WHAT RIGHTS DO EMPLOYEES HAVE IN THE WORKPLACE?

Employees have multiple, legally sanctioned rights in the workplace. Most employers are legally obligated to communicate rights and regulations regarding employee rights. Acts like discrimination or sexual harassment are punishable by law. If these are violated, you can approach workers compensation lawyers. Even so, employers may withhold information about employee rights because their enactment may disadvantage the employer. Some employees consequentially may not be aware of these rights. They then need guidance and information regarding legal rights and pathways, some of which are listed below.

  1. Working hours

Employees have the right to adequate and reasonable working hours. In most cases, working hours constitute of eight hours of work a day. These can be stretched to 12 hours or more, depending on your industry. For instance, medical professionals work longer hours as a general rule. The working hours must be reasonably determined at the outset and possibly re-negotiated during the course of employment. Working hours must be compensated fairly and overtime pay must be delivered if employees put in extra hours of labour.

2. Protection from harassment

Employers are not allowed to harass employees, whether sexually, verbally, emotionally or physically.  Employers are not allowed to practice intimidation or bullying. Professional environments must have strict codes of conduct where sexual suggestive comment or bullying remarks are unacceptable. Employees should abstain from harassment as well and display courteous and polite behaviour.

3. Health and safety

Employers must ensure by law that employees do not face unsafe working conditions. They must be protected from injury and illness. There must be adequate and speedy medical assistance response if any injuries should take place. Employers must ensure that the working equipment is functioning well and employees have proper safety precautions otherwise they will be liable to endangerment.

4. Protection from discrimination

Employees have the right to protection from discrimination. They are protected from wrongful termination, non-promotion, or harassment. Discrimination should not be done on the basis of cast, race, gender, sex, sexuality, ethnicity, disability or religion.

5. Wage equality and assurance

Employees must be paid adequate wages, proportional to their efforts at the workplace. They must have wage equality. No one should be paid less than another if they the same position, qualification and merit. Employees have the right to be paid wages on time and regularly and can protest delays or denials in their pay. If they are denied this, they may take legal action through unions or workers compensation lawyers.

6. Medical and family leave

Employees have the right to take leave for medical or family emergencies. In some contexts, these can be allowed for up to 12 weeks. Employers must ensure that employees get medical leave for chronic or acute illnesses as well as maternity or paternity leaves. Employees are human and must be treated as such.

7. Joining a union

An employer cannot legally interfere with your joining a union. Unions can act as mediators or pressure groups to ensure your rights, wages and working hours are fair and guaranteed.

8. No retaliation

If you launch a complaint against your employer, they cannot fire you or retaliate against you. You can stand up for yourself if you think you are getting unfair treatment.

To read more about workplace information, please visit our website.

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