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3 employee rights laws

Both California and the federal government have enacted a number of laws to protect employees in the workplace. Here's a quick look at three federal laws for employee rights.

First up is the Age Discrimination in Employment Act. This act applies in workplaces that have at least 20 employees and it protects rights for individuals who are at least 40 years old. The purpose of the act is to ensure that employers don't provide favor to younger workers. Specifically, employers cannot make decisions benefiting younger workers at the expense of older workers. The act does not have a vice versa clause, meaning it doesn't protect younger workers in the same way.

A second act is the Americans with Disabilities Act, often called the ADA. The ADA protects those with a disability from workplace discrimination. Specifically, employers cannot discriminate by not hiring, promoting or otherwise offering a benefit to a person solely on the basis of an impairment that limits the person in a specific mental or physical area. This doesn't mean that employers have to hire people who cannot perform the job, but if someone with a disability can perform the work, they cannot be dismissed simply because of the disability and the employer has to make reasonable accommodations for the person.

Finally, there is Title VII. This law only comes into play for employers who have at least 15 workers. Title VII does not allow employers to make hiring decisions based on national origin, sex, religion, race or color.

These are just three of the many laws protecting workers. If you believe your rights are being violated in the workplace, speak to an employee rights lawyer to find out about additional protections.

Source: FindLaw, "Employees Rights 101," accessed June 17, 2016

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