Let’s be honest, it isn’t easy being a working parent? It seems almost impossible to find the right balance between home life and working, being in the office and being home for bedtime, scheduling meetings and making packed lunches.
But working parents in the United States have many legal rights when it comes to the workplace, and it’s important to know what they are. Understanding your rights as a working parent can help you create a better work-life balance and feel more confident in your career.
Here’s what you need to know about your legal rights as a working parent:
1. You Have the Right to a Safe Workplace
The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) is a federal agency that is responsible for ensuring that employers provide a safe and healthy workplace for their employees.
This means that employers must provide a workplace that is free from hazards that could cause injuries, illnesses, or death. Employers must also provide employees with information and training about workplace hazards and how to protect themselves.
If you feel that your workplace is unsafe, you have the right to file a complaint with OSHA. OSHA will then investigate your complaint and take action if they find that your employer has violated any safety standards.
You can also find a lawyer for employment and workplace issues, if you feel that you need legal assistance. Employment lawyers are familiar with OSHA regulations and can help you determine if your rights have been violated.
2. You Have the Right to a Non-Discriminatory Workplace
The Civil Rights Act of 1964 prohibits employers from discriminating against employees on the basis of race, color, religion, sex, or national origin. This means that employers cannot make decisions about hiring, firing, promotions, or pay based on these factors. You may need to check your employment status when it comes to certain factors such as overtime, looking at the exempt or non-exempt section of your contract. An exempt employee definition is that you as an individual are exempt from the overtime provisions of the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA). A Non-Exempt Employee is one who is not covered by FMLA and is therefore not entitled to overtime pay. It is important to get these terms clear in your mind before bringing any issues up.
In addition, the Pregnancy Discrimination Act of 1978 prohibits employers from discriminating against employees on the basis of pregnancy, childbirth, or related medical conditions. This means that employers cannot refuse to hire a pregnant woman, fire a pregnant woman, or give her less favorable treatment than other employees because she is pregnant.
If you feel that you have been the victim of discrimination at work, you have the right to file a complaint with the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC). The EEOC will investigate your complaint and take action if they find that your employer has violated the law.
3. You Have the Right to a Family-Friendly Workplace
The Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA) is a federal law that gives employees the right to take up to 12 weeks of unpaid leave per year for certain medical and family reasons.
For example, you may be eligible for FMLA leave if you have a newborn child, a newly adopted child, or a serious health condition. You may also be eligible for FMLA leave if you need to care for a family member with a serious health condition.
If you are eligible for FMLA leave, your employer must give you a leave of absence for the specified amount of time. Your employer cannot fire you or take any other adverse action against you for taking FMLA leave.
4. You Have the Right to Reasonable Accommodations
The Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) requires employers to provide reasonable accommodations to employees with disabilities. This means that if you have a disability that makes it difficult for you to do your job, your employer must make changes to your job or the workplace to help you.
For example, if you are a wheelchair user, your employer may need to provide you with a wheelchair-accessible workspace. If you have a hearing impairment, your employer may need to provide you with a sign language interpreter.
If you need reasonable accommodation to do your job, you should ask your employer for one. Your employer is not required to provide you with accommodation if it would be an undue hardship for the company.
5. You Have the Right to a Healthy Work-Life Balance
The United States does not have any federal laws that guarantee employees the right to a healthy work-life balance. However, many states and cities have laws that offer some protections for employees.
For example, some states have laws that require employers to provide employees with paid sick leave. This means that if you are sick, you can take time off from work without worrying about losing pay.
In addition, some cities have laws that require employers to provide employees with paid family leave. This means that if you need to take time off to care for a new baby or a sick family member, you can do so without worrying about losing pay.
If you feel that your employer is not providing you with a healthy work-life balance, you should talk to a lawyer to find out if you have any legal options.
*This is a collaborative post. For further information please refer to my disclosure page.
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