What Are Your Rights As An Employee?

Submitted by pec on

Understanding your basic employee rights is key to knowing when an employer has violated them. The following overview will cover some of the general employee rights the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) outlines. You may have grounds to file a complaint, claim, or lawsuit against an employer if they violate any such rights.

Your rights as an employee include:

To Not Experience Discrimination

Discrimination can take many forms in the workplace. Generally, it involves treating members of protected classes differently from others in negative ways.

Per the EEOC, protected classes include:

  • Race
  • Color
  • Sex
  • Sexual orientation
  • Pregnancy
  • Gender identity
  • National origin
  • Disability
  • Age (if you are 40 or older)
  • Genetic information (such as family history)

Be aware that these are merely protected classes under federal law. Depending on where you live, a state-level employment law may include additional protected classes.

Equal Pay

Employers must pay workers the same wages for the same work. They can’t pay one worker less than another due solely to their gender or another such characteristic.

Sometimes, these matters are complex. If two people don’t have exactly the same job, but their duties are relatively similar, there may be disputes over whether they deserve equal pay.

Such complexities highlight the value of coordinating with a legal professional familiar with employee rights if you think an employer has violated yours. An attorney can explain whether an employer has violated equal pay laws.

Reasonable Accommodations

An employer must reasonably accommodate your medical conditions or religious beliefs. For example, perhaps you develop a condition that prevents you from standing comfortably for a long period of time.

If you can still do your job in a seated position, an employer may allow you to do so, even if yours is a role for which you would normally stand (such as being a cashier). Similarly, if you wish to take a day off of work to observe a religious holiday, this may be a reasonable accommodation an employer must make.


You may need to share certain medical and genetic information with an employer. Among your basic employee rights is the right to know that information will remain confidential.

No Retaliation

You may report an employer to the EEOC or another relevant agency if you think they’ve violated an employment law. Or, you may report an employer to OSHA (or a similar agency) for workplace safety violations.

In addition, law enforcement or representatives of an agency investigating your employer may ask you to cooperate with an investigation. Even if you don’t directly report a violation yourself, you may participate in an investigation into one.

Your employer can’t retaliate against you for taking these actions. Retaliation might involve firing you, demoting you, or otherwise taking negative actions against you.

Get in Touch With an Employment Lawyer

Do you believe your employer has violated an employment law? If so, you may file a complaint accordingly.

Consider enlisting the help of an attorney when doing so. An employment lawyer can assist you in navigating this process. Get started by taking the Free Case Evaluation today to speak with an attorney who subscribes to the website.

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