Understanding Your Rights as an Employee

When you go for an interview, when you are on the job, or when you leave a job, you have certain rights. Federal and state legal statutes protect these rights. If you feel that your employer did something illegal, it is better to consider an employment attorney to understand what step you can take.

Federal laws prohibit discrimination on grounds of sex, color, race, religion, age, national origin and disability. Along with these, the Illinois laws also prohibit discrimination on grounds of marital status and sexual orientation. Moreover, Chicago also has legal directives that prohibit discrimination concerning having/not having children.

If you are trying to get a job, and face questions at the interview that are not quite relevant, it depends on you whether you want to answer them or not. Asking something related to the job is legal. However, if you come across personal questions that do not seem relevant, you may enquire politely about the reason for the question.

Discrimination occurs when an employer takes a job-related decision based on the aforementioned -protected traits’. This may be in case of hiring or firing, promotion or demotion, salary hike or decrease, and any such others. Whatever the issue, legal counsel and representation helps you take the right approach to the case.

While you are at the job, you have the right to a minimum wage. For Illinois, this is $8.25 per hour. The overtime pay directive also makes it essential for an employer to pay one and a half of the wages, according to the number of extra hours, to an employee who works in excess of the stipulated 40 hours a week.

You also have the right to paid leave for voting and donating blood and unpaid leave in certain circumstances, e.g. to nurse a baby (for a female), and so on. Dress code for particular employees is also illegal. However, understanding the difference between unfair and illegal requires help from a Chicago employment attorney.

After you leave a job, you may be entitled to severance pay, vacation pay, and such others. Unemployment insurance, available in Chicago, is also helpful at this time. You can continue to avail the health benefits from the employer. However, this implies that you have to pay for it.

Understanding your rights and getting an employment lawyer to help you in case of a violation is important. These rights safeguard you from discrimination and other illegal activities, and therefore, you need to understand the interpretations and implications of these laws.

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