Beware Of These 14 Things Your Employer Can´t Tell You To Do By Law

Have you ever wondered whether your employer was overstepping his boundaries? More often than not, an employer/employee relation involves a power dynamic that does not always favor the latter. This is why it is fundamental for all workers to know their rights to avoid being exploited. Here are 14 things your employer is not allowed to do.

Wage Disclosure

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Did you recently see a flyer in your workplace asking you to avoid discussing wages? If so, that flyer is illegal. The National Labor Relations Act bars employers from trying to silence workers discussing wages among themselves.

You have the right to talk about wages on social media, in person, via phone, or any other means of communication. Sadly, a lot of employers still want to try to keep you silent because it often highlights workplace discrimination.

Free Work!

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Did your boss recently tell you that you need to work unpaid overtime? If so, they broke federal law. There is no such thing as legal unpaid overtime. If you work, you are expected to get paid for it.

On a similar note, being paid minimum wage is also a right. If you’re not getting paid your state’s minimum wage (or the restaurant minimum wage with tips), your employer has broken several laws.

Retaliate Against Others

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In many offices, people tend to fear retaliation. Stepping away from the chain of command can leave more vindictive bosses hoping for retaliation. If someone recently blew the whistle about a toxic work environment, watch what your boss does.

Employers are not allowed to ask employees to retaliate against whistleblowers. If your boss recently tried to get you to complain against someone, that’s illegal and can be reported to your local labor board.

Disclose Family Planning

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When trying to find a job, did you have an employer ask if you were pregnant or planning to become pregnant? Then, were you promptly declined for a job? Pregnancy discrimination is an issue, and it’s also a federally protected class.

Your boss is not allowed to ask you to delay pregnancy, opt out of childbearing, or anything similar. You have a right to be pregnant and work!

1099 Fraud

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When it comes to employment, the terms used for people who do the work matter. This is especially true when it comes to tax filings. If you wear a company uniform, are expected to work set hours, and are managed by a boss, you’re an employee. Employees are fully affiliated with the company.

If you get to choose your hours, don’t wear a uniform, or don’t have a boss, you’re 1099. If your boss offers you a 1099 contract but treats you like an employee, that’s illegal. Employees get protections contractors don’t.

Social Media Gag Orders

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Your employer might not like it, but they can’t fire you if you complain about work on social media. The same law that prevents employers from firing employees who talk about wages also bars employers from placing gag orders on social media.

In other words, they can’t ask you to avoid posting negative remarks on social media about working there.

Ignore Hostile Workplaces

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Do you have an office with a bully in it? Hostile workplace environments are a federally-regulated issue. If you are being sexually harassed, purposefully excluded, or victimized by others, you have a right to sue your employer.

On a similar note, employers can’t ask employees to ignore workplace bullying. You have a right to report it if you see it.

Broad Non-Competes

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We all know that certain industries are hypercompetitive, often poaching employees from top firms. Non-compete agreements are great for those industries as long as they are not too vague or ask you to stop working in an industry altogether.

With that being said, there’s only so much a non-compete will allow. Your employer cannot force you to sign a non-compete that’s overly vague, bars you from the industry, or similar.

Hazing

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Do you remember hearing about the dangers of college hazing or sports teams hazing at school? Hazing isn’t just a school thing. It’s also a workplace issue.

Employers do not have the right to do “teamwork” exercises that humiliate, denigrate, sexualize, or otherwise make an employee uncomfortable. That’s corporate hazing, and it’s illegal.

Assist In “Papering”

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You might have actually seen “papering” in action without realizing it. Papering is a form of workplace bullying that is often done as a way to prepare someone for an unwarranted firing.

Simply put, it’s when an employer encourages other employees or HR to leave a litany of complaints about an individual. This gives them a “paper trail” and also destroys the confidence of the person who’s working on purpose. Though it’s common, it’s illegal.

Wait For Pay

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People don’t go to work because they like it. They do it for a paycheck. Your boss can’t ask you to wait weeks or months for pay in most states. Every state has a limit on how long a paycheck can arrive late before it becomes a legal matter.

If your employer asks you to wait longer than the maximum time limit on checks, they probably just broke the law.

No Hijabs

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Do you belong to a religion that requires a special type of attire, like a hijab or a yarmulke? If so, you need to be aware that your employer cannot ask you to remove your religious gear.

Your religious gear is protected by law. The Equal Employment Opportunity Commission notes that religious apparel is also protected. Federally, your boss can’t ask you to remove it.

Accept Promotions

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Who wouldn’t accept a promotion? Though it may sound crazy to some, the truth is that not all promotions are beneficial to employees. Some require you to take on more responsibilities without increasing your salary. In these cases, you should always be allowed to politely decline.

Share Personal Information

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No matter what your employer tells you, there is certain information you are not required to disclose. We already talked about family plans, but this is not all. For instance, you can remain vague if you cannot go to work due to sickness. Even if your boss forces you to disclose more information, remember that the law does not require you to communicate your medical situation.

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