Look at Your Rights.
COM120, Persuasive Effective Writing
Instructor C Jones
July 9, 2006
Do You Know What Your Rights are, if any, in the Workplace?
Look at Your Rights.
Knowing your rights in the workplace is essential in making certain you are benefiting from the rights you are entitled. You will be amazed at how few rights you have in the work place! Most states are "at-will" states; meaning there is no right to work. An employer has no obligation to keep you as an employee and does not need much of a reason to let you go. Discrimination in the Workplace
There are a few laws governing what an employer may, or may not, do. It is important that you know what these few laws are. Compliance requirements vary depending upon the size of an employer; 15, 25 and 50 or more employees. Employers with fewer than 15 employees are not governed by many laws; and can do almost whatever they want. It has been determined by the Federal Government that it would be an undo hardship for smaller employers to comply with these laws. I believe every employee should have their rights protected regardless of the size of the company. Civil Rights Act of 1964.
The Civil Rights Act (Title VII) was written to protect citizen's rights; and to encompass such things as the right to vote, desegregation if public schools and Title VII (Equal Employment Opportunity (EEOC)). The EEOC was form to govern Title VII cases; which most suits brought under the Civil Rights Act today fall under Title VII. Later it was determined that Title VII was not sufficient to cover disabilities.
Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA)
The ADA was formed in 1990 to provide protection for individuals with a disability on many different levels and not just as an employee. On July 26, 1992 the ADA provided protection for employers with twenty-five or more employees. Then as amended effective July 24, 1994 the ADA included employers of 15 of more employees.
Under the ADA a "disability" is defined as an impairment that keeps an individual from performing one or more of that individual's life activities; a record of such impairment; or being regarded as having such impairment. (The Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990, Definitions, §§ 12102 [Section 3], (2) (A-C)).
An individual with a disability, as defined in the ADA, may make a reasonable request for accommodations. The ADA makes a broad definition of "reasonable." Such accommodations may encompass access to the facility, a special chair; flexible work schedule, etc. This reasonable request cannot be an "undue hardship" on the employer. An undue hardship depends on the type of business; the size of the business; and the financial standing of the company, etc. An undue hardship would be a request that would put a financial strain on the company; the number of changes needed and the number of employees.
"Several Courts have determined it is not the "diagnosis" but the effects of a condition that controls." (Repa, B., 2005) Most recently it has been determined that diabetes, poor eyesight, Carpal Tunnel Syndrome are not disabilities. (Repa, B., 2005)
The problem with the ADA is that it does not cover employees who work for an employer with 1-14 employees; leaving these employees vulnerable to discrimination.
Fair Labor Standards Act of 1938, as Amended (FLSA).
The FLSA was enacted to set minimum wages; maximum hours per work week; overtime pay requirements; and other guidelines for employers. Only employers of 4 or more employees are required to observe this Act.
I believe that all employers should have to observe this Act. Everyone should be compensated for their time worked, not just those who work for employers employing 5 or more employees. We all have the right and need to make a fair living. Privacy Act of 1974.
This Act limits the types of information federal agencies, the military and other government employers can...