What rights are entitled to an employee in the workplace?
All working employees, as well as interviewees, have workplace rights. For prospective applicants, the employer cannot discriminate against a possible future employee for reasons like gender, race, age or religion. When they apply, unless the employer notifies them in advance, they cannot run a credit or background check either.
What is the difference between an illegal termination than just an unfair one?
Everyone can relate to an unexpected termination being harsh. However, there are occasions when it is actually illegal to be terminated. In “at will” states, employees can be terminated by an employer at any time. However, if the termination was due to
- Your race, gender, color, religion, country of origin, sexual orientation, age, disability, language, or marital status
- As retaliation for exercising your constitutional rights
- As retaliation for whistleblowing to a federal agency or the police
Then that may be an illegal termination.
Can I be restricted from seeing my personnel file?
No. You cannot be restricted from seeing your personnel files. Even if you have left the job, you have the right to inspect and get a copy of all the information your employer has about you, and your job performance. Your employer has only a limited amount of time after your request to view it. If you disagree with the contents of the file, you can also add your own documents to the file.
Can Money be deducted from my pay if I make a mistake?
Absolutely Not. If you make an unintended mistake, show up short on the register, or there is some loss due to a simple mistake, and your employer tries to deduct money from your pay, then that is illegal. It is also illegal to charge the worker for tools that are required in the course of the job. However, if the employer can prove that the loss was due to willful dishonesty by the employee, then the employee may be liable for damages.
Can I refuse to do unsafe work?
Yes! According to the California labor code, you can refuse to do work that you feel is unsafe if it violates an OSHA standard or labor code provision, or if it is so hazardous that a normal person would think that they were in danger if they did the work. You should inform your immediate supervisor if this is the case, and offer the company a chance to make amends, in writing, and inform OSHA, if you think they did not.
These blogs are meant purely for educational purposes. They contain only general information about legal matters. They are not legal advice, and should not be treated as such. If you have any specific questions about any legal matter you should consult with an attorney.