Many workers in Texas and across the U.S. are unaware of their rights under employment laws. What are these rights and how do they protect you when seeking a job or in your current work? Find out from a Houston employment lawyer.
Right To Equal Treatment
Federal laws prohibit an employer from making decisions about hiring, firing, discipline, or promotions based on the worker’s age, race, gender, religion, disability, or national origin. These are protected statuses, and discrimination based on these factors is illegal.
For those who are discriminated against, Houston workplace discrimination attorneys recommend documenting as much as you can about the incidents, including the date, time, where the event occurred, who was involved, anyone who witnessed it, and details about what happened.
Right To Take Leave
The law gives workers the right to take leave for medical reasons under certain circumstances and for military service. For military service, federal laws require that veterans be allowed to take leave for military responsibilities.
To qualify for medical-related leave under the Family and Medical Leave Act, you must work for an employer with 50 or more employees that work within a 75-mile radius. You must have been working for this employer for at least 12 months, and you must have worked at least 1,250 hours in the last 12 months. This breaks down to about 25 hours a week.
Workers who qualify for FMLA leave can take up to 12 weeks off. It can be used all at once, or in separate blocks of time as needed. Your employer is not required to pay you for this time off, but health insurance through your employer must be continued. Your employer must place you back in your previous position or a comparable job when you return from FMLA leave. It is illegal for an employer to retaliate against an employee for taking or asking for lawful medical leave.
If you are unsure whether you qualify for FMLA leave, an employment rights lawyer can help you determine whether this leave is legally available to you.
Right To Safety On The Job
Under the Occupational Safety & Health Administration (OSHA) rules, most employers are legally required to provide a workplace with:
No recognized safety hazards
The right equipment for safe work
Safety information and training
Not all workers are protected by OSHA regulations, though. Government employees, independent contractors, and domestic workers are among those who do not fall under these protections.
Right To Fair Pay
The Fair Labor Standards Act is a federal law that is designed to ensure that employees are paid fairly for the time they work. It covers issues such as:
Get Help From An Employment Rights Lawyer
When an employer fails to follow state and federal laws, the employee should strongly consider what legal options are available. A Houston employee rights attorney at Powers Law Firm can give you advice about your rights and help you pursue the legal options available.