Tuesday, February 5, 2008

Standing up for your rights as an employee

Indeed, the employer has ownership of capital, stocks and other important assets of a business, but without the employees, these capital, stocks and assets would not be turned into new consumer goods or products.

Unless an employer is handling a relatively small business, wherein he or she also has a share in the important aspects of the production or services, it is the employees who has a major contributing factor in doubling, even multiplying the capital and turn it into profits.

Thus, the employee has an inherent right to demand the implementation of particular legal protections from his/her employer. These rights may depend on the capacity of the employer, the state that governs the workplace and the employee's profession in the business.

Here are several examples of basic employees' rights:

- right to be protected from discrimination because of race, nationality, skin color, origin, gender, religious beliefs, pregnancy, age, and disability (in some cases, also involves, marital status and sexual orientation)

- right to work in a place free of harassment

- right to receive minimum wages, overtime payment for work exceeding 40 hours in a week or eight hours in a day.

- right to humane conditions at work and safe and secure workplace

- right to avail leave in case of sickness or to care for a loved one's serious illness or after the birth or adoption of a child

These are among the basic employee rights that must be implemented in every workplace, whether big or small, labor-intensive or not.

However if you think that one or more of these legal rights are being violated by your employer, then you must learn to assert these rights. Not standing up to resolve conditions, which trample your rights as workers, would easily make an employer be more confident in implementing other policies violating employee rights and unfair labor practices.

Here are several ways in handling a conflict to assert your employees' rights with your employer.

• Talking with your employer – having an intelligent and reasonable discussion with your employer can be a big step in resolving the wrongs you think are occurring. Companies usually would want to stay on the boundaries of the law and as much as possible, avoid any legal complications.

Tips on presenting your concerns:

- Research and know your rights in the workplace. This will help you in presenting your agenda with your employer, confidently and clearly.

- It helps to stick to the significant facts of the matter and not stray on trivial issues. Before the set meeting, write down the problems you are encountering and the recommendations you think is effective in order to resolve them.

Let someone look up your lists in order to offer more objective and concrete overview of the things you have listed.

- Do not divulge on emotional outbursts and unfounded accusations since it would not help you in getting your agenda across

- Make sure to come up with certain agreements on the next events to happen regarding the case you presented.

• Following up your initial discussion – check out the progress of your initial agreements during the first meeting and set up another meeting as soon as possible to discuss them.

• Documenting the problem – if talking it out with the employer or representative did not help to resolve your problems or concerns, and your employment status seem to be deteriorating then start documenting your case.

Collate important things that you think would help your claims.

• Do not forget deadlines of legal nature – be sure to know the deadlines of legal actions that is connected with your particular case. Once you have filed a claim or lawsuit, remember all the important dates and deadlines by constantly keeping in touch with your employment lawyer and / or paralegal advocate.

Know more about your employee rights and benefits through the LA employment lawyers of Los Angeles Lawyers website.

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