Most Ignored Employment Laws And How They Affect The Individual

We tend to forget that we have rights in the workplace. Maybe it’s to do with the Great Recession, and how the vast numbers of unemployed people everywhere make us feel grateful for even landing a job, or for not being fired. It’s no wonder then that we don’t think twice before looking the other way when we are mistreated in the workplace.

Though most of us are afraid to speak up and defend ourselves for fear of losing our jobs, this is not the way forward. As self-respecting professionals we should take note when we are not treated fairly, and we should demand that our rights are respected.

It’s not uncommon for employers to forget that they should not be disrespectful and unfair, but in doing so, they don’t realize that this affects the workplace and their employees individually. While some employers go one step further and dismiss the fact that they should not sexually harass their employees, for example, others just choose to turn the blind eye when their employees are uncomfortable or feel like they are unfairly treated in the workplace.

1. Discrimination

While we all know that we should never discriminate against an individual based on their gender, sexuality, race or religion, there aren’t many workplaces in the world which abide by this law.

Even if discrimination is made in the form of a joke, it’s still discrimination and being discriminated against, in any form, makes a person feel awkward, and nobody should have to live through that at work. There’s already so much stress and anxiety in the workplace, so why would you willingly add to your colleague’s/employee’s anxiety?

2. Working Hours

Oh, the eight-hour work week, it seems like a myth of the distant past now, doesn’t it? While most of us signed contracts that specifically stated that we were expected to work 40 hours a week, it’s no longer considered proper to leave work when the clock strikes 5, or to take you lunch break. We are all expected to put in as many hours as possible.

I’m sure you’d all agree with me that being expected to work more adds to your stress. We all need to be able to leave the office without guilt, and without the sense of dread that comes with leaving work early (even if we didn’t leave early). We all need to have a balanced life, and the more we are kept from our after-work lives, the worse employees we become.

3. Equal Salary for Equal Work

It always comes down to the gender pay gap when you are talking about not abiding by employment laws, doesn’t it?

While women and men have been holding the same positions for decades now, it’s evident that they are still not getting paid the same.

Need we discuss how unmotivated this makes a woman in the workplace? Imagine a woman interested in pursuing a promotion. No matter how much effort and time she puts into getting that promotion, she will never receive the same pay as a male counterpart would. So why bother? Why would she ever commit to a company who’ll always see her as lacking just because she doesn’t have the right body parts?

4. Filing Complaints

crying at work

There’s a Human Resources department in most companies these days. The people in that department are the people to go to when you are dealing with issues in the workplace. However, most people would much rather let things go south rather than paying a visit to HR. Why? Because most people are afraid that they’ll be retaliation for any complaint they file.

And it’s not an unjustified fear, there have been cases where people have been demoted, or even fired as the consequence of a complaint against management.

This sense of impending doom is unhealthy. Employees should know that they are protected by law whenever they want to file a complaint and that it is their right to do so.

It’s only if people work in an environment where cooperation and understanding are promoted that they can feel safe to be the very best employees they can be.

We all want to be respected and valued in our workplace, and why wouldn’t we? We spend so much of our time there; it’s like a second home to most of us. It only stands to reason that we would want to feel safe.

Are there any other employment laws being ignored in your workplace? What have you done about it? Share with us in the comment section below.