Know Your Rights at Work

You have a right to be hired, fired, and/or promoted free of discrimination based on your race, skin color, religion, sex, pregnancy, national origin, age (40 or older), disability, family medical history or genetic information. If you experience discrimination, file a complaint with your employer and the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC).

You have a right to work free of discrimination and harassment based on your race, skin color, religion, sex, pregnancy, national origin, age (40 or older), disability, family medical history or genetic information. If you experience discrimination, file a complaint with your employer and the EEOC.

You have a right to complain or file a grievance about job discrimination without being punished, suspended, terminated, or treated differently, by your employer. If you believe you are a victim of retaliation by your employer, it is illegal and federal law protects your right to file a complaint. You should file a retaliation complaint with the EEOC.

You have a right to request workplace changes or accommodations if needed because of your religious beliefs or disability. “Religious practices” include prayer breaks, wearing a beard or hijab, going to Jummah (Friday) prayers, going to Hajj, etc.

If you have a child with special needs, you have a right to request workplace accommodations and/or scheduling changes to accommodate your child’s disability.

If you are pregnant, you have a right to maternity leave or family leave. The length of maternity leave depends upon the law in your state of employment. Whether maternity leave is paid or unpaid also depends upon the law in your state of employment. An employer cannot force you to use your sick days or vacation days. Persons who are adopting may also be eligible for maternity leave in some states.

You have a right to the confidentiality of your medical information by your employer. Your medical information is a private matter and your employer should not share or discuss your medical information with others, unless necessary, on a need-to-know basis.

You have a right to equal pay. Federal law guarantees this right. Individuals doing the same work should receive the same compensation.

You have a right to protection for reporting violations of various workplace safety, airline, commercial motor carrier, consumer product, environmental, financial reform, food safety, health insurance reform, motor vehicle safety, nuclear, pipeline, public transportation agency, railroad, maritime, and securities laws. Federal and state whistleblower statutes protect employees who report retaliation by an employer. Rights afforded by these whistleblower acts include, but are not limited to, worker participation in safety and health activities, reporting a work-related injury, illness or fatality, or reporting a violation of the statutes.

You have the right to protest dangerous or inhumane working conditions. If you are subject to these conditions, file a complaint with the Occupational Safety & Health Administration (OSHA).

You have the right to form or join a union; engage in protected, concerted activities to address or improve working conditions. In a union workplace, the employer and union are obligated by law to bargain in good faith with each other over terms and conditions of employment. If you work for a private employer, the National Labor Relations Act protects this right (NLRA). If you rights have been violated, file a complaint with the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB).