What Common Work Incidents Violate The Labor Law?
It’s sad to think that in this day and age, unfairness and injustice still roam the workplace. No matter how much effort our legislators and representatives put into improving labor conditions, some companies just don’t seem to get it. What’s sadder is that we choose to turn a blind eye to all the injustices we experience at work; we choose to let things pass. After all, finding a new job is difficult these days. The competition is very high. This is doubly true for workers who are long past their prime. Instead of rising up against tyrannical employers, we let things slide so that we can remain in our comfort zones. So that we don’t ever get kicked out of work.
But should we really keep doing this?
While we cannot say what you should and shouldn’t do during times like these, we can at least show you what workplace injustice. You probably don’t know but you’re already working under unfair conditions. Sometimes, we are so used to things happening in a certain way that we just accept it as the norm when in fact; it already violates the U.S. Labor Law.
Tell you something: Just because something is convenient doesn’t make it right. Just because it normally happens doesn’t mean it should happen. Abusive labor conditions are a prevailing problem and the inability of employees to speak up whenever they are disadvantaged is part of that problem. If nobody speaks up, nothing will be resolved. Abuse will just continue.
Therefore, we challenge you.
If any of these “common workplace occurrences” are happening in your company, will you choose to speak up or shut up? The choice is yours.
1. Unpaid Overtime
Do you work 10 to 12 hours a day but only get paid minimum? That certainly doesn’t sound right. Many companies try to make a pass on their employees by underpaying them. You should know that you don’t necessarily have to stand for this. An hour worked should always be an hour paid. If the regular working hours is 9 to 5, then you should stop working when the clock strikes 5 o’clock. If something needs to be done pronto, then every minute you have to work past 5 PM should be paid. In the world of work, there is no such thing as paying with gratitude. That’s just emotional manipulation on the part of the employee. If you keep working the extra hours and you’re not getting paid for it, then maybe it’s time to seek legal consult.
2. No Holiday and Rest Day Pay
Do you have to work during regular holidays such as Christmas and Thanksgiving? Although it’s a pity, the law still allows it – as long as your employer agrees to pay you twice as much during those days. If you’re not getting holiday pay (which is equivalent to what you’re earning during that day), then that’s just abuse. Can you imagine? You’re missing out on some major family time and you don’t even get paid for your sacrifice? “Thank you hours” definitely need to stop.
3. No Hazard Pay
Are you working in the medical or construction industry? Then I can only imagine the dangers you’re exposing yourself to each and every day. Workers whose jobs involve a lot of risk and danger (e.g. prone to accidents, exposed to infectious diseases) should be paid a good sum as insurance – or at least have access to excellent health care. Nobody dreams of getting injured or sick at work. But for the sake of service, some people voluntarily expose themselves to such dangers – often to help the common good. These workers should be well compensated for all the risks they put themselves to.
4. No Medical Assistance For Workplace Accidents
You just got hurt because the ceiling in your office collapsed on top of you and you’re not getting support for your medication? That’s too much. When an accident happens within company premises, medical liability should be shouldered by your employer. You’re already suffering from physical pain. Do you really have the stamina to worry about hospital costs as well?
5. Insufficient or No Leave Grants
Employers who are slave-drivers should really be brought to the attention of higher court. People are not robots. They’re not machines. Having them work 24/7/365 is just asking for too much. We all need a break in order to be our best selves. Employers who do not allow their employees leave grants – even the mandated ones – are punishable by law. It is physically, emotionally, and mentally draining to think about work all the time. We all need to take it easy sometimes.
6. Workplace Harassment
There are many forms of workplace harassment and it doesn’t necessarily have to come from employers. You could be harassed by colleagues as well. Sexual harassment and verbal abuse are some of the common types. A company that tolerates such environment may be brought to the attention of legal authorities. Nobody deserves to be mistreated. Every person should be given respect, especially in the office. Another common example is the refusal of the company to hire pregnant women for the sole reason of being pregnant. Pregnancy should never disqualify an individual from applying for a position or promotion, as long as the work involved does not pose harm to her well-being.
7. Unfair Pay
Discrimination has always been a problem in the workplace. Men are generally paid higher than women. White people tend to get promoted faster than black people. Non-western nationalities usually have a harder time earning a salary raise. Lastly, non-graduates are deprived of all opportunities to apply for promotion. This kind of practice needs to stop. People should be paid based on ability, skill, and aptitude for success. They should be paid according to what they can professionally offer to companies.