As an employee, you need to stand up for your rights. It can be difficult if you’re in an oppressive environment with an employer keen to take advantage. But that doesn’t mean that you should take it. There is some risk involved with pushing to advocate for yourself and your colleagues. However, that’s mostly for those willing to back down. If you’re feeling that you’re being used unfairly, here’s how you can fight back.
Know your rights
A key to making sure that you’re not being taken advantage of is to know your rights within the workplace. These include things like minimum wage and safety in the office, which most workers know about. But it also means making sure your health coverage is up to standard and your social security is going where it needs to. Educate yourself on your rights to be better prepared for any troubles. Unfortunately there are a lot of companies that are willing to take advantage of employees based on the fact that they don’t know their rights or the laws that govern them.
Know your employer’s responsibilities
Knowing your rights is one thing, but when it comes to the workplace, you need a firm grasp on what responsibilities fall on your employer. Again, this includes minimum wage, holidays, breaks, etc. But one thing you should keep a firm eye on is whether your employer has been following their responsibilities for health and safety. This includes a safe environment kept free of obstacles and having first aid training on offer.
So many people are focused on talking about their wages and responsibilities when starting a new job. The thing that more employees need to be talking about after a successful interview are benefits. Make sure that you understand the benefits being offered to you and that they fit your needs. If you can’t negotiate them, it might be better to leave that job to the side. Everyone had different needs when it comes to benefits, whether it be flexible working hours, telecommuting or medical coverage. Understand everything being offered to you before you accept as it is often too late to negotiate after the fact.
Don’t be afraid to push
An oppressive workplace space can make it seem dangerous, even suicidal to a career, to push issues that are important. If the law is on your side, don’t be afraid. A lot of well-meaning workers are afraid to get compensation for an accident that’s not their fault. But a personal injury attorney could make it all the easier for you. Just remember there are laws against any repercussions a disgruntled employer might try.
If you have been let go it is wise to check employment laws and standards to be sure you have been offered a fair package. Don’t be pressured into signing something on the spot. You should be given the time to review any type of settlement, lay off package and severance pay package being offered. A lot of companies think that there are hard and fast rules when offering severance pay but laws have been changing. Besides length of service, other factors have to also be taken into consideration; age, education level, the reality of finding a job at an equal level. If you are not sure it may be a good idea to consult with an employment lawyer.
When it comes to work, some of the most common employment cases of taking advantage of employees, comes down to pay. Unpaid, docked or late wages are not just a serious detraction from your life. They can be downright illegal. If you’re having pay issues with your employer, Workplace Fairness could have the answer to your queries. Never settle for being unpaid for your valuable labor and time. Employers have to follow laws for pay, overtime and holidays.
One of the most serious offenses in the workplace is harassment. From sexual to discriminatory, it’s important to identify when you are being harassed so you can take action. Harassment can be part of what makes employees afraid to speak out, so letting it slide when you see it even happening to others is unjustifiable. Standing up for your colleagues is the same as standing up for your own rights. If you witness workplace harassment, and don’t stand up to it, it is the same as condoning the behavior. Doing what is right can be hard if you think that your employer will take repercussions against you but working in an environment that tolerates harassment is unhealthy, toxic and will ultimately affect employee morale and productivity.
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