What to do if you feel your rights are being violated at work?

By Sara Riley

When the year 2018 is written in the history books, it may go down as the #MeToo year.

With the avalanche of accusations and proven sexual harassment at the hands of some of the country’s most well known and powerful male CEOs, women across the nation have been recounting stories of workplace violations at a staggering pace.

Additionally, not all workplace harassment or discrimination is in the form of sexual harassment despite the fact it’s in the news frequently. Depending upon where you live, the kind of job you have, and the size of your employer, the rights of workers where you are employed may include:

*The right to a safe work environment, free from undue dangers

*The right to a degree of privacy in your personal matters

*The right not to be discriminated against on grounds of your age, race, national origin, gender, ethnicity, pregnancy, religion, or disability

*In some states and places, the right not to be discriminated against on the basis of marital status, gender identity, sexual orientation and other characteristics

*The right to fair pay, meaning at least a minimum wage, plus overtime for any hours worked over 40 hours a week or, in some places, over 8 hours a day

*The right to a workplace environment with no harassment

*The right to take time from work to tend to your own, or a family member’s, illness, and

*The right to take leave following the birth of a child

When it comes to your rights at work, what should you do if you feel that they are being violated? There are some things that everyone can do in the event that their workplace situation has become untenable due to harassment.

*Keep a diary or journal in your home or car. The key is to document what is happening at your workplace as cogently and clearly as you can. It is important that this diary/journal is not kept at your place of work but that it is in a place that is easily accessible to you. 

*Make a record of events. Make sure to write down the good and bad things that happen each day and make sure you date each entry. If things go south, you have a record of what occurred.  If you later need to seek a lawyer a contemporaneous diary/journal of your work experiences can be strong evidence to aid any legal action.

If you feel that you have been the victim of harassment or that your rights have been violated at work, the Tom Riley Law Firm stands ready to assist you and make you whole.