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Being aware of your employee rights

Whether it is your first job or not, every time individuals in New York or elsewhere are hired, they are afforded certain rights in the workplace. These rights not only help create a safe work environment but also invoke specific rights for each individual employee. If these rights are not afforded or protected in the work environment, an employee might have legal recourses.

Unfortunately, many Americans are not completely aware of their rights in the workplace. However, the truth is that the federal government has been affording employee rights since the beginning of the 20th Century. While there are countless important rights provided to employees, there are five major ones that are extremely relevant in the work environment today.

Employees are afforded the right to privacy. This is not a blanket right and does not mean that an employee has privacy in all respects; however, it may cover personal belongings, such as a purse or briefcase. In cases where an employee is using an employer's Internet or computer system, the right to privacy does not exist. This makes emails, instant messages and even Facebook messages open to your employer.

The right to a safe workplace is a well-known right. This right is particularly important for those working with toxic chemicals or in dangerous industries. Another obvious and extremely important right is to be free from discrimination. This means all forms of discrimination, but the focus tends to remain on an employee's race, color, religion, sex or national origin.

Employees also have the right to be free from retaliation if they file a claim or complaint against an employer. The most common example of this is whistleblowing and the employee being protected from relation from reporting illegal acts in the workplace. Finally, employees have the right to receive a fair wage for the work that they are performing.

If you believe that your employee rights have been violated or you are currently in a dispute regarding an employment law issue, it is important that you understand your rights and options. This will not only help you resolve the matter but also help you recover damages suffered from the matter.

Source:, "5 Rights Of Employees: Are You Being Treated Fairly In The Workplace?" Kasia Kovacs, March 17, 2017

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