Employment laws protect employees and ensure fairness in the workplace. Your boss may be in charge, but that doesn’t mean he or she has free reign.
However, it’s sometimes hard for employees to know exactly when their rights are being violated. They don’t want to complain — this is their livelihood, after all — but they feel like something is wrong.
To help you know when the law is being broken and when you may have a legal right to take action against your employer, here are five laws companies tend to break:
- Not paying overtime when it’s due. In some cases, companies will mistakenly classify workers as exempt from overtime pay when they’re actually entitled to it.
- Classifying employers and independent contractors incorrectly. While they sometimes perform similar roles, there are some huge differences, especially when it comes to things like wages, taxes and benefits.
- Making illegal paycheck deductions. Employees are obligated to deduct taxes and may deduct benefits, but they can’t make other deductions — like paying back a personal loan.
- Not paying employees who are on legal breaks. Lunch breaks are often long enough that they don’t count, but a 15-minute rest break, even when mandated by law, typically needs to be paid time.
- Terminating employees for taking time off. Certainly, employees who skip work can be fired, but companies can’t fire people for taking leave in a legal manner that is in keeping with company policy. For instance, employees have a right to time off to vote or under the Family Medical Leave Act (FMLA).
Has your employer broken any of these laws? Maybe you worked extra hours and were denied overtime pay, which is the only reason you worked those hours in the first place. It may be time to look into all of your legal options.
Source: Entrepreneur, “