Part of running a successful business is ensuring that you're following all the state- and federal-mandated laws that govern your obligations to your employees. Every employee you hire has basic rights, and it's up to you to know those rights and respect them. Ignorance won't be taken as an excuse.
With that in mind, let's look at some of the most basic rights that employees have in the workplace:
- The right to privacy. This extends to purses, lockers briefcases and any private mail. Employees also have the right to keep their phone conversations and voicemails private. However, communications via email and internet history on company computers are generally considered fair game.
- The right to a safe workplace. It's your obligation to make sure the workplace is free of toxic substances, safety hazards and any other dangerous conditions.
- The right to fair wages. All federal and state wage laws must be followed.
- The right to be free from discrimination. No employee can be discriminated against because of their race, religion, gender, age or national origin.
- Whistleblower rights. The law forbids employers from retaliating against employees who make a complaint against the company.
This is just a broad overview of some of the basic rights every employee enjoys. The field of employment law can be complicated and time-consuming. That's why it might be in your best interests to seek the counsel of an employment law attorney. They know the laws inside and out and will be able to help you navigate these tricky waters.