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How to Protect Your Rights in The Workplace

No matter how long you have been financially independent, everyone needs to know their rights in the workplace, which can be updated to fit the time of occurrence. You must be granted a safe work environment that is free of discrimination and harassment. Knowing your rights is crucial, as there might be some you are unfamiliar with. 

Read on to learn what your rights are and how to claim them in the workplace if the need arises. 

The Right to a Safe Work Environment 

It is your employer’s responsibility to maintain a safe and secure environment for his or her staff. If you feel you are exposed to undue danger, then you have the right to refuse to work until appropriate measures are taken. An employer’s lack of concern for their employees’ health and safety can and should result in legal action being taken against them. You have every right to ensure that your work environment is not detrimental to your physical or mental health, as well as your safety. 

The Right to Not Face Discrimination 

You have the right not to be discriminated against under any circumstances. Under the law, you are protected from being treated differently based on your age, race, or sex. Employers are also prohibited from discriminating against your religion or any condition you are in, such as pregnancy or disability. 

It’s important to know your rights to be able to identify whether or not you are being treated fairly at work. DEI initiatives a great way for you and your whole workplace to learn what is and isn’t discrimination. If you find yourself to be a victim of discrimination in the workplace, you have the right to seek legal advice and take legal action. If your employer is permitting discriminatory practices or engaging in such practices themselves, you can and should report on it. It is also illegal to be discriminated against for your marital status or sexual orientation. 

The Right to Privacy in Regards to Personal Matters

You are privy to certain rights in the workplace when it comes to personal matters. While an employer can ensure that nothing work-related is kept private, they cannot invade your privacy or your personal life. Your personal matters and private life are not a subject that your employer or another employee has the right to know or misuse and hold over you. It is important to understand that it is illegal for anyone to hinder your autonomy, be too controlling over your work environment, or deprive you of your right to privacy when you engage in productivity of any kind. 

The Right to a Harassment-Free Work Environment 

Harassment of any kind is not permitted in any work environment. So you must have a thorough comprehension of what is crossing the line. Harassment can come in the form of sexual harassment, sexual assault, bullying, and invasion of personal space. If someone in the workplace is making you feel uncomfortable or violated, and the situation is not dealt with, you have the right to speak up and demand protection. 

The Right to Take Adequate Time Off

One of the cornerstone rights in the workplace is that you are guaranteed is to take adequate time off. Particularly if you are ill, if a family member is sick, or if you have yet to take time off and would like to take those days off consecutively. Your employer has to provide you with adequate time off and they have no right to control over your free time – this includes after hours. 

The Right to Fair Pay

Adequate pay for adequate work is compulsory. If you find that you are unfairly paid for your service, that your male counterparts are receiving different pay for the same job, or you find that your employer deducts money for an unjust cause, then you have the right to take legal action. Your professionalism and work ethic should be met with fair pay from your employer. Keep in mind that you would have to prove that you have provided substantial work or a service that you are demanding payment for. 

The Right to Maternity Leave 

For women, your right to maternity leave should be non-negotiable. As mentioned above, discrimination regarding pregnancy is not permitted. This law protects the rights of women to take full-paid maternity leave. Currently, in Tennessee, female employees have up to 4 months paid maternity leave each pregnancy and ensures women are guaranteed a year of employment with up to 12 weeks of that being unpaid.  

It’s important to know what your rights in the workplace are according to the state laws in your area – as certain laws will vary from region to another. However, generally, you are protected by law under the above circumstances. Therefore, you have every right to take legal action if you find yourself facing any discrimination or unjust treatment.