Study Shows That Many American Workers Do Not Know Their Rights According to a recent YouGov poll of 1,000 adult U.S. citizens, most Americans know of currently protected statuses in the workplace. However, many assume that other groups are also protected, while in fact they are not. When asked, most people expressed that the currently unprotected groups should be protected, with the exception of those with a criminal record.
Specifically, the YouGov poll asked whether it is currently illegal for employers to discriminate against workers based on 18 characteristics, 11 of which are protected. It is important for Americans to be aware of the groups that are both protected and unprotected in the workplace.
The following characteristics are currently protected statuses under federal law:
- Gender identity.
- Sexual orientation.
- National origin.
- Genetic information.
The following characteristics are currently unprotected statuses under federal law:
- Marital status.
- Political affiliation.
- Body size/weight.
- Socioeconomic status.
- Caregiver status.
- Criminal record.
Other Laws and Policies
If you are over 40 years old and you feel you have been discriminated against by your employer due to your age, then you may have legal recourse. The law prohibits employers from discriminating against older workers based on their age. Additionally, older workers cannot be forced into retirement if they do not want to retire.
Federal law provides protections for workers with disabilities who believe they are being discriminated against by their employer due to their disability status. This discrimination may even occur during the application or interview process, leading to a legal cause of action. The law requires employers to make reasonable accommodations for disabled employees so that they can perform their job duties without facing undue hardship or discrimination due to their disability status.
In addition to discrimination, federal policy also covers health and safety on the job, as well as medical leave. The following are other important laws American workers should know about:
- The Occupational Safety and Health Act: This requires employers to provide their employees with working conditions that are free of known dangers. Workers’ rights under the law include receiving training about hazards in their workplace.
- The National Labor Relations Act: This gives people the right to organize unions in the private sector. It also gives employees the right to talk about problems at work and share salary information with colleagues.
- The Family and Medical Leave Act: This law applies to employees of private sector companies with 50 or more employees or of state or local governments. It provides for 12 weeks of unpaid, job-protected leave for reasons such as the birth of a child, the care of a spouse with a serious health condition, or the employee’s own serious health condition.
- The Civil Rights Act of 1964: This covers workplace discrimination based on race, sex, orientation, gender, religion, and national origin.
When employees are unaware or misinformed about their rights at work, it can have an enormous impact on their personal and professional lives, as well as their future success. It is essential for anyone who feels they have been treated illegally or unfairly at work to consult with an experienced employment lawyer.
South Jersey Employment Lawyer at The Law Offices of Leo B. Dubler, III, LLC Will Protect Your Rights
If you think your employment rights have been violated, you need to speak with an experienced lawyer as soon as possible. To explore your legal options, speak with a South Jersey employment lawyer at The Law Offices of Leo B. Dubler, III, LLC today. Contact us at 856-235-7075 or complete our online form to schedule a free consultation. Located in Mount Laurel and Atlantic City, New Jersey, we proudly serve clients in South Jersey, including Cherry Hill, Burlington County, and Camden County.