Labor law in the United States can be quite complex, and every employee has basic rights and entitlements. It is a good idea to carefully read your employee handbook and to communicate with management and human resources. The workplace can be an intimidating environment, especially for new employees, but here is an overview of some basic workplace rights:
- The right to openly discuss working conditions. Employees are at liberty to discuss working conditions, hazards and even pay rates. If employers try to prevent you from discussing salaries, they may be breaking the law, according to the National Labor Relations Board.
- The right to a copy of documents. Workers are legally entitled to a copy of any and all legal documents they sign for work. It is smart to hang onto all of these documents, as you never know what may come in handy later.
- Whistleblower protection laws. These laws protect employees that report dangerous or illegal business practices or hazardous working conditions from any and all forms of retaliation, including termination. This only applies to reporting illegal activity though—you can still be fired if you complain about your fat boss’s breath on a social media site, for example.
This is just a very brief synopsis of a few labor laws and rights. Laws vary by state. If you feel any of your rights have been violated at work, please contact our firm for a free consultation.
Tip of the day: If you are new to a job, be sure and ask a lot of questions. Communication is key!
Kesluk, Silverstein & Jacob—Los Angeles employment attorneys