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Employees: Know Your Rights

No matter what line of work you currently work in, it is important to know all the rights that you’re entitled to. Otherwise, you could be working in very unsuitable conditions and for not as much money as you should be. With that in mind, here is our guide to knowing your rights as an employee. If you think one of the following points is being violated by your employer, it is in your best interests to get in touch with a lawyer to sort things out.

Working Hours

Before you start your job, you will need to sign a contract. Make sure you read your contract thoroughly before you sign on the dotted line. In the contract, it should state what your expected weekly hours are. Once you start work, you are not obliged to work any longer than what is stated in your contract. If you want to work overtime, then that is perfectly fine. But make sure you find out whether you are paid for this extra time. If you aren’t, then you will be working for free. Of course, if you are happy for this, then that’s up to you, and no one can stop you from working more than you should. Whatever happens, though, make sure your employer does not force you to work longer than stated in your contract if you do not want to.

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Safe Workplace

As an employee, you are entitled to work in a safe environment. Whether you work in a workshop or behind a desk in an office, it should follow certain health and safety rules and regulations. If you feel that your workspace may be unsafe, speak to your employer about it. If he or she doesn’t seem too concerned, get in touch with your local authority so that they can check it out. All entryways into and out of the workspace need to be clear at all times so that it can be evacuated in the case of a fire. There should also be enough fire alarms throughout the office or workshop. If you work with any hazardous chemicals or materials, you will need to have training so that you know exactly how to handle them. There should also be appropriate safety and protective clothing for everyone to wear when needed.

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Wages And Salary

Another thing you should regularly check is your wage. There is a legal minimum that employers are required to pay to all of their staff. This minimum will depend on your age and skill set. If you think that you are not being paid the right amount, take a look online to find out what the legal minimum wage is in your state. If you are being paid under this amount, take the issue up with your boss. If they refuse to do anything about it, you should get in touch with a lawyer who can take the case up for you. If you employer refuses to increase your wage after being contacted by a lawyer, then the case will probably end up in court.

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Holiday Time And Pay

You will also be entitled to a certain number of days’ holiday during the year. The law also protects you so that your employer can not give you too fewer days. If you feel that you may not have been given enough in your contract, research the minimum amount of holiday days online. These should not count public and federal holidays, such as Martin Luther King Day. If possible, you can also try to negotiate your amount of holidays before you sign your contract. In some cases, some employers may increase the number of days you can take if you go about negotiating in a professional manner. If your employer refuses to give you the legal minimum, look for work elsewhere. Or else, speak to a lawyer or employment specialist who can then talk to your employer.

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Unfair Dismissal

Unfortunately, sometimes a job will come to an abrupt end if your boss finds a reason to fire you. There can be a variety of reasons why they might choose to do so. Perhaps you continually turned up to work late, or you weren’t performing to your best abilities. In cases such as these, your company will have every right to terminate your contract. However, sometimes some employees may be unfairly dismissed. This means they have been fired without a good reason. If you feel that you have been unfairly dismissed, you can take your case to an employment tribunal. This is just like going to court, but instead of a court of law, you will take your case to a specialist court that deals with employment issues. You will therefore need to find a specialist lawyer. Such as employment tribunal representation by Peninsula Group. Hopefully, your employer will feel under threat by being taken to court. In this scenario, they could pay out and give you a hefty lump sum.

Discrimination

Today’s society has no place for discrimination and bullying, whether it is due to gender, background, or race. If you feel that your company or boss is unfairly discriminating against you, then you have every right to take your case to court. The discrimination can come in many forms. Maybe all of your colleagues have just been given a pay rise or promotion that you missed out on. Or perhaps your company has terminated your contract on grounds of your gender, race, or religion. Whatever the reason, there is no excuse for a company to be judging their employees on anything other than their merits and hard work.

Hopefully, this blog post will have helped you understand a little bit more about rights in the workplace. These employment rights are key to working in a safe, happy, and productive environment. In most cases, many of us will not experience a breach of our rights. But sadly, some employers still try to bend the rules in order to save some money. If you feel like you are being taken advantage of, don’t be so dismayed. There is always some positive action you can take.

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