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If you work in the USA, know your rights as an employee

There are several important laws you should know and understand as an employee in America. You're protected by the federal government in many ways, so you shouldn't let your bosses or employers take advantage of you or discriminate against you.

Did you know that the Fair Labor Standards Act guarantees you with a minimum wage for your work? Every state has a different minimum wage, even though there is a federal minimum. California's minimum wage is $11 per hour, although certain cities my have higher minimums.

What are some other important employment laws?

Other important employment laws include health coverage laws and workplace safety requirements. According to the Occupational Safety and Health Act of 1970, employers need to provide safe work environments. The act prohibits workplace practices that are clearly dangerous to employees. The Occupational Safety and Health Administration is also primarily responsible for making sure employers follow the laws, although there are other agencies that may do so as well.

Keep in mind another important law, which requires employers to provide health insurance to full-time workers. To qualify as employees, workers have to be on the job for at least 30 hours a week on average. Thanks to the Affordable Care Act, health insurance became a right for full-time workers who were employed at mid-sized to large companies. Since 2015, employers have been required to provide coverage to their full-time workers if they have 50 or more employees at their companies.

One of the last, and most important, laws is the Civil Rights Act of 1964. This act makes it illegal for employers to discriminate against employees for things like their sex, religion or skin color. In combination with the Lily Ledbetter Fair Pay Act from 2009, workers are now not able to be paid less just because of being in a minority or being women.

As an employee, you should keep these laws in mind whenever you start a job. It's your employer's responsibility to act in your best interests, and it's beneficial for you to know your rights in case your employer is not following the law. Knowing your rights can help you avoid situations in which you're discriminated against or have to struggle to make the same wages as others you work with on the job. Everyone deserves to be treated fairly in the workplace, regardless of their background or what they do for a living.

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