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Employee Rights 101

Knowing your rights as an employee are essential to your experience at work. Even when you are at a job that you enjoy there are some aspects that can put a damper on things. With acts such as wrongful termination, workplace retaliation, sexual harassment, discrimination, and wage disputes, your experience as an employee can deteriorate quickly.

Wrongful Termination

The loss of a job, especially one you love, can be a detriment to you and your family. Wrongful termination occurs when an employer terminated a relationship with an employee for an unlawful reason.

Some of these reasons include:

  • Firing an employee for reporting harassment

  • Laying off a worker in favor of a younger hire

  • Firing workers based on religion

  • Firing an employee for requesting reasonable disability accommodation

  • Terminating an employee on FMLA leave

These reasons, and more, are all unlawful ways in which your employer can terminate you. These examples are all symptoms of much larger issues within company management, and they never have to be reflected onto you. Even though your employer is in a position of authority above you at work, doesn’t mean they are above the law.

Workplace Retaliation

Workplace retaliation can be as subtle or overt as an employer wishes to make it. It is important for employees to understand exactly what it looks like to make it as easy as possible to protect themself.

Workplace retaliation can manifest itself in ways such as:

  • Exclusion from company events, meetings, or projects

  • Sudden negative performance reviews

  • Unexplained reprimands

  • Termination

  • Physical or verbal threats

  • Increase in discrimination or harassment

  • Denied promotions or raises

Cases such as these all stem from a personal problem that your employer may have with you for whatever reason. Even though your employer has the freedom to have their own opinion about anyone, they should never be allowed to act on those opinions negatively in the workplace. If these actions are being taken against you by your employer, you deserve to take legal action to rectify what they have done.

Sexual Harassment

Sexual harassment in the workplace is an all too common occurrence that no one should ever have to endure. This type of harassment can create a hostile work environment when claims arise that there are unwanted sexual advances occurring at work. These types of claims must not only be offensive to the employee making the complaint but to any reasonable person in the same situation.

The other main type of sexual harassment is “Quid Pro Quo.” This is when a supervisor requests sexual favors in exchange for some type of employment action such as a promotion/demotion, increase in salary, additional fringe benefits, PTO, and use of the company credit card.

There are numerous ways in which sexual harassment can rear its head at work, but here are some of the most common examples:

  • Unwanted touching

  • Repeated hugs

  • Dirty jokes

  • Constant comments on one’s appearance

  • Catcalls

  • Unwanted gifts

  • Circulating inappropriate photos

This type of workplace violation can be the most common, and also the most damaging. If you are a victim of sexual harassment in the workplace, do not hesitate to call us today!

Discrimination

Despite the presence of federal laws on discrimination, they still exist in the workplace. The root of discrimination in the workplace can be race, color, religion, sex, national origin, age, identity, and perceived ability/disability, among others. It is illegal for any employer to discriminate against an employee on the basis of any of these categories, and it should never be tolerated in the workplace.

Wage Disputes

Working at your job may be the source of fulfillment and enjoyment in your life, but it is also a way of paying bills and making ends meet. When you are not being paid what you are owed, it can be a detriment to the lives of you and your family.

Employers are bound to uphold certain rules when it comes to paying their employees, here are just a few:

  • Minimum wage and overtime - Workers are covered by the Fair Labor Standards Act and are entitled to a minimum wage and overtime rate (usually time and a half) after working over 40 hours in one workweek.

  • Paid sick leave - New Jersey workers are entitled to accrue one hour of paid sick leave for every 30 hours worked, and up to 40 hours each year. Employers can provide policies that offer additional sick leave time, but they are never allowed to offer less.

  • Unpaid or withheld wages - New Jersey law mandates the manner, time, and method payment, as well as forbids the withholding of wages for illegal deductions. Illegal deductions include instances such as cash register shortages, breakage, or spillage.

  • Fringe Benefits - If your employer has agreed to provide a separate benefits package, the New Jersey Wage Payment Law and Selected Labor Laws will enforce those benefits. These benefits include holidays, vacation time, personal days, and reimbursement of expenses.

Contact Our New Jersey Team Today!

If you have been a victim of any of these types of workplace injustice, our team has the experience and dedication to help get you through. You did not deserve whatever you have received, but you do deserve the just compensation for your suffering.

If you want to learn more about your options, contact us today through our website or give us a call at (856) 512-1461
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