Employee Workplace Rights Essay

Although the American workplace is constantly changing, both employees and employers should know their rights. Employee workplace rights help to better understand the major duties of employees in today’s workplace environment (Worth, 2007). The following issues about the right-to-know laws include who may be employed; how, where and when the work may be carried out; how much must be paid and other issues. The major employment laws include Equal Pay Act (1963), OSHA (1970), Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (1996), Americans with Disabilities Act (1990), Rehabilitation Act (1973), and many other important employment laws.

The employee workplace rights mandated by the U.S. Federal law

If an employee knows much about his/or her official legal rights in the workplace, such as “to be paid fairly and on time, to do your job free from discrimination and retaliation, to work in a safe and healthy environment,” he/she will be more confident in solving different work-related problems (Repa, 2010, p.2).  Today, the employee workplace rights mandated by the US Federal law refer to various issues, such as health insurance, family and medical leave, health and safety in the workplace, privacy rights, illegal discrimination, sexual harassment, as well as the issues about leaving a job, or losing a job position, workers’ compensation, social security and disability benefits, social security retirement benefits, and many other important issues employees face in the workplace (Repa, 2010).

Some controversial issues concerning workplace rights

One of the most controversial issues concerning workplace rights refers to the rights of illegal immigrant workers. In many cases, they are paid less than legal workers who are the US citizens. Actually, they are paid less because they have no rights to protect themselves against employers (Worth, 2007, p. 16). This issue often concerns Wall-Mart workers.

One more controversial issue regarding employee workplace rights is monitoring with video surveillance. For example, in some companies, employers do not give their employees prior notice of electronic surveillance in the workplace (Worth, 2007).

The issue of workplace privacy

The issue of workplace privacy has been widely discussed in the literature. As a rule, employers develop a policy regarding ethics in workplace privacy issues, which must be communicated to all employees through “employee handbooks, memos and contracts” (Marcella & Stucki, p. 208).  Employees should remember that an “employer has the right to spy on employees” (Marcella & Stucki, p. 208). For example, employees have no right to expect privacy in their e-mail conversations. Companies have the right and responsibility to monitor not only e-mails, but also locations, phone calls and, of course, job performance. In general, employee workplace privacy rights are “virtually nonexistent in private-sector employment” (Employee Workplace Privacy Rights, 2013, para.1).  As a result, employers may conduct electronic surveillance on their employees, without their consent or knowledge.

Conclusion

Thus, it is necessary to conclude that each employee should know his/or her legal rights in the workplace. The rights of employees are protected by federal and state laws. However, in some cases, employers violate their employees’ rights. Employees should have enough knowledge to protect their rights in the workplace. Some of the violations include discrimination in the workplace, sexual harassment, poor health and safety working environment, illegal immigration and other issues.

 

References

Employee Workplace Privacy Rights. (2013). EmployeeIssues.com. Retrieved from:<http://employeeissues.com/workplace_privacy.htm>

Marcella, A. J. & Stucki, C. (2013).Privacy Handbook: Guidelines, Exposures, Policy Implementation, and International Issues. John Wiley & Sons.

Repa, B.K. (2010).Your Rights in the Workplace. Nolo.

Worth, R. (2007).Workers’ Rights. Marshall Cavendish.

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"The terms offer and acceptance." freeessays.club, 17 May 2016

[Accessed: June 1, 2020]

"The terms offer and acceptance." freeessays.club, 17 May 2016

[Accessed: June 1, 2020]

"The terms offer and acceptance." freeessays.club, 17 May 2016

[Accessed: June 1, 2020]