Regardless of the country you live in, the industry you are in and the kind of a job you have, as an employee you have certain rights that no one in the world can deny. Moreover, if you feel like some of these rights are being denied to you, you have every right to legal action. Today, we will be talking about the more universal employee rights that you really need to know about.
Before you Become an Employee
Before you even become an employee of a company, you have certain rights. For example, you have the right to be treated fairly as a job candidate, meaning that you cannot be denied a job for any of the reasons that may be considered discriminatory. For example, no one has the right to hire someone over you just because you are a of a certain race or religion. There are also questions that you cannot be legally asked in an interview. Of course, you also have the right to see and study your contract before you sign anything and actually become an employee.
Money, money, money
One of the most basic rights of an employee no matter where they live is the right to get paid for the work you do. In the majority of the countries in the world, the minimum wage is set and your employer cannot pay you less than that. Of course, depending on how much you work, whether you work overtime, holidays and such, you will have to be paid accordingly. Remember, if you are not being paid for the work you do and you are not there as a volunteer, something very wrong is going on.
There are innumerable types of discrimination in the work place and the good news is that the law (in most countries) will protect you against any type. For example, you might be experiencing a certain kind of a different treatment because you are a woman. Or because you are of a certain religion. These are all things that must not happen and you have every right to complain. Sometimes, discrimination can be even “sneakier” and you might not even notice it. For example, you can be somewhat older than your colleagues and you may find out that you are not being treated the same way as they are. This is called age discrimination and it is just as illegal as racial discrimination.
Right to Your Health
There are jobs in this world that are more or less dangerous and have a different kind of an effect on one’s body. That being said, all employees have the right to be healthy and to work in conditions that are healthy and safe. For one, you have rights to sick leave, i.e. days off work for health-related reasons. Also, in most countries, your employer has the obligation to pay for your medical insurance (although this is something you will want to check). Furthermore, if you believe that you have suffered an injury in the workplace and that your employer is to blame, you can start thinking about hiring a work injury lawyer who will find out whether you have grounds to sue.
Right to Organize
In the majority of countries in the world, the employees in certain industries already have organizations that you can join and that are envisioned as a way to promote the rights of the workers in those industries. In some countries, unionization is prohibited either by law or by allowing employers to introduce measures that prevent unionization. This is something you should learn about, if nothing else then not to hurt your career just because you didn’t know your rights.