Most employers in Florida and across the country have an obligation to treat their employees fairly. This obligation stems from numerous laws pertaining to employment. While there are certain situations in which employers may be exempt from adhering to specific laws, it is important for workers to understand when that is the case and when it is not.
Knowing your rights and protections as an employee could go a long way in ensuring that your employer does not attempt to take advantage of you or other workers. Even if you only have a basic understanding of these protections, it may be enough to let you recognize red flags that may appear in the workplace. If you have concerns, gaining additional information and further explanation regarding a particular concern could help you determine your best course of action.
What laws protect you as a worker?
Employment laws have a variety of purposes, and often, it is up to the employee to enforce their rights if an employer attempts to violate them. It is also important to know that some violations of the law may be obvious, whereas others could come across more subtly. Some important laws to be aware of include the following:
- The Occupational Safety and Health Act works to ensure that employers follow specific safety guidelines for certain industries.
- Various federal statutes work to protect whistleblowers from employment repercussions if they bring violations made by their employer to light.
- The Civil Rights Act works to prevent employers from mistreating workers based on protected characteristics, including race, age, religion, gender, color or national origin.
- The Fair Labor Standards Act requires that employers pay minimum wage and that non-exempt workers receive overtime pay for any additional hours over full time that they work.
Of course, other laws may apply to a specific situation, and you would be wise to fully assess any issues you believe exist in your workplace. You may be able to report a concern to your manager or the human resources department in hopes of having the matter addressed internally. Unfortunately, not all employers take such reports seriously, or they fail to handle the matter in an appropriate matter. If this happens, you may need to consider taking legal action. An employment law claim may allow you to pursue compensation.