Work occupies a significant portion of the majority of people’s life, Rights of Employees in the USA & Europe irrespective of whether you enjoy your job or despise going to work every day. Every human is entitling to his rights. Similarly, when you enter your workplace, you have rights as an employee. Therefore, your company is obliging to protect your rights as an employee. It would be best to acknowledge them to claim your legally entitled rights.

Rights of Employees in the USA

The USA labor laws define an employee’s rights and responsibilities in different work environments, and they cover everything from workplace safety and health to workers’ compensation. International Labor Organization has defined a set of laws for the employees. In the same way, many Acts over time by the USA came into existence for the protection of employees’ rights. The trade law of the USA has included acceptable working conditions, such as minimum salaries, working hours, and occupational safety and health in the list of rights.

Minimum Wage

  • The concept of minimum wages is in place to ensure that employees get a decent income and that employers are treating them with respect and justice.
  • The Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) guarantees that all American workers get at least the minimum wage.
  • Most private and public firms are required to pay employees at least $7.25 per hour since 2009.

Workplace Safety

  • It is the duty of the company not to jeopardize the health & well-being of its employees.
  • Learn about a company’s health and safety challenges, and get as much information, education, and training as you need to ensure their health and safety.
  • The Occupational Safety and Health Act of 1970 has and still makes a great way toward reducing workplace hazards in the United States.
  • Furthermore, make sure your workplace follows the OSHA guidelines by providing you with essential safety equipment and training in your industry.

Health Insurance

  • Initially enacted in 2010, the Affordable Care Act is committed to making healthcare insurance a right of employees.
  • It is compulsory for companies with 50 or more full-time employees must provide them with at least minimum health insurance.
  • Otherwise, they must face a severe penalty under the provision of Employer Shared Responsibility Payment.
  • A person must work at least 30 hours per week on average to be considered a “full-time” employee.

Discrimination at Workplace

  • Any kind of discrimination at the workplace due to race, religion, gender, political beliefs, social background, and other factors is strictly against the law.
  • At the same time, it is prohibited for companies to discriminate against a qualified person with a disability.
  • Employers cannot discriminate against employees when making decisions about remuneration, hiring, firing, or promotion based on any of the characteristics listed above.
  • The Civil Rights Act of 1964 was a turning point in the American social justice system, particularly in the case of employment.

Social Security

  • In 1935, President Franklin D. Roosevelt put the Social Security Act into law, creating a financial safety net for retired and disabled Americans.
  • About 55.6 million individuals receive Social Security cheques, according to one survey of July 2021.
  • A payroll tax that appears as “OASDI” on your payslip provides funds for Social Security benefits.

Harassment at Workplace

  • Assurance of a secure environment for employees from harassment is the duty of a company or an employer.
  • All businesses must have rigid policies to safeguard employees from sexual harassment or harassment based on religion, race, and sexual orientation.
  • Companies must establish policies outlining what actions are necessary to provide a harassment-free workplace.
  • Along with that, there should be legal consequences for those who violate these policies and cause harm to others.

Protections for Informants

  • An employee who reports the employer for breaking the law is called a whistleblower. Federal laws protect such whistleblowers.
  • Employees may face job loss or other repercussions if they speak up against the company.
  • OSHA’s Whistleblower Protection Program is a principal entity that protects the rights of employees (whistleblowers)
  • Individuals can also file a complaint with their local OSHA office if they fear any threat of reporting company violations.

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Freedom to Form or Join Union

  • Employees have the right and freedom to join a union that can address their concerns and negotiates better working conditions through collective arrangements.
  • No employer has the authority to pressurize an employee for not joining a union or impose severe consequences on those who do.

Rights of Employees in Europe

European countries, individually and collectively, European Union take extraordinary measures to ensure the rights of their workers. According to EU Employment Law, EU countries must guarantee that their national laws safeguard the rights of employees. Women and men must have equal opportunities, according to the EU. Labour law includes part-time work, fixed-term contracts, working hours, hiring young people, and training. All businesses must take care of the safety of their employees. They do not get hurt, sick, or die while on the job due to the company’s negligence.

Equal Treatment of Employees

  • Employees who execute the same job and are supposed to have the same abilities and training to perform must get a comparable salary.
  • It extends not only to your regular income but also to bonuses, overtime pay, equity, and any other type of remuneration you may receive from your employer.
  • It is widespread, with women and people of minority groups typically earning less than their male colleagues in similar positions.
  • Companies must enforce non-discrimination rules and adequately specify the resources available to employees if they feel discriminated especially women.

Freedom of Movement for Workers

  • It is a fundamental right of employees, codified in Article 45 of the Treaty on the Functioning of the European Union (TFEU).
  • Workers’ freedom of movement and residence, working in another EU member state, and getting treatment equal to nationals of that member state is part of this article.
  • Freedom of movement for workers is one of the core principles of the EU.
  • It tells about the free movement of commodities, capital, and services inside the European single market.
  • It involves eliminating discrimination based on nationality, remuneration, and other labor and employment conditions.

Dismissal Without Cause

  • Employees have the right to challenge their employers under national employment law. In case they believe that the employer has removed them unfairly, even if they got a remuneration.
  • Although there are rules for redundancy payments, corporate provisions in individual employee contracts often dominate.

Employee Consultation

  • It is nominally part of the Acquiring Rights Directive, but its implementation process is different in each country. It allows employees the right to request their employer to tell them of business affairs that affect their job and performance.
  • When dealing with projects at a larger scale that may affect employees, make sure to include HR officials and employee committees, as well as local employment lawyers.

Medical Leave

  • If you require leave for a medical illness, your employer is obliging to grant you paid leave. It means that you can take a break from work without jeopardizing your employment.
  • An incapacitating sickness, a condition necessitating hospitalization, and childbirth are all examples of qualifying conditions.
  • The duration, as well as the terms of these leave periods, differ from country to country.
  • Additionally, apart from paid time, some firms provide other more favorable benefits as part of their benefits package.

Right to Strike

  • For trade unions, the right to strike is essential to negotiate collectively for rights and to serve their members.
  • However, this right is not for public employees, and many countries are criticizing it, especially in recent years.

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