Get Clued Up on Your 3 Main Legal Rights at Work

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Federal law dictates our legal rights, yet many workers are unaware of what that entails. We expect our employers to be aware of and follow these rules. But sometimes, individual bias, human conduct, and poor communication can blur these lines. You must know how to protect yourself against malpractice. 

Since the global pandemic, redundancies are on the rise, and confidence in job roles is lessening as a result. More of the public are on the job search, and it’s becoming imperative that employees keep themselves safe and assured in their position.

Here’s what you need to know about your rights in the ever-changing workplace:

1. Adverse Action

This action is both your right to protest as an employee and the employer’s right to conduct, with adverse action meaning any circumstance or decision that negatively impacts your employment status. 

The term usually relates to the beginning of the hiring process. You may have undergone background checks before, including for your current position. These screenings allow your employer to access information such as work history, criminal and medical records, drug test results, credit, and more. 

In this context, adverse action would arise if the employer were to change the status of a new candidate based on information gathered in the report. 

Any report may have inaccuracies, giving room for new candidates to dispute the findings. Check that your employer follows procedure during this process too: 

  1. Did they give you a pre-warning?
  2. Have they missed relevant information?
  3. Are they addressing your dispute in a timely manner?

Your employer or the hiring company might have violated your rights if they failed to take these proper steps.

2. Discrimination

Discrimination at work can take many forms. You might have witnessed ageism, sexism, racism, or LGBTQ discrimination yourself. Studies conducted in the US, UK, France, and Germany found that 49% of employed adults have observed discriminatory conduct. 

The solution to discrimination would be diversity and inclusion. Businesses need to empower their workforce by respecting and celebrating an individual’s strengths. This inclusion will benefit employees who want to give back to their companies. 

If your business isn’t so alert to the importance of diversity, you can challenge this by first making a formal complaint. If this is received poorly and you need to go further, you can make a claim at an employment tribunal. 

3. Health and Safety

Your workplace has a duty under law to abide by health and safety regulations and assess risks in the work environment. By identifying hazards, they are responsible for safeguarding you against them. 

Dependent on where your workplace is situated, you will need to contact the respective health and safety body to make a complaint or file a concern. In the US, that would be OSHA; in the UK, HSE. 

Both processes are similar, often requiring you to submit a report online first. 

Find Your Confidence 

It can be unnerving to stand up against an employer. Keep researching. The more up-to-date and knowledgeable you feel, the more in control you will be. At a bare minimum, all employees deserve respect, safety, and legal footing.

Cover Photo by RODNAE Productions

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