Without knowledge of what your rights at work are, how will you ever be able to exercise those rights and ensure you get treated in the fair and proper way you’re entitled to? It’s something too many people ignore.

We’re going to look at some of the things that everyone should understand about their rights in the workplace. This extra knowledge will help you to stand up for yourself, and help you if you get into a situation where legal proceeding relating to a breach of employment law have to be pursued.

Read on now and make a note of anything you learn so that you never end up being taken advantage of by an unfair and unscrupulous employer in the future.

Working Hours

Anyone under 18 can only work a certain number of hours. Things like the working time directive might apply to you as well, depending on where you’re working. This is when you’re limited to a maximum of 48 hours per week to avoid exploitation by poor employers. This protects you from unfair bosses that make you work more hours without pay for all those hours. That is against the law.

You’re Protected From Discrimination

Discriminatory behavior in the workplace is against the law. You can’t be rejected for a job based on your race, gender, religion or beliefs. There is no situation in which discrimination has to be accepted as normal. The law protects you from all discrimination, and legal assistance is available if needed.

Minimum Wage

There are different minimum wage rules in place depending on where you live. Always research your state’s minimum wage laws to make sure that your boss is not trying to pay you less. Even if a lower wage is written into a contract that you’ve signed, that doesn’t mean the employer can get away with paying you that amount if it’s below the minimum wage, no matter what they tell you.

Your Employment Contract is Effective From the Moment It’s Signed

Even if your new job has not yet started and you haven’t worked your first day on the job, your employment contract is still effective. That means you could potentially do things that will get you fired if you make mistakes or break the rules before you start your first day at work. The moment you’ve agreed terms, you should conduct yourself like an active member of that company, even if the ink isn’t dry on the contract yet.

You’re Entitled to Have Your Contract in Writing

Everyone is entitled to have their contract of employment in writing. Everything will remain uncertain and unclear until you actually see all the terms written out in black and white. If your employer seems uneasy about providing you with a written contract, this should be a red flag. If they’re good employers and have nothing to hide, they’ll be happy to put your employment agreement in the form of a written contract.

Compassionate Leave is Possible, But the Law’s Not Set in Stone

Employers are urged to allow time off for employees who need to deal with personal situations such as bereavements. But you should research compassionate leave law because it’s not a clear cut area. There is no undeniable law in place when it comes to giving employees compassionate leave, but there are conventions in place. The vast majority of employers will grant you compassionate leave if you make your situation clear to them, but be aware that this is not a right that for better or worse is not set in stone for you.

Wrongful Termination

Your boss can’t simply fire you for any reason that pops into their head. Otherwise, it could be seen as a case of wrongful termination, and that’s when you have the chance to take legal action. So if you feel like you have been dismissed over something that amounts to personal dislike of you, you should take your case to court. You could get compensation or have your job reinstated.

It’s Worth Learning About Gross Misconduct and Its Examples

To make sure that you don’t get dismissed for gross misconduct and mistake it for wrongful termination, you need to know what gross misconduct actually is and what it looks like. It could be as simple as doing something that your employer feels damages the relationship between you and then irreparably. Look into past examples and learn lessons from the kinds of mistakes other people have made in this area.

Unpaid Wage Problems

It’s not something that should ever happen, so when it does, you need to take action and get the money you’re owed by whatever means necessary. If you’ve done the work, you’re entitled to be paid for it as outlined in your contract. There should be no hesitations about going to your lawyer if you have been underpaid or your wages have gone completely unpaid. If you can prove that you haven’t been paid properly, you’ll win your legal case easily.

There Will be a Probationary Period

It’s important to know that when you start working for a company, there will most likely be a probationary period in place. This is something that the employer is entitled to; so if they don’t want to keep you on at the end of that period, they technically don’t have to. This should be written into your contract and it’s definitely worth discussing and clarifying with your new boss. That way, you can make sure you don’t mess up this opportunity or do anything that puts your job at risk before the probationary period has even ended.

Privacy at Work

You’re entitled to is privacy at work. If your boss tries to encroach on your privacy, you can take legal action. You’re entitled to retain your privacy and you don’t forfeit that right just because you’re being hired by someone. It’s not easy, but some things you really do need to stand up for when you know there’s an injustice happening and this is one of those things.

You’re Entitled to Ask for Flexible Working

You can make the request for flexible working hours and have it be considered without being fearful of doing so. It’s an important issue for anyone who has children and other commitments that can sometimes make sticking to a regular working schedule tricky. So if this is something that you think could benefit you, you should make the request.

Everyone has rights at work, and it’s always helpful to be familiar with what yours are. Those rights will all be for nothing if you don’t even pay attention to them, so keep all this information in mind.