Employment laws guide the relationship between employees and employers by establishing clear boundaries for lawful behavior. Understand employment laws to protect your rights as an employee and address any potential violations.
There are five common employment law violations to watch for.
1. Sexual harassment
Employment law protects employees from sexual harassment. It does not have to be blatant or direct behavior to qualify. Subtle actions such as unnecessary physical contact, unwanted advancements and even suggestive conversations may be sexual harassment.
A leading reason why employees don’t report wrongful behavior is fear of retaliation, which employment law prohibits. Even simple things like changes to a less-desirable shift, lost bonuses and demotions may qualify as retaliation after reporting wrongdoing.
3. FMLA violations
The Family and Medical Leave Act is a federal law that requires employers to preserve an employee’s position and benefits for up to 12 weeks for qualifying situations, including births and family member illnesses. Obstruction of your access to benefits, failure to inform you of your FMLA rights and retaliation for taking FMLA time may be violations of employment law.
The firing, refusal to hire or wrongful treatment of an individual due to age, gender, religious beliefs, sexual orientation or pregnancy may be discrimination and prohibited by law.
5. Wrongful termination
Wrongful termination can be hard to prove in employment-at-will states, but termination due to retaliation, whistleblowing or discrimination may be a violation of employment law.
Understand your rights as an employee and the protections afforded by employment law so that you know when a violation has occurred.