When we accept a job with an employer, we always hope that things will operate smoothly and that we will have no problems with our bosses or coworkers. But sometimes we can run into legal issues on the job which can make work very stressful. Here are some of the main legal issues people can encounter on the job and how to handle them:
1. Disputes With Pay and Compensation
Of course, you want to ensure that you are being paid fairly for your work. The best way to ensure this is to carefully read your contract of employment before signing it. Your contract binds both parties and is the best line of defense if you ever have an issue with not receiving the correct pay. Make sure that the contract clearly sets out what deductions will be taken from your pay, such as Society Security and taxes withheld. In addition, if you are being paid a wage, ensure that it is not below the legal minimum wage requirements.
2. Harassment and Discrimination
Allegations of harassment and discrimination are very serious. It is important that workers understand exactly what constitutes harassment and discrimination and what does not. If you are faced with this type of situation, it is important to seek legal help. Before you do, ensure that you keep a record of the incident and note down what happened, what was said or done, and how frequently the incident has occurred. An attorney can discuss the facts with you and advise you if your complaint has merit and what you can do about it.
Whistle-blowing is also a very serious situation in the workplace, where an employee sees or hears something at the workplace that violates the law, such as insider-trading or unethical work practices. If this occurs, speak to an attorney to ensure that you are not making false accusations. Your company should have protections in place for whistleblowers, but if they don’t, you are free to report your suspicions to the police or a government official.
4. Unfair Dismissal
No one likes being terminated from a job, but when it happens it is important to make sure that you are being terminated justly and that all proper procedures, including any severance pay due to you, has been followed. The law will set out the circumstances of when an employee can be fairly terminated, so you should meet with an employment lawyer for advice.