Your rights in the workplace

Imagine just graduating from college and getting your first job as a professional. You are at the bottom of the pecking order and you will have to work your way up. You anticipate endless days of fetching coffee, picking up dry cleaning, and making thousands of copies. However, simply because you are starting out does not mean that you do not have the same legal rights as more seasoned employees.

There are laws in place to regulate the employer-employee relationship. As an employee, you are entitled to a workplace that is free of discrimination. Furthermore, you have the right to a safe work environment and legal wage practices. If you have suffered due to a violation of employment laws, you should speak with an experienced attorney in the Carlsbad area. Read further to find out more about the basics of employee rights.

Your basic rights

In addition to receiving fair pay and being free of discrimination and harassment, you also have the right to privacy. This means that your boss cannot freely go through your personal items. In addition, your employer cannot eavesdrop on your phone conversations or listen to your voicemail without your express permission. Your email and Internet usage, on the other hand, is not as protected. You are also entitled to freedom from retaliation for taking any kind of whistleblower actions.

Disability rights

If you suffer a disability, your employer cannot discriminate against you in any way. As long as you can perform your job duties, either with special accommodations or without, you have the right to execute those duties free from any kind of discrimination based on your disability.


Employment laws prohibit your employer from giving special consideration to younger employers if it causes harm to older workers. This particular law only applies to those that are 40 years old or more and in companies that have at least 20 employees. On the other side, there are no protections in place to guard against your employer displaying favoritism toward older workers versus younger.

Taking leave

The Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA) provides certain protections to employees that need to take time off for medical purposes or family emergencies. You are entitled to take no more than 12 weeks off for medical reasons without your employer giving away your job. However, in order to qualify for the leave of absence, you must have worked for your employer for the previous 12 months and put in at least 1,250 hours during that time.

If you have been the victim of an employment law violation, such as discrimination in the workplace, you may be entitled to compensation.

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