Americans spend an average of 47 hours a week at work. They need their jobs to pay their bills and many live paycheck to paycheck without a savings plan to back them up in case of an emergency. This makes some employees afraid to speak up when there are problems at work in fear they may lose their jobs.
You should know that there are state and federal laws that protect you against discrimination and retaliation for any complaint you may make to authorities about workplace violations. There are also state and federal laws that impose certain obligations on employers in relationship to their workers.
Obligations of Employers to All Employees
It seems that all rules, regulations and laws have some exceptions. But, in most cases, employers are required to:
- Pay you a minimum wage which, currently in Illinois, is $8.25 an hour. In Chicago, the minimum wage was recently increased to $10 an hour. There are some exceptions for various types of occupations.
- Allow you times for breaks.
- Pay overtime wages if you work more than 40 hours in any one workweek.
- Maintain a safe working environment which includes protection from harassment and exposure to dangerous physical conditions.
- Pay into a fund so you can collect unemployment benefits if you are laid off of your job through no fault of your own.
- Provide workers’ compensation benefits to all employees.
- Allow you to take time off for an illness or birth of a new baby.
Employers are also forbidden, by state and federal law, to discriminate against anyone on the basis of their:
- Gender identity
- Marital status
- Race or national origin
- Sexual orientation
If you have been discriminated against, or if your employer has not complied with all of his or her legal obligations, you may need the services of an employment attorney.
Call the Friedman Firm for a Free Consultation
Josh Friedman, founder and principal at the Friedman Firm in Chicago, has the experience you need to help you with any employment issue. He has taught employment law and many of his articles on the topic have been published in national legal journals.
Since 1991, he has been helping clients recover lost wages, unpaid overtime, unemployment benefits, disability claims, and any other issue that requires navigation through the employment law minefield. Contact him at (312) 886-0277 for a free consultation.