Many workers in the United States do not realize that they may be entitled to several workplace rights. Depending upon where you live, the kind of job you have, and the size of your employer, the rights of workers where you are employed may include:
If you think that any of your workplace rights have been violated, you should follow the following steps.
First, Talk to Your Employer
Many employers have extensive training in the rights of workers. The first thing that you should do once you think that your workplace rights have been violated (such as discrimination) is to talk to your employer about the situation. Under most circumstances, an open and honest conversation can resolve difficulties and avoid the need for any legal action. Almost all companies want to stay within the bounds of the law and will work to avoid legal troubles.
However, there are still occasions when an employer can be truly antagonistic and uncaring about the rights of workers. We will discuss what to do in these situations a little later.
Many people find that talking to their employer can be a difficult and stressful task. To make things easier, here are a few tips that you can keep in mind when tackling this problem:
Second, Be Sure to Keep Your Own Records
Even if you have presented your employer with all the documents you think are relevant to the workplace rights issue, be sure to keep copies of everything for your own records. In addition, take notes of important conversations that you have regarding the situation. If you can't take notes during the conversation, jot them down immediately after and remember to include important details such as the date, time, place and names of people who took part in the conversation. Also, gather any documents that you think may be relevant such as e-mails, employee handbooks, letters, company policy statements and others.
However, you need to be careful that you only retain documents that you have valid access to. There have been cases of workplace discrimination that have been compromised in the past because a person copied documents that were confidential, even though they related to the discrimination claim.
Also, if any of your co-workers saw or heard anything relating to your workplace rights situation, ask them to write down what they heard in signed and dated statements. These could include everything from water-cooler gossip to talk of open age discrimination in the company.
Third -- Deadlines, Deadlines, Deadlines!
When you have taken the above measures in talking openly with your employer and you still feel that nothing has been done to address your workplace rights, it may be time to consider taking legal action. The rights of workers are a very serious matter and the law may come down hard on employers who violate them, but there are still deadlines you must meet. The law in every state sets a statute of limitation for various types of legal actions which gives the amount of time in which a person has to bring a lawsuit or else give up the claim. These time periods can range from weeks to years, and which time period applies to your case in will depend both on your location as well as the rights that were violated and to what degree.
Have an Employment Attorney Evaluate Your Labor Claim
If you believe your rights as an employee have been violated, you may want to consult with an employment law attorney about your situation. The lawyer will be able to help you determine the strength of your legal claim, as well as point out any deadlines that may be approaching. Get a handle on your potential claim today with a legal evaluation.