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Protecting Your Workplace Rights Starts With Understanding Them

Most Americans benefit from workplace protections that they may not even be aware of. But it is important to understand what your rights are in case your employer ever tries to violate them.

At Cornell & Associates PA, we are committed to helping clients understand their legal options after a workplace dispute or violation of their rights. Below, we’ve provided some basic information on these rights and protections. If you have additional questions, please reach out to discuss them with us directly.

What Are Your Workplace Rights?

The full list of rights (and their exceptions) is too broad to list here. Moreover, these rights/protections differ based on the sector your work in, company size and other factors. That being said, if you are a worker in Florida, you are generally guaranteed:

  • An hourly wage that meets or exceeds the state or federal minimum (depending on details of employment)
  • Protection against sexual harassment or harassment based on another protected class
  • Protection against workplace discrimination based on protected class status
  • Protection against employer retaliation for filing a complaint about harassment, discrimination, unsafe working conditions or seeking workers’ compensation
  • Protection against employer retaliation for reporting or refusing to participate in illegal activity in the workplace (whistleblower protections)
  • Protection from being fired for taking qualified and approved leave under the Family and Medical Leave Act

If you have questions about how these apply in your own employment situation, feel free to contact us with case-specific questions.

Public Sector Vs. Private Sector: Employment Protections Differ

There is considerable overlap in workplace protections in the public and private sectors, but there are also some notable differences. These include:

Employment at will vs. termination for cause: Florida is an “at-will” employment state. This means that most workers and employers can terminate an employment relationship for any reason or no reason at all (except those that violate protected classes like race, gender, etc.). Nearly all of the private sector is at will, but in many public sector jobs, employees must be fired only for cause.

Free speech for employees: Free speech rights generally are misunderstood. But it is important to remember that our freedom of speech only protects us against government censorship. This extends to the workplace as well. Private sector employees can be fired for expressing views that their employers don’t like. Public sector workers, however, generally have their speech protected because they are employed by the government.

Union activity: Federal law allows workers in the private sector to unionize and prohibits employers from banning union activity or punishing those who participate. Unions are also allowed in many public sector jobs as well, but the protections aren’t generally as strong as for private-sector workers.

Discuss Your Legal Needs With An Experienced Employment Law Attorney

If you believe your employment rights have been violated and aren’t sure what to do next, contact Cornell & Associates PA, to discuss your legal options with a skilled attorney. We serve clients in Weston, Florida and surrounding areas. To schedule your initial consultation, call us at 954-271-0554 or fill out our online contact form.