Every worker in the country is given a certain extent of rights as an employee. Some of those rights come from federal mandates, like the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) or the Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA). Other employment laws are rooted in state-level legislation.
With all things considered, there are quite a lot of employment laws, rules, and regulations every employer needs to know about and follow to the letter. It might be no surprise, then, that some employers inadvertently commit employment law violations that harm their employees.
Here are five common ways that your employer might be violating your rights:
- Unpaid wages: The pay you can earn in a given workday may vary depending on your role within a company, how many hours you work each week, and whether or not you take meal breaks. Due to all of these nuances in hour and wage laws, mistakes can and do happen. For example, you might be slated to not earn overtime pay due to a coding issue when you were first hired. Or, your commission could be filed as a bonus, getting heavily taxed.
- Protected leaves of absence: Some employees have the right to leave their job for a temporary stretch of time in order to care for themselves and their family, or to tend to other private matters. Your employer must know what leaves of absence (LOA) to which you are entitled, and how to make reasonable accommodations for you regarding them. The details of an LOA can often confuse even the best Human Resources (HR) representative, leading to LOA rule violations.
- Worker classifications: In recent headlines, more and more news stories have arisen about employees being mislabeled as independent contractors. Typically, an independent contractor isn’t granted as many rights as an employee, such as the right to sick pay, medical benefits, overtime, etc. Whether the misclassification is intentional or not, the damage done can be significant, taking thousands of dollars’ worth of wages and benefits out of an employee’s pocket each month. Your employer needs to know precisely what defines an independent contractor and what defines an employee to avoid this all-too-common mistake.
- Severance packages: When an employee decides to leave their place of employment, they might be entitled to a severance package as a way to send them off with financial stability. Many states do not have laws that require severance packages, though. In California, for example, you only will get a severance package if your initial employment contract promised one. Employers themselves might forget that a severance package clause was written into an employee’s contract and inadvertently forget to provide one when that employee quits.
- Over-restrictive contracts: Companies have the ability to try to protect their intellectual property, profits, and people from harm caused by outside parties, namely competitors. They do not, however, have the legal ability to make a contract that oversteps your individual rights to protect their own. Many non-compete agreements, for example, limit employees too much after they end their employment, perhaps banning them from finding any similar work within the entire county.
You Deserve the Best – Speak Up to Get It
It is important to realize that whether an employer intentionally or unintentionally violates your rights as an employee, the impact it has on you is the same. You should always consider standing up for yourself to make things right. That’s where Marder Employment Law of Monterey County comes in. Our law firm has proudly stood by the side of employees and workers just like you for more than 25 years. Call (888) 796-4010 today if you want to see how we can help handle employment law cases, disputes, and lawsuits.