Know your Rights as an Employee

Do you know your rights as an employee? It’s easy to assume that your employer knows all about employment law and sticks to it to the latter. However, the reality is many employers often breach labor law, either knowingly or unknowingly.

Employment law presides over the rights and duties of employers and employees. These rules are mainly meant to protect workers and ensure they are accorded fair treatment, but also protect the interest of employers. Employment laws (alias, labor laws) are based on state and federal constitutions, administrative rules, legislation, and court opinions. An employer-employee relationship can also be overseen by an agreement.

Whether you are just getting started with work or were recently fired, it is vital to understand your rights as an employee in Newark. As mentioned earlier, both state and federal governments have enforced a range of labor laws protecting workers from unfair treatment, discriminatory practices, and unsafe conditions, among others.

We spoke to a leading Newark Employment law attorney, and here were some of his sentiments regarding the rights of an employee in the workplace.

Privacy in the workplace

As an employee, you have a right to privacy. This right applies to your personal belongings, including briefcases, handbags, storage lockers as well as private mail addressed to you. You may also practice this right with your phone calls or voice messages.

Safe workplace

You have a right to a safe working environment that’s free from known danger to you and your teammates. OSHA provides information and training to employers and employees alike, ensuring that the country’s workforce remains safe and healthy. Your rights under OSHA and OSH (Act) include:

  • Receiving information and training in layman’s language on ways to avoid harm, dangers of your job and applicable OSHA laws and standards
  • Receive and check the documentation on job-related injuries and illnesses
  • Confidentiality to file a complaint with OSHA for an inspection of the workplace
  • Not being retaliated or discriminated against for making OSHA-related inquiries or complaints


Both the state and federal governments have enforced various laws that prevent the employer from discriminating against you on any ground, save from the quality of your work or your personality. Anti-discrimination laws bars employers from discrimination based on religion, gender, national origin, or race. It also prohibits discrimination against equal pay, age, disability, pregnancy, and so on. So, it’s illegal for employers to refuse to hire, promote or train an employee, or to discipline, harass, demote, pay less or fire someone based on one or more of the mentioned bases.

Wages and overtime

Most employers are needed to pay overtime to some of their workers. The overtime should be half of the standard hourly rate. Meaning, you should get the time and a half for every overtime hour. Note that not every employee is entitled to overtime. Your eligibility will depend on your work duties as well as the hour you’ve worked.

If you feel that any of your employment rights have been infringed, you should consult with an experienced employment attorney. They will be better placed to guide you, and even represent you in case your claim pushes through.