Employees are afforded many rights in California. One of these is whistleblower protection. Whistleblowing refers to an instance in which an employee reports their employer for breaching public trust or violating a law. This is an extremely important employee right not only because it can help keep employers in check, but also because it protects employees who do the right thing. It is worth noting that California’s whistleblower laws afford protection to employees in both the private and public sector.
Having rights is one thing. Feeling free and encouraged to use them is quite another. A poll conducted by the Huffington Post and YouGov found that a large number of respondents claimed they had been harassed at their place of work, with 13 percent claiming harassment by their boss or superior, and 19 percent claiming harassment by a co-worker who was not a boss or superior. Perhaps the most alarming data from the poll was that of those who claimed they had been harassed; 70 percent of them never reported the harassment.
Those who live in the San Francisco area were treated to some interesting and wonderful news recently: the two cities with the highest ratings for employee satisfaction last year were San Jose and San Francisco respectively. The rankings were based on report card generated by a website called Glassdoor, as well as at least 700 employee reviews per each of the 50 largest United States metropolitan areas. This is the second straight year that the San Francisco Bay Area has topped the charts.
As an employee, exercising your rights can sometimes seem like a dangerous and frightening prospect. You may fear some kind of retaliation, or be worried that you'll be fired for speaking out against those with power over you. But it is precisely because you have rights that you should not be afraid to exercise them. There are laws in place protecting employees from discrimination and sexual harassment, laws designed to promote a safe and fair workplace.
People have a right to feel comfortable and welcome at their place of work. It is the responsibility of the employer to ensure that reasonable accommodation is made for individuals with disabilities and that these individuals are not treated unfairly. And while discrimination issues such as race, gender or sexual orientation may be the more commonly discussed types of discrimination, there is a demographic that is often overlooked when it comes to employee rights: overweight Americans.
The workplace should be a place where employees can feel safe and secure based on their performance. If employees do their jobs well, they should look forward to going to work and being productive members of society. Unfortunately, the workplace can often be seen as a trap of office politics and possible discrimination. In California, employees can be fired at the will of the employer, but that doesn’t mean that employee rights can be ignored.
When a convicted criminal is released back into society and applies for a job, the dreaded question about criminal history often makes it difficult to get beyond the initial application form. Consciously or unconsciously, when an employer knows that a potential employee has a criminal record, the knowledge may introduce bias into the selection process early on.
What will the New Year bring in San Francisco? By way of employee rights protection, more support for employees who also double as caregivers outside of the office. A new ordinance applies specifically to an employee who has an obligation to assist with the care of a domestic partner or spouse, a child, a grandchild, a sibling or a parent.
One of the most basic rights that workers in the United States have is to be paid adequately for the work they complete. Even thought this may seem like an obvious obligation for employers, sometimes they do not uphold their responsibilities in this regard.