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Know Your Rights: Two Important Things Every Employee Should Be Aware Of

For millennia, workers have been pursuing their rights. During the medieval period in 1381, the Peasants’ Revolt took place in England where poor villagers demanded better pay and working conditions.

John Ball, one of the prominent leaders of the Peasants’ Revolt, is famously quoted as stating, “When Adam delved and Eve span, who was then the gentleman?” By this, he meant that all humans people are born equal.

In other instances, laborers appealed to traditional rights as well. One example is when a social movement in South Africa called the Landless People’s Movement demanding the government halt its eviction of farmers from communal lands in an attempt to make them private.

Today, people all over the world are still fighting tooth and nail to preserve their rights and the rights of others. Most often than not, it’s large companies and multinational corporations that are the primary culprits of right violations.

Since many workers no little to nothing about the laws that protect their rights until they’re caught in a legal battle with their employer do they gain some insight. Don’t let that be you. Know what your rights are before a problem arises so that you can prevent it or know how to fight injustice if it calls for it.

The Family and Medical Leave Act

Administered by the Wage and Hour Division, the Family and Medical Leave Act of 1993 (FMLA) requires any company operating within the United States to provide job protection and unpaid leave for qualified family and medical reasons.

Such reasons include family military leave, personal or family illness, foster care placement of a child, adoption, and pregnancy. However, the fact is, a surprising number of companies try to find reasons not to honour the FMLA.

However, one of the most common things employers attempt to do is convince an employee to use the FMLA for work-related injuries. And though not against the law, there are some important points they must consider before doing so.

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According to Jason D. Mills & Associates, “When an employer requires an employee to use his/her FMLA time to take time off for job-related injuries, it is not illegal.”

However, the employer must make sure that the employee is not exhausting all eligible benefits under certain laws. When both FMLA and workers’ compensation laws apply, an employer must provide leave under the law that provides greater employee rights and benefits.”

The law office’s article continues to explain, “FMLA time off and workers’ compensation time off can run concurrently, but only if the employer gives written notice to the employee that time off will count as FMLA leave.”

Unemployment Benefits

One issue an employee may face is finding out that they won’t be receiving any unemployment benefits. While there are many reasons for this to happen, such as the employer finding a legitimate or illegitimate reason, sometimes it is because they didn’t pay unemployment taxes.

How does your employer not paying their unemployment taxes affect your unemployment benefits? The unemployment office, upon receiving your request for benefits, must first clearn the tax issue facing your employer before they can approve your unemployment benefits claim.

Since tax cases often take time to resolve, an employee’s benefits can be delayed for quite some time. In some cases, depending on the state the employee resides in, if the employer owes employment benefits taxes, the state may merely deny the employee’s unemployment benefits claim.

If by chance you find out that your employer hasn’t paid their taxes, it’s in your best interest to report it to the tax authorities as soon as possible. When an employer doesn’t pay taxes, it doesn’t just affect them, it will also affect those who work for him in numerous ways, such as unemployment benefits.

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