What are Employee Rights?
Employee rights are the personal freedoms and privileges given to individuals who work in the United States, as well as other developed nations. Employee rights are affirmed through employment laws; in a general sense, employee rights are awarded to protect the working individual’s interests and safety. The most basic and fundamental employee rights will offer the working individual the right to time off work, to contribute work without harassment, and the right to receive minimum as well as overtime pay. Those individuals who work and who do not receive such employee rights possess the ability to file lawsuits against their respective employers. If found guilty of violating these basic employee rights, the underlying employer will be forced to provide the respective employee with monetary compensation and punitive damages.
Employee rights are enforced at both the federal and local level; each state posts its own minimum wage scale–which must at least meet the the federal scale enacted by the United States government. Employee rights regarding overtime, although up to the discretion of the particular employer, must also meet the federal guidelines instituted by the United States government. All employees, except for those exempt such as salaried supervisors, are entitled to compensation for hours worked beyond the hours required in the individual’s particular employment contract.
Another fundamental employee right is the right to earn a minimum wage. It is illegal, based on employee rights and coordinating employment laws, to pay individuals below the federal and local minimum wage level. No state may pay employers below the national minimum wage right, although the potential for workers in the service industry to collect tips, does enable an employer to pay a wage lower than the national level.
Time off Work:
Employee rights mandate that all employers allow their respective employees to take time off from work. The reasons for requesting time off can include the need for a vacation, family emergencies or medical leave. Regardless of the reason, an employer must satisfy this basic employee right; the amount of time off will vary based on company and the stipulations which elucidate on time off will be documented in the employment contract.
All employees possess the right to enjoy a workplace that is free from harassment. Basic employee rights will protect workers against sexual harassment or harassment fueled by age, race or gender discrimination. If a worker is being harassed, the individual has the right to file claims with an administrative body to initiate the filing of a civil suit.