Do you imagine your boss secretly smiling at you or have caught them giving you a superior sort of look, one which makes you think that they know something that you don’t? Well, that is probably true, because there are dozens of times when your employers keep things hidden from you for their own benefit. These things pertain to your rights as an employee or they can even be used to promote your career or personal brand if you use the information right. If you want to know what is being kept a secret from you, read ahead.
1. Get Talking
If your office has a “No Discussion Policy” when it comes to talking about the working conditions with your peers and co-workers, this is a serious violation of the National Regulations Act (NLRA), which states that non-supervisory employees have the right to talk about their working conditions with other people in the office. You have the right to discuss salary and benefits and if you are stopped from doing that, you can file a suit with the NLRB called the Charge Against Employer.
2. Don’t Be an Under Dog
If you find that your working conditions are ghastly or lack basic provisions, you have the right to complain or protest. If you have ever wondered why employees are not fired when they take part in an open protest, this is due to the fact that this act is legally protected. If you have an objection to your working conditions, you can protest. However, you cannot do it alone or just on your behalf. Discuss the issue(s) with your co-workers and if they agree, then you can move ahead to make your point known.
3. The Right to Keep Copies
You can keep the copies of every document that you sign. There must have been many documents which you signed at the time of your employment. You do remember signing documents, which were shoved at you and somewhere along the way, and you must have disagreed with many of the clauses present in them; you might not even be aware of what you actually agreed to do or not to do. Thus, it is a smart decision to keep copies of everything you sign so that you can look at them whenever the need arises. All you need to do is to contact the HR and ask them to provide you a copy of each document or you can email the head of your department to do so.
4. Read and Get a Copy of Your Employee Handbook
This document might seem boring and quite lengthy to you. Although it might not be such a riveting read, it is full of job-related information. Some organizations are quite nifty with their handbooks and intentionally keep them out of reach of employees, to prevent them from learning about the company’s policy on important issues such as family and medical leaves, harassment at work, sick leaves and discrimination.
5. There is No Such Thing as Freedom of Speech
Especially when you work for a private firm, if you send your CEO a long letter about the unprofessional attitude of your manager, you can be fired from your job. Complaining about a hostile working environment, bullying, favoritism and lack of professionalism doesn’t protect you from retaliation. Moreover, don’t expect to be treated fairly if you are caught having a loud political and heated discussion with your coworker.
6. Your Company Might Have a Claim to your Social Media Contacts
Employers have been known to take over the LinkedIn, Facebook and twitter contacts present in their employees’ accounts. They conclude that if you signed an intellectual property agreement, anything that you wrote or thought while at work belongs to the company and to them. Having a non-compete or a non-solicitation agreement also prohibits you from keeping any contractual, vendor or customer information with you, regardless of the fact that the list was built by you or not.