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Employee rights violations and the consequences

Employees have many avenues to air their grievances. It’s therefore important for businesses to understand the rights their employees have.

The U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) lists some specific rights employees have under federal law. Violations of these rights can result in potential liability. It may also damage the company’s reputation.

What are an employee’s rights?

The rights employees have include:

  • The freedom to work without facing discrimination and harassment
  • Freedom from retaliation when reporting workplace discrimination
  • Receive equal pay for comparable work
  • The right to keep personal and medical information confidential
  • Reasonable accommodations pertaining to religious belief, medical condition or disability

Actions employers should take pertaining to employees

Employers need to take precautions when it comes dealing with workers. A Forbes article from earlier this year highlighted specific practices to avoid. While applicable to all companies, these practices especially apply to newer and emerging businesses.

For example, employers must be careful when interviewing prospective employees. You want to avoid asking any questions that could conceivably impact any of the worker’s rights. And employers may wish to negotiate employment agreements. Such agreements can outline conditions of employment and outline the method for dispute resolution.

Having well-drafted policies can prevent harassment and discrimination from arising. Such policies can also document that you take such matters seriously. Properly classifying workers either as employees or as independent contractors is also essential. Improper classification could result in lengthy and costly wage and hour disputes. We are seeing more and more lawsuits pertaining to misclassifications.

Experienced employment law attorneys can provide guidance and representation to resolve such matters. As employment issues can disrupt your ability to conduct business, anticipating potential issues is key. Employees must have in place a strategy for resolving grievances quickly and efficiently.