Employee Rights

As an employee you probably don’t spend a lot of time thinking about your rights. You have more pressing concerns like going to work to bring home a paycheck to pay the bills and feed your family. Nonetheless, both state and federal law cover a myriad of situations you encounter as an employee. Most labor law, however, is only enforced if violations are brought to the attention of investigators and quality documentation can substantiate a claim. Like all laws, these are only as good as their enforcement and enforcement can be lackluster. However, members acting together to address issues as a group have a much better chance of success than individuals acting alone.

 

Generally, as an employee you have:

* The right to safe working conditions.

* The right to overtime compensation, regardless of your method of pay.

* The right to organize into a union.

* The right to discuss how much you make with co-workers.

* The right not to be discriminated against on the basis of age, sex, race or handicap.

* The right to a workplace free of sexual harassment.

* The right to take up to 12 weeks of medical leave each year, depending on what type of employer you work for, and the right not to be penalized for missing work in such cases.

* The right to report violations without retaliation.

* The right to work together to insist on improvements.

 

Even those classified as independent contractors have rights, though in terms of labor law, they differ from employees. As an independent contractor you have:

* The right to seek a review of your status as an independent contractor by state or federal agencies.

* The right to be free from retaliation for seeking such a review.

* The right to form associations with other independent contractors (so long as you do not fix prices or collude with each other.)

* The right to certain business tax options, where applicable.

* The right to negotiate your contract with the contracting company.

 

In addition to these rights you also have the following rights...

• IT'S YOUR RIGHT to form a union and bargain for increased wages, improved benefits, better working conditions, security and protection.

• IT'S YOUR RIGHT to serve on the IAM Organizing Team.

• IT'S YOUR RIGHT to ask your coworkers to assist or serve on the IAM Organizing Team.

• IT'S YOUR RIGHT to attend and take part in IAM meetings.

• IT'S YOUR RIGHT to invite your coworkers to attend and take part in IAM meetings.

• IT'S YOUR RIGHT to distribute IAM material on the employer’s property during non-working time (before and after work, breaks and lunches only).

• IT'S YOUR RIGHT to ask your coworkers to distribute IAM material on employer’s property during non-working time (before and after work, breaks and lunches only) and in non-work areas.

• IT'S YOUR RIGHT to distribute IAM material away from the employer’s property.

• IT'S YOUR RIGHT to join the IAM.

• IT'S YOUR RIGHT to invite your coworkers to join the IAM on the employer’s property during non-working times (before and after work, breaks and lunches only) and in non-work areas.

• IT'S YOUR RIGHT to wear IAM buttons, T-shirts, caps and jackets on the employer’s property during working and non-working time (provided such items or objects do not create a safety hazard.)

• IT'S YOUR RIGHT to ask your coworkers to wear IAM materials.

• IT'S YOUR RIGHT to phone your coworkers to discuss and encourage support for the IAM.

• IT'S YOUR RIGHT to visit the homes of your coworkers to discuss and encourage support for the IAM.

• IT'S YOUR RIGHT to meet and discuss the IAM with your coworkers on the employer’s property during non-working time (before and after work, breaks and lunches only) and in non-work areas (provided the meeting does not create a disturbance in the plant.)

• IT'S YOUR RIGHT to VOTE YES for the IAM during the secret ballot election conducted by the Federal Government.

• IT'S YOUR RIGHT to accept wage increases and other improved benefits that may be offered during the campaign and still VOTE YES for the IAM during the secret ballot elections conducted by the Federal Government.

• IT'S YOUR RIGHT to write, sign and distribute letters, flyers or petitions supporting the IAM during non-working time (before and after work, breaks and lunches only) and in non-work areas.

• IT'S YOUR RIGHT to ask questions and take notes during captive audience meetings conducted by the employer.

• IT'S YOUR RIGHT to make supportive statements for the IAM during captive audience meetings conducted by the employer.

 

The situations listed above are only examples. You have many more ways to assert your rights at work. If you have any questions, please Contact Us

IMPORTANT! If your employer prohibits you or your coworkers from exercising your rights, it may constitute an Unfair Labor Practice. If this should happen, be sure to write down the basic facts (who, what, where, when and witnesses) and discuss the incident with your IAM representative as soon as possible.