Employee rights and responsibilities

An employee has both rights and responsibilities in the workplace. An employer may not deny an employee time off for medical reasons; however, the employee must notify the employer immediately when requesting leave of absence. Employers may not discriminate or harass employees, just as employees may not discriminate or harass other employees. Employees have the right to be paid for any labour they have provided an employee, but the employee must be honest when reporting the number of hours he has worked.

Leave of Absence

An employee has the right to take a leave of absence under the Family Medical Leave Act. The employee is entitled to 12 unpaid weeks off in a 12-month period due to pregnancy, adoption of children, or medical emergencies of the employee or family members of the employee. The employee has the responsibility of notifying the employer of the leave of absence request. A 30-day notice is best if the employee knows she will be requesting time off; if not, the employee is responsible for notifying the employer as soon as possible so the employer can fill the position for the time being.

Drug-Free Workplace

Under the Drug-Free Workplace Act of 1988, the employer has the right to keep the workplace drug free. An employee is responsible for not taking illegal drugs or substances that can cause a dangerous working environment. An employer has the right, but is not required, to drug test employees. When a drug test is required, it is the responsibility of the employee to submit to a drug test, unless he is being discriminated against or his privacy is being violated.

Equal Employment Opportunity

Employees have the right to be considered for a job based on their qualification and skills. The personal beliefs and characteristics of an employee should not play a role in the hiring and firing process. However, once an employee is hired, she is responsible for maintaining professionalism at work. Therefore, the employee can not force her religious, political and cultural beliefs on other employees. This includes bringing in literature and campaigning for those beliefs.

Fair Standard Labor Act

All workers are required to be paid for any labour they do for an employer. The rate an employer has to pay an employee varies, depending on the state the company is in and the type of work the employees does. For example, the federal minimum wage amount is £4.70, but in California, the minimum wage rate is £5.2; in this instance, the employee has the right to be paid the higher rate. Any employee who works overtime hours has the right to be paid a higher rate for the hours worked over the regular 40-hour work week. An employee has the responsibility to be truthful when reporting hours, such as clocking out for any lunch breaks.

Safety Codes

Employers have to provide safe working environments for their workers. This means providing safety equipment and posting safety signs in dangerous and hazardous working areas. The employee has the responsibility of abiding by the safety warnings, dress codes and other notifications the employer has listed. If an employee is hurt on the job, she is entitled to worker's compensation benefits; as long as she is not responsible for causing the injury to herself.

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About the Author

Mona Johnson is a graduate of Miami University in Oxford, Ohio, with a degree in communications. She began writing in 2001 and producing literary works in 2003 for T.A.D.D. Writes Publications. Johnson has experience with writing articles and blogs geared towards facts, keywords, fashion and other subjects.

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