As an employer, it is your job to create and maintain a harmonious work environment. You should make sure that the workplace is free from any problems which can affect the company's business operations.
One of the most effective ways on how to avoid facing a costly lawsuit is by respecting the rights of your employees. Here are some examples of employee rights:
- Right to privacy- If your employee believes that you have invaded his privacy, he is allowed to take legal action against you. Both the federal and state laws may cover workplace privacy issues, so it is better if you read and understand them. It often the job of the court to determine if your actions violated your employee's rights.
You may lose the case if your employee was able to show that you were involved in one of these practices:
- Intrusive, secretive surveillance- In general, placing video cameras above cash registrars and along the hallways are legal because they will enable you to know if someone was stealing money from you or if there are employees who are not at their workstation during their shift. However, placing cameras inside the stalls of a restroom may be considered illegal.
- Meddling with an employee's private affairs- You may be held liable in an employment case if you have abused your right of investigating an employee's background and personal affiliations. For example, you ordered the employee to resign from his job when you found out that he is a member of political organization which you do not support.
- Deception- It happens when you withhold some information to your employee so that he will not be aware of your actions. For example, your employee was not aware that his urine sample will be tested for drugs. He was only informed that he is supposed to undergo a mandatory medical examination in order to determine if he is physically fit to do his job duties.
- Right to a hazard-free and safe workplace- Under the Occupational and Safety Health Act (OSHAct), you are required to provide a safe workplace to your employees. This law was passed in 1970 in order to spare employees from injuries or death while they are in the workplace.
You can make sure that the workplace is free from all kinds of hazards by doing the following:
- Make sure that combustible substances and harmful chemicals are stored in a safe place.
- Replace missing tiles or worn out carpets immediately.
- Make sure that electrical wirings are secured.
If you have questions regarding the different rights of your employees or if you are unsure whether your actions will violate these rights, do not hesitate to seek legal guidance from a Los Angeles employment attorney.