American employees have some basic rights in the workplace which are protected by federal law. The Enterprises TV show shares information about what they are.
Workers cannot be discriminated against on the basis of race, religion, sex or national origin. Nor can they be discriminated against on age, pregnancy and disability, and cannot be sexually harassed on the job.
The National Labor Relations Act allows employees to discuss wages, salaries and work conditions without reprisal from management.
Workplace safety is a right federally mandated by the Occupational Safety and Health Act. It regulates workplace factors such as airborne pathogens, illnesses, workplace injuries and more. Workers have a right to be safe on the job no matter what the jobs entails.
Employees have the right to be paid overtime if they are categorized as non-exempt and work more than 40 hours per week. Enterprises TV points out that this job categorization is not determined by the employer. It is determined by government guidelines and the kind of work one does. This is also a very strict law. Employers have to pay overtime if the worker is non-exempt and cannot over comp time for it.
Workers have the right to be paid promptly. Each state regulates how many days a worker must be paid after work is done. This means that if business is slow, the employer cannot withhold pay until it gets better.
Finally, whistle blower laws protect employees who report any of violations of the workplace rights above. An employee cannot be fired, demoted, harassed or be given a worse work assignment as retribution for reporting a workplace violation. Even if an investigation finds the complaint baseless, the employee is still protected.
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