As you graduate from college, you may be excited about the employment opportunities that lie ahead of you. As such, you’ve most likely decided to look for your first job in the hopes that you land one of those possibilities. However, you should understand that a job search can be a challenging task, especially when it comes to writing resumes, browsing through job search sites, and undergoing interviews. Not only that, but once you get your first ever job, you need to have a better understanding of the employment laws intended to protect your rights as an employee.
Thus, if you’ve just gotten your first job and you want to know the legal protection given to the workers, keep reading this article to learn more about employment law.
What Is Employment Law?
By definition, employment law refers to a specialized area of law that governs the relationship between the employer and employees. Specifically, it involves many subjects such as the following:
- Employment discrimination: Discrimination laws are implemented to prevent employers from discriminating against employees based on their color, origin, race, gender, and even disability. Thus, if after getting your first job, you’ll be wrongfully discriminated against by your employer, you should hire an attorney from a reliable employment law firm to help you advocate for your employment law rights and fight back.
- Minimum wage: Laws regarding minimum wages take effect to ensure that employees receive the minimum amount of remuneration that an employer is required to pay for the services rendered within a given period of time. Minimum wages shouldn’t be reduced by any contract whether it’s for an individual or a collective.
- Employee benefits: These are given to the employees above and over their salaries and wages. These can include vacation, overtime, medical insurance, and even retirement benefits.
- Labor relations: This area of employment law is intended to provide methods on how to resolve disputes between the management and the workers. According to these legal principles, fair employee working conditions must be implemented for their protection.
- Social Security: This is a government program that provides protection to employees and other individuals to ensure income security in case of unemployment, sickness, work injury, maternity, and old age.
- Occupational safety and health: This area of employment law focuses on protecting employees against unsafe working conditions, including long hours of work, chemical hazards, electrical hazards, temperature extremes, machinery, noise levels, and many others.
- Wrongful termination: Laws against wrongful termination are imposed to safeguard employees who are fired by the employer for illegal reasons or in the event that the act of firing violates a contract or public policy.
- Worker’s compensation: This is a type of insurance that’s put in place to cover the medical expenses of employees who are injured while at work. Under workers’ compensation, a partial wage is given to the injured employee while they’re recovering from an injury. However, in exchange for the insurance protection given to them, they may have no right to sue the employer for negligence.
As you can see, employment law is considered a broad area of law. Although it includes several different areas, its common goal is to safeguard workers’ employment rights. For them, these laws are there to promote health and safety, prevent work disruption due to disputes between the management and the labor force, stop discrimination, and ensure economic support.
What Are Your Rights And Responsibilities?
If you’re getting your first job after graduation, it’s important that you know and understand your rights and responsibilities as a worker. By doing so, you can protect your employment law rights.
As a worker, you have the responsibility to do the following:
- Make sure you’re familiar with your rights against workplace discrimination and bullying. You should know what steps to take if you experience these circumstances at work.
- Find time to know the conditions of your employment, including working hours, rate of pay, and entitlement of leave credits, public holidays, and many more.
- Be sure you’re aware of the health and safety requirements in your workplace. This means you should learn how to keep a safe working environment for yourself and your colleagues.
- Ensure you know what things to do during a workplace accident. Also, you should check whether you have easy access to all safety gear and equipment at work. Additionally, don’t forget to familiarize yourself with where you can seek help about any health and safety concerns arising in your workplace.
The Bottom Line
Indeed, obtaining your first job can be a rewarding experience. It can have a significant impact on your career path, especially when you want to bring your work experience to the next level. However, aside from your career path, getting your first job also requires you to understand certain employment laws that can provide you with protection against workplace mishaps.
Therefore, if you want to ensure your rights and interests are protected at work, keep this information in mind so you’ll have an idea of what to do in any situation. Lastly, if you’ll become a victim of any employment law violations by your employer, don’t hesitate to hire an employment lawyer. They can help you speak up and assert your rights by representing you in your employment case.