sexual favors for work-related benefits, or it can be present when there is a hostile work environment based on sex.
Workplace safety and health laws establish regulations designed to eliminate personal injuries and illnesses from occurring in the workplace.
Workers’ compensation laws provide injured employees with monetary payments from employers without the need to file a lawsuit for damages.
The Family and Medical Leave Act requires employers to grant covered employees a total of 12 weeks of unpaid leave for certain family or medical issues.
Other legal issues that frequently arise in the employment context include:
- Minimum Wage Law disputes, such as disagreements over whether or not employers complied with state or federal minimum wage laws when paying workers.
- Problems with Pensions from illegal or improper investment of pension funds to disputes over vesting and eligibility for retirement funds.
- Labor Law challenges, such as the rights of workers to form collective bargaining units, to engage in strikes and similar actions to try to obtain certain benefits, and to require union membership for workers.
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