Workplace Rights you May not be Aware of

8 months ago
This article was written by a member of the SheKnows Community. It has not been edited, vetted or reviewed by our editorial staff, and any opinions expressed herein are the writer’s own.
When you are employed in a particular place, you should have in mind that you have rights as well, and not just obligations. The reality is that many people have to face various injustices made by their employers, just because they are not aware of the rights they actually have. These rights are backed up by the law, so you shouldn’t be afraid to mention them or to ask your boss, manager, or employer to respect them. So, don’t allow your superiors to take advantage of the fact that you don’t know your rights and to use you as they please. You don't have to be an employment attorney to figure it all out, either. Take a look below and start knowing the rights you have at your workplace.
• Women have the right to get pregnant, at the time of their choice
Unfortunately, there are many cases in which women are discriminated, at work or job interviews, concerning the fact of getting pregnant and deciding to have a baby. If you are a woman, you probably came across many managers that asked you, during your job interview, if you have children, if you plan to have children, and when you intend to get pregnant. These questions are asked with the purpose of seeing whether it is worth employing you or not, because you may intend to get your maternity leave soon and leave the position open once again. The same may happen with women that got pregnant and are working in various workplaces, these women trying to keep their pregnancy hidden as much as possible out of the fear of being fired. Well, do know that it is your right, as a woman, to get pregnant and have a baby when you desire, questions and conditions like the ones mentioned earlier being discriminatory. You should not plan your life as your boss desires, but as you consider best.
• Your paycheck cannot be withhold on the reason of a poor performance
No matter how bad you messed up or what kind of damage you did to the company, your paycheck cannot be withhold for your poor performance.  You may get fired for a big error, that is true, but the company should pay the hours you worked anyhow. Of course, you can reach an agreement with your boss and pay for the damage you made or for the equipment piece of broke, or add some extra hours to your daily schedule until you compensate for your mistake, but this can only happen if both of you agree with the solution. But even if you choose to pay for the damage or error, you still have to cash your paycheck as you would normally do, making the payment afterward, if you agreed with such a solution.
• Your paycheck should not be late
Do have in mind that each state’s laws have specific periods in which the paychecks need to be released, once the pay period comes to an end. There are cases in which the law makes the employer pay you extra money in case your paycheck is delivered too late, which means that the term determined by the law was exceeded. So, regardless of situation, you should get your paycheck in time, according to the law.
• You should be asked or allowed to work overtime
Every employee has a daily schedule for a reason, so no one can make you work overtime. Your employer cannot make you or even ask you to work overtime, because it is your right to leave work once the working hours are complete for the day. If you end up in a situation where you do work overtime, which should be with your consent at all times and without being threatened or obliged by your employer, those extra hours should be paid accordingly. So make sure you are clocked in and clocked out so that the hours you worked per week are visible and they are paid as they should be. But again, it is not legal for your employer to threaten you with your termination if you don’t agree with working overtime.
• The employer cannot keep you from talking about your salary with your co-workers
You may hear many employers telling you that your salary is confidential and that you shouldn’t discuss it with anyone else inside the company. Well, do know that the National Labor Relations Act states that it is not forbidden or illegal for employees to talk about their salaries among themselves, and nor it is legal for employers to make them keep their mouth shut. But, even in such conditions, many employers do have internal rules that are meant to stop their employees to talk about their salaries with their co-workers. Even if such rules exist, you should know that they are against the law, so they cannot be applied in the case of a lawsuit, for instance. These rules have the sole purpose of intimidating the employee, because the company cannot take any measures against you, which are legal as well, if you choose to discuss with your co-workers on this subject.
• Also, the employer cannot keep you from talking about your working conditions with your other co-workers
The NLRA offers protection to employees in this case as well, no matter what rules are applied by your employer. The reason some companies adopt such rules, like forbidding their employees to talk about each other’s working conditions, is to keep the employees getting organized in groups that may go against the company. If some find out that others enjoy better working conditions, unwanted events may happen as part of the employees may be discontent with what the company is offering them. But, if such rules exist within a company, they are not legal, and the employer cannot tie your tongue or punish you for choosing to talk with others within the company about your working conditions.

So, with the help of these lines, you know now more about your right at the workplace, not allowing your employer to manipulate you in unpleasant ways.

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