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Potential violations of workplace laws

Some California employees might be hesitant to report concerns of potential workplace rights violations to authorities because of an uncertainty about the exact terms of their rights. However, such a lack of knowledge could be an advantage to an employer who is attempting to reduce costs through denial of overtime and other situations. It is important for employees to be familiar with these rights to ensure that unfair advantage is not taken.

A major area of employee rights that is often violated is the one to speak out in order to improve conditions in the workplace. For example, restrictions on discussing one's salary with other employees are typically not allowed based on terms of the National Labor Relations Act. However, this restriction is fairly common in the workplace in spite of the law. Similarly, a company is not permitted to discipline employees for discussing their work conditions on social media.

An employer can take advantage of a worker by requiring off-the-clock work or by insisting that overtime is not applicable when it actually is owed. This can result in a company profiting from a worker's ignorance of their rights. However, a worker who is concerned about keeping a job might comply with such illegal requests and requirements in spite of understanding their rights. A company using independent contractors to complete their work could also take advantage of those parties by dictating terms of their activities as if they were employees. In such cases, federal and state governments are beginning to take a firmer stand with employers who are in violation of the law.

Workers who become aware of a violation of their rights might begin by speaking with an employer or with human resources representatives to discuss the situation, especially if the violation might be unintentional. If there is backlash because of speaking up, an employee might want to discuss the situation with legal counsel.

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