Unfortunately, employers taking advantage of their employees or otherwise treating them unfairly is not a novel concept in the United States. In 2010, The New York Times published a story titled “U.S. Outlines Plan to Curb Violations of Labor Law.” 2010, as you may remember, was one of the worst years of the Great Recession, leading workers to fight harder for their jobs, especially if they were harassed, discriminated against, or fired illegally.
Four years later, things are remarkably unchanged. In the hopes of improving working conditions for all Americans, President Obama is now trying to push through an increase of the federal minimum wage, reform usurious overtime laws, and better protect American workers from unethical employers.
Whether you work in a nursing home, at a Fortune 500 company, or you flip burgers for a living, you should know about your rights as an employee. While, as any employment lawyer can tell you, employment law is exhaustive and complicated, there are some common violations of employee laws you can keep an eye out for to better protect yourself.
Three of the Most Common Violations of U.S. Employee Laws
- Demanding Too Much Information for Medical Leave
- Social Media Compliance Issues
- Domestic Discrimination
We’ve all been there. You become ill or you get injured and suddenly you need to take some unexpected time off from work. Your employer is well within their rights to ask for proof from your doctor, usually in the form of a note, that you need that time off, but that’s where it ends. As FindLaw.com writes, your employer doesn’t need to know about your illness. They simply need to know that you have a legitimate problem. Taking it any further is illegal.
Social media has become a real headache for business owners. With over two-billion people now using Facebook and Twitter, according to Statistic Brain, to talk about everything from their latest meal to their life problems, it’s only natural that people will likewise use these services to complain about work. As the National Labor Relations Board points out, unless you’re slandering or writing libelous comments about your employer on social media, what you do on these platforms is considered protected action. In short, it’s illegal to fire you for something you’ve done on social media, with a few exceptions.
According to Inside Counsel, a popular legal information website, one of the most common violations of employee laws in the United States is domestic discrimination. As issues like the shooting at Sandy Hook, the Boston Marathon bombing, and others become increasingly common, employment rights attorneys are seeing a spike in employers refusing to hire or otherwise discriminating against victims of these types of attacks. It goes without saying that this type of discrimination is directly contrary to the laws outlined in Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964.
Remember, rights for employees are called “rights,” not “privileges,” for a reason. If you believe your employer is guilty of violating these employee laws or any other, contact employment rights attorneys right away. They may be able to help you find the justice you deserve. Good refereneces.