There’s no manual about how to enter the workforce; most people will just draft their resume and pass job applications until they land an interview for the position they’re eyeing. Then, once they sign their contract and start their first job, they’ll be left to learn the ropes as they go because that’s the unspoken norm.
But because the media usually depicts how adults romanticize the long hours, the demanding schedules, and even the unpaid overtime, the new blood in the workforce might not realize when they’re already being taken advantage of. They could see these events as only natural if they want to climb the corporate ladder and break the glass ceiling.
Fortunately, there are plenty of federal employment laws that aim to protect the rights of employees in the workplace. Most employers will abide by these laws because they are mandatory, but there could be instances when they hide their malicious intents under pretenses. And because the employees might not be aware of their rights, they would fail to see through these pretentious acts.
As an employee, you must know what your rights are for you to act should anyone threaten to violate them. But that in itself could be difficult to do if you’re unaware of where one line ends and another one begins. To help you educate yourself, here are four employment laws that you should know:
The Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA)
Many people believe that it would be impossible to balance having a family and a full-time job, which is why they would resort to only doing one or the other. This is especially true if an individual has decided to focus on caring for their child in the meantime and choose to resign from their job altogether.
But it should be said that the Family and Medical Leave Act of 1993 (FMLA) was designed to allow eligible candidates to take up to 12 weeks of unpaid leave during a 12-month period to prioritize their families. This could be used for the birth or adoption of a child, and to care for sick family members.
Anyone who satisfies the criteria for eligibility can file for an FMLA leave without fearing the loss of their positions. This is because the law states that the employer should restore the employee’s position with the same pay, benefits, and responsibilities that they had before they took their unpaid leave.
The Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA)
The whole point of seeking employment is so that an employee can earn a living and put food on their table regularly. This purpose would be defeated if said employees will have to deal with unfair pay practices in the workplace simply because they are unaware of their right to receive equal pay.
The Fair Labor Standards Act of 1938 (FLSA) was created to protect the rights of employees in the workplace, which include minimum wages, overtime pay, and definite limitations for child labor. The FSLA seeks to protect all workers from employers who want to exploit them through unfair pay and unpaid labor.
The Affordable Care Act (ACA)
No matter where you are in the world, healthcare is a privilege that not everyone can afford. This is especially true for those who are only receiving minimum wage and therefore, could not afford to pay their own health coverage. Luckily, the Affordable Care Act of 2010 (ACA) was passed into law.
ACA aims to make the minimal level of health insurance a right for full-time employees in most, if not all, medium to large businesses in the country. With this act, those who are eligible could enjoy premium tax credits and cost-sharing reductions on their monthly health insurance bills.
The Civil Rights Act of 1964
Any kind of discrimination should not be tolerated, especially if it’s taking deserved employment opportunities away from the employees. This right is protected by the Civil Rights Act of 1964, which aims to prohibit discrimination in the workplace based on age, race, color, religion, sex, and national origin.
The Civil Rights Act of 1964 is an all-encompassing law that tackles discrimination, which is why it can also be called the Anti-discrimination Law. This law makes it illegal for employers to retaliate or perform any form of harassment when an employee asserts their rights in the workplace.
By knowing what your rights are, you can learn how to protect yourself from unfair practices and being taken advantage of. Understandably, your job is important because it’s how you earn your living, but no job is ever worth losing your dignity or compromising your health, well-being, and safety.
Ayla Anderson is an avid reader and an enthusiastic blogger who writes articles on home improvement, business, Family and beauty. She is also an MBA student who spends much of her time giving advice to newly small businesses on how to grow their businesses. You can follow me on Twitter.