All around the globe, claims against employers are rising with allegations of harassment, discrimination, and creating a hostile work environment. Your managers or supervisors will rarely admit to treating you wrongfully, which is why it’s your responsibility to know how to protect yourself in the workplace.
No job comes without challenges, but that doesn’t mean you should tolerate injustice or unfair treatment. All employees deserve to be treated with respect and should show respect to their colleagues. Solutions to solving problems in the workplace can be as severe as asking for legal advice or joining a group in your industry, as is the case with the police union in Australia.
Empowering yourself with the correct knowledge of your rights and using expert life coach tips is a good way to prepare for any challenges you may face. In this article, you’ll learn how to protect your rights and how to resolve conflict efficiently.
Have You Been Unfairly Dismissed?
An unfair dismissal takes place when an employee was unfairly or harshly dismissed from their job. This usually means the employer failed to follow the correct procedure to dismiss a worker. If you feel you’ve been unfairly dismissed, you need to act immediately.
The Fair Work Commission decides the outcome of unfair dismissal cases. The unfairly dismissed employee has 21 days, starting the day after dismissal, to apply to the commission. Employees need to have been employed for at least 12 months before they can apply.
Know Your Rights as An Employee
Along with several dos and don’ts in the professional setup, there are also several rights that employees are entitled to, and very few know about these rights. Here is some in-office wisdom that every employee should equip themselves with when it comes to their rights in the workplace.
You Have the Right to Copies of the Documents You Sign
Regardless of the obvious things you sign for in your employment agreement, like not disclosing customer information or working for the competitor, can you remember anything else you signed for?
Whether you’re planning on leaving the company soon or sticking around for a while, it’s your right to get copies of everything you sign. It gives both parties a sense of security to see facts in writing and ensures everyone are fully aware of their obligations.
Right Against Sexual Harassment
Sexual harassment has become a prominent topic in the workplace and it’s something employees, especially women, can expect to deal with at least once during their career.
It is the responsibility of the employer to protect their employees. Sometimes, however, it’s the employer who is guilty and against whom action is needed. Familiarise yourself with what situations are characterised as sexual harassment, so you know when you have a legal right to request that the actions come to an end.
Right to Complain About Working Conditions
The law says that every employee has the right to object to working conditions. If you feel your company is not providing you with sufficient working conditions, you need to take it up with your superior. If your company fails to improve the working conditions, you need to take further action as they might be breaking the law.
How Do I Defend Myself Against HR?
The first thing to remember about HR is that they’re not your friends. Although they are there to help, they will always protect the company. However, HR will also try to prevent lawsuits, so your interest and HR’s interests must be aligned for the best outcome.
Many people find seeking the help of HR unpleasant and they’re worried about facing retaliation. Two of the most important things to remember before approaching HR is to always know your rights. The second thing is to always keep a record of the interactions. This provides you with proof that you requested understanding and details of communication, should you ever need it in a legal battle with your employer.
How to Keep a Job
No employee can be perfect, but as far as is possible become irreplaceable as an employee. This may be difficult in some circumstances mentioned above, but there are ways to improve the chances of keeping your job. For example:
- To protect yourself against sexual harassment, always make sure you set strict boundaries regarding personal space and the types of jokes you make and allow. If everyone knows this about you, they can speak in your favour if a case should go to court.
- To avoid unfair dismissal, always do your job to the best of your ability and regularly evaluate yourself to find room for improvement. Even ask for feedback from managers (in writing) to understand how others perceive your work.
- Be pleasant to work with, so you’re viewed as a team player.
- Have a positive attitude so managers would want to keep you around to positively influence others.
It’s clear: you as an employee have several rights, and it’s your responsibility to familiarise yourself with them. To protect your career path, keep a file of all the documents you sign and always display integrity in your actions.
When you find yourself in conflict with someone at work, try to resolve it calmly and fairly. If you must go to HR, know your rights before you enter their office.
If all else fails, it might be time to seek different employment.