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Employee Rights

Many people are confused about what their rights are in the workplace.  You may have rights you didn’t even know about, or think you have rights that don’t exist.

You DO have the right to not be discriminated against based on your race, age, sex, nationality, disability, pregnancy, religion, or if you have objected to discrimination. But this right only applies if your employer is large enough. In most cases, your employer has to have at least 15 employees (for age, 20 employees).

You DON’T have the right to be free of discrimination against you for being you. There are no protections for personality conflicts, weight, appearance,  non-religious beliefs, and other non-protected categories.

You DO have the right not to be harassed if you are a whistleblower, took covered Family and Medical Leave or made a worker’s compensation claim.

You have the right to take reasonable bathroom breaks. OSHA covers workplace safety and has requirements that restroom facilities be available. There’s no specific OSHA regulation about bathroom breaks, but if your employer won’t allow them, you might report them to OSHA.

You DON’T have the right to be fired only for good cause. Most states are at-will, meaning you can be fired for any reason or no reason at all unless you have a contract saying otherwise.

You DO have the right to get a description of your health insurance, pension, and other benefit plans.

You DON’T have the right to any specific benefits from your employer. Your employer does not have to provide health insurance, vacation pay, sick pay, severance pay, pension or other benefits unless they have an existing plan.

You DON’T have the right to keep your insurance if the company cancels the health insurance plan.

You DO have the right to be paid for all hours worked and to be paid overtime for hours worked over 40 hours if you aren’t exempt.

You DON’T have the right to a specific schedule, to not work extra hours, or to come in late.

You DO have the right to seek reasonable accommodations for your disability that allow you to perform all the duties of your job.

You DON’T have the right to be excused from any essential duties of your job, to light duty, or to accommodations that create an undue hardship for your employer.

You DO have the right to report illegal activities of the employer to specific government entities, to object to or refuse to participate in certain illegal activities of the employer, and to not be retaliated against for doing so.

You DO have some rights to privacy of your medical information.

You DO have the right to file bankruptcy without being fired because of it.

You DON’T have the right to keep your criminal record a secret unless it’s expunged.

You DON’T have the right to dress any way you want.

You DON’T have the right to privacy in your off-duty behavior. You can be fired for things you do outside of work, such as illegal activity.

You DON’T have the right to privacy in your workplace internet use or email.

You DON’T have the right to free speech. Your postings on Facebook, Twitter, and other websites can get you fired.


If your employee rights have been violated please give my office, The Law Offices of Todd M. Friedman a call today at (877) 449-8898.

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