Understanding Your Rights as an Employee

As an employee, you may feel as if you have no control over what happens in your workplace. In reality, though, you have many rights which your employer is legally obligated to respect. No matter what company you work for, you are entitled to the following services from your employer.


Safety is never a guarantee, particularly if you work in manufacturing or another hazardous industry. However, your employer needs to prioritize worker safety by establishing protocols such as the use of goggles and face masks. If you are hurt while at work, you may qualify for worker’s compensation. If you feel that your injury is because of your boss’s negligence, then you should consider suing employer for injury.

Your employer’s duty to keep you safe also involves making sure that your workplace is free from discrimination and sexual harassment, both of which are damaging to your psyche. If you have experienced either of these illegal behaviors at work, report the incidents to your human resources department. Some companies do not cooperate with reports of discrimination or harassment, in which case you should appeal your case to the Office of Civil Rights.


In the United States, it is illegal to make someone work without paying them. No matter what your position is, your employer must compensate you for your time. The terms of your payment may vary. Generally, employees receive either hourly wages or a yearly salary, the second of which is disbursed in monthly or bimonthly increments. Regardless of your compensation type, make sure that your wages meet local minimum wage requirements before signing your contract. Additionally, even if you use an app to clock in and out, record your hours as you work to ensure that your boss does not cheat you.

Some employers attempt to avoid paying their employees by using human trafficking to exploit people. While slavery is illegal in the US, some companies still profit from it today. At your workplace, be aware of signs of human trafficking, such as an unusual relationship between your boss and another employee, and report suspicious activity to your local police department.

If you work for someone else, you do not have as much control over your work situation. However, you still have the right to be safe at work and receive payment. By becoming more aware of your rights, you can help yourself and others when someone does not respect them.