When you decide to enter into someone’s employ, you form a two-sided contract. On the one hand, you promise to give your employer your very best — to show up on time, to discharge your duties to the best of your abilities, to ensure that you represent the company in a good light. On the other hand, your employer agrees to uphold your rights as an employee, adhering to all state and federal labor laws and paying you a fair wage in return for your labor.
Unfortunately, because unemployment still remains so high at 12.2%, many employees are too afraid to speak up when their employer violates employee laws. Then again, you might not know when your rights as an employee are being violated. As any employment rights attorneys can tell you, many Americans misunderstand some rather important laws, like the following.
Three Employee Laws You Might Be Getting Completely Wrong
- Your Employer Can’t Treat You Any Different if You’re Pregnant
- Forcing You to Keep Your Salary Secret May Be Illegal
- Overtime Exempt Means They Can Make You Work as Much as They Please
Did you know that, according WomensHealth.gov, so long as the company you work for has more than 15 people working for them, you can’t be treated any differently if you become pregnant? This means you can’t be turned down for a job or a promotion. It also means that your boss can’t cut back on your responsibilities if your doctor clears you to work as normal. This may seem like common sense, but a lot of disreputable businesses get away with this every year.
Have you ever gotten a raise and your boss has told you you need to keep it a secret from your co-workers? According to NPR, depending on your state and whether or not you hold a government job, that sort of request may be completely illegal. This is one of the most common tactics used to maintain the status quo of paying women less than men for the same work. Subsequently, it is likely a violation of your rights as an employee.
If you were to ask employment attorneys what some of the most common issues they see these days are, they’d undoubtedly have to tell you wage theft cases. As Lexis Nexis reports, because of the economic situation, many businesses have been trying to squeeze their overtime exempt employees for every extra penny they’re worth, instead of doing the right thing and hiring extra help. Multiple rulings over the last few years have shown, however, that the word “exempt” has its limitations and pushing those limitations might mean it’s time for you to find a lawyer and get the overtime pay you’re due.
Have you made a career out of fighting for employment rights for employees? What are some of the most common misconceptions you’ve come across? Let us know in the comment section below. Refernce materials.