Understanding your legal rights as an employee involves navigating a confusing jumble of laws and technical phrases like hostile environment and wrongful termination. This post is intended to help provide some clarity on what your “rights” are.
In New York, as in most of the country, employment is “at will.” That means that an employer can take whatever action it desires for any reason or even for no reason at all. An employer can fire someone, cut their pay, change their responsibilities, or make any other changes without cause or an explanation.
Despite the breadth of the employment at will law, employees still have rights. The following are some examples of your rights in the workplace. You have the right:
- To be judged based on your abilities, rather than on something you cannot control, like age, race, gender and national origin;
- To go about your workday without being subjected to sexual comments or advances that are unwelcome to you;
- To a reasonable accommodation that lets you do your job notwithstanding your disability;
- To become a parent and have a child without fear that you will be punished at work for it;
- To take time off to care for a family member or yourself;
- To be paid for the hours you actually work, and to be paid on time.
Call Schwartz Perry & Heller if you would like to discuss your rights at work, and to see if we can help you stand up for your rights.