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Not only will that part time job give you a few extra fun $, it will provide you will work experience that can lead to a great college and career. One thing to remember though is that regardless of where you work, you have employee rights. Now that your old enough to have a job, it's time to learn some of the rights that will protect you at any job.

Employee: The person hired to do a job

Employer: The company that hired the employee

There is an agency called OSHA (Occupational Safety and Health Administration) OSHA's mission is to prevent injuries and protect the health of America's workers by promoting positive and safe work experiences. Regardless of your age, OSHA policies and rules will protect you against hazardous work environments. This is a summary of your rights. For more details go to the OSHA website.

From the OSHA website

  • OSHA requires employers to provide a workplace that is free of serious recognized hazards and in compliance with OSHA standards.
  • Get training from your employer
  • Training from your employer on chemicals you are exposed to during your work and information on how to protect yourself from harm.
  • Employers must establish a comprehensive, written hazard communication program (Chemical Hazard Communication)
  • Your employer must label chemical containers, make material safety data sheets with detailed hazard information available to employees,
  • A training program with a list the hazardous chemicals in each work area.
  • Your employer must make OSHA standards, worker injuries and illnesses, job hazards and workers' rights available to you.

Safety and health hazards rights at the workplace

  • You have the right to request your employer to correct hazards or violations in the work area.
  • You may ask your employer to correct hazards even if they are not violations of specific OSHA standards. Be sure to keep copies of any requests you make to your employer to correct hazards.
  • You have the right to file a complaint with OSHA
  • File a complaint and request OSHA to conduct an inspection
  • You have the right to be involved in OSHA's inspection of your workplace.
  • You have the right to find out results of an OSHA inspection.
  • You have the right to be involved in any meetings or hearings to discuss any objections your employer has to OSHA's citations or to changes in abatement deadlines.
  • You have the right to file a formal appeal of deadlines for correction of hazards.
  • You have the right to file a discrimination complaint.

Employer Intimidation

Employers who knowingly violate employee rights by knowingly placing employees in dangerous situations may use intimidation to prevent an employee from reporting the employer. Not all employers are bad but they do exist and the worst of them are very sneaky about how to intimidate an employee so that it doesn't seem like intimidation.

If you feel that your rights or the employer's work environment is violating rule(s), talk to a parent, a school official or an adult you trust. Run by them what you think may be a violation and listen to their opinion. OSHA has a program called The Whistleblower Program.

The program was created to set policies and procedures for employees who complained of violations against they're employer and the employer retaliated. Under the Whistleblower Program OSHA investigates employer intimidation against employees.

Employee Responsibilities

  • Follow safe work practices for your job, as directed by your employer and/or supervisor.
  • Ask questions
  • Tell your supervisor, boss, parent, or other adult if you feel threatened or endangered at work.
  • Be aware of your environment at all times.
  • Be involved in establishing or improving your work site safety and health program.
  • Trust your instincts.
  • Stay sober.
  • Don't play around at work

Employee are injured and killed at work most often from:

  • Unsafe equipment
  • Stressful conditions
  • Inadequate safety training
  • Inadequate supervision
  • Dangerous work that is illegal or inappropriate for the employee
  • Trying to hurry
  • Alcohol and drug use
  • Machine-related accidents
  • Electrocution
  • Falls
  • Playing around equipment and in areas that present a danger

What is Fair Labor Standards Act?

The federal law which sets minimum wage, overtime pay, equal pay, record keeping and the child labor standards for employees who are covered by the Act.

References

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