Nowadays, businesses can operate 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, thanks to the internet. This means more and more of us are working at different times, on different days, and even in possibly more than one job. In line with this, contracts have changed, as have working conditions, to accommodate the changing employment landscape.
Subsequently, it’s become important for employees to know their rights and, by doing so, are able to protect them. This is just in case they are ever in the unfortunate position of being mistreated. With this in mind, here’s how to protect your legal rights at work.
Know Your Employer’s Responsibilities
This is the easiest thing you can do. At the start of your employment with your employer, you should have been told about their legal obligations and your rights. This should form part of your contract of employment, for which you should have received the paperwork. At the very least, you should have been sent an email with your contract attached, for you to download and keep. Your employer should also have documentation for you to access should you want to read through them at any time.
You should be notified of any changes to their obligations or your rights, which should be immediately sent to you, in writing, along with the date from when these changes are expected to take effect. Human Resources will be able to help you with this if your line manager is unable to provide sufficient advice to you. Be prepared to make an appointment to see someone, rather than expect to be seen instantly, especially if the person you need to see is busy.
However, it’s important for you to remember that this point of view will more often be from your employer’s perspective. Therefore, it’s worth seeking independent legal advice, as explained by the team at https://eclaw.com. By doing so, a legal expert will be able to explain points about employment law and answer any questions you may have in regard to your legal rights at work.
Obtain Legal Advice
In some instances, it will be vital to obtain legal advice as soon as you feel your rights at work have been infringed. It will be one of the few instances where the advice you receive will be impartial and based on the law in your state. You’ll be able to ask any questions, safe in the knowledge that whatever is said during your appointment will remain confidential.
Once you know the law surrounding your legal rights at work, you’ll be in a better position to protect them. This is because you will be aware of your employer’s obligations and how they should conduct themselves, for instance, in the event of there being a hazard in your workplace, if you’re not wanting to work in an unsafe environment, if you’re wanting to participate in OH&S activities, or if you decide to raise OH&S concerns.
Protecting Your Legal Rights
Once you know your legal rights and are aware of how your employer is adhering to the law in respect of them, you’re in a better position to protect your rights at work. This could be by requesting a framework is developed to ensure best practice is always implemented and followed, along with procedures for redress.
It may also mean getting third parties involved to ensure that your legal rights are, indeed, protected. This is a basic right that we should all be entitled to receive at our place of work, so if there are any labor laws not being used in your place of employment, you’re entitled to seek redress.
These laws protect your right to a minimum wage, have a safe workplace, maternity leave, health coverage, social security, unemployment benefits, family leave, and discrimination. If you feel your employer isn’t legally complying with these laws, and if you decide to approach them, always do so in writing. Always follow up every meeting or phone call with an email or letter outlining the main points discussed, just so there is some form of a paper trail. Always invite them to reply if there’s anything they don’t agree with. If they don’t, then you can assume they’re in agreement with you.
If they’re reluctant to meet with you or do anything to rectify the matter, then your next step should be enlisting the help of a reputable employment lawyer as soon as conveniently possible. This is so they can help ensure your employer will do what is expected, rather than make things difficult.
This article has provided some ways you can protect your legal rights at work. It’s always a good idea to seek professional legal advice, so you stay within the confines of the law, as well as the know-how you should be treated by your employer. If something doesn’t feel right, the chances are it isn’t right, and by knowing the legal framework that your employer should be adhering to, will provide the reassurance you need to seek legal redress in the event they overstep boundaries.