The Startup Magazine Worried About Your Rights At Work? 3 Steps To Take


As a worker in America, you have the right to be safe and feel secure at work. Unfortunately, some employers don’t value their employees as much as they should and take them for granted. If you feel as though you are in that position, then there are steps you can take to ensure your well-being and safety in your workplace. Read on to find out more about worker rights. 

  1. Ensure You’re Getting Paid Correctly 

The majority of people work to live, rather than live to work. That means you should be paid accordingly for your time. Ensure that you are earning the minimum wage in your state. If you were in a labor or service industry such as hospitality, keep an eye on your tips and speak to your employers if you feel as though your mandatory minimum and your tips aren’t totaling the national minimum age of $7.25. You are legally required to earn the minimum wage so if you’re only on a few dollars an hour then they should up your wages to cover the lack of tips.

If you do earn tips but they’re taken by your employer, then you can file a formal complaint with the US Department of Labor. Another step to take is to contact an employment lawyer who will be able to help you take action against an employer that isn’t paying you appropriately. Finding the right employment lawyer is important so do your due diligence. 

  1. Push For Maximum Maternity Leave 

The USA has one of the worst maternity leave offerings in the world, with no mandatory paid leave for new parents. While many other Western countries offer paid leave for both new mothers and new fathers, Americans are having to negotiate their own benefits such as maternity leave. When you sign a contract with a new employer, make sure you factor in a maternity package so that you will be covered for the initial weeks or months of your little one’s life. 

  1. Join Your Union 

Workplace unions are in place to ensure that you and your colleagues are protected. They should help to keep you safe from any big unwanted changes, pay cuts, or reductions in employee benefits. If you work in a large corporation, your union can be a particularly helpful asset to defending your rights as often large companies can put their profits above their people. If the business you work for has no union then you are within your rights to create one. Speak to your co-workers and try and get a group together to form a new union. A company usually needs 30% of its worker’s support to form a union.

Keep the proposal private for as long as possible. Managers are not allowed to be a part of a union and will be discouraging of your plans and may even try and intimidate you into not going ahead. Remember that you cannot be fired for joining or forming a union and any attempts to do so are illegal. 

What are your best tips for protecting worker rights at your company? Share in the comments. 

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