Creating a Harmonious Work Environment

Published: 30th August 2009
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We meet different kinds of people in each job we take. Most of them come from sexual orientations, age group, and ethnicity different from ours. To have a good working relationship with them and other co-workers, it is important that we always take into consideration their rights and feelings.

Common Workplace Issues

Many employment disputes result from actions and omissions of the administration to resolve various issues that trouble their employees. Below are some of the bases of complaints that can be used by a person against anyone who would neglect their rights as workers.

• Harassment. Harassment happens when an employee's benefits and promotions rely upon his willingness to give in to the sexual advances made by his boss or co-workers.

• Discrimination. Discrimination against workers of different age, sex, ethnicity, and religion among others are prohibited as to give equal job opportunities to everyone. A pregnant employee or someone who is disabled is also covered by discrimination laws and so they cannot be retaliated against for their condition.

• Whistle-Blowing. Workers who expose their company's illegal transactions and wrongdoings can file for protection once they are considered as whistle-blowers. Any party in the company cannot make threats of violence or retaliation against them for their legal actions.

However, they must inform the concerned government agencies and gather evidence regarding the illicit dealings immediately. This is to ensure that they are covered by whistle-blowing laws before retaliatory actions are made against them.

• Minimum Wage and Overtime Pay. Federal law is clear in providing minimum wage for employees. But, in different states, the rate of minimum wage may vary but it should not be lower than the minimum wage mandated by federal law as the latter will prevail.

Overtime pay should also be given to employees, who are not exempted from such benefits, if they have worked for more than 40 hours a week. Tips given by customers and clients cannot be counted as a part of overtime pay.

• Wrongful termination. Aside from demotion, transfers, and lower pays, victims of retaliation can also be wrongfully terminated.

Many hesitate to file claims especially if they signed an "At-Will" employment contract wherein the employer can terminate the employment for any reason at all. This reason, however, should not be the result of retaliation for discrimination, harassment, whistle-blowing, and queries about the salary.

• Meal and Overtime Breaks. Breaks between works are not always compulsory. However, in states where worker should get them, they should be provided with meal and overtime breaks which could improve their productivity and performance.

Helping the Victims

Abuse of power and authority can be traumatic to an employee, but, he should not stand down and ignore his sufferings. He must:

• Gather all evidence that could prove his accounts of the incident.

• Ask co-workers to truthfully verify his claims.

• Get help from employment lawyers in your area who are expert in dealing with cases regarding breaks, discrimination, sexual harassment, whistle-blowing violation, minimum wage, and overtime pays violation.

To help you deal with Los Angeles common workplace issues such as overtime pay, consult with our experienced employment attorneys. Log on to our website and call us toll free for legal assistance.

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