Starting Your First Job – Know Your Employment Rights

So, you’re starting your first job? Congratulations! But before you get to work, it is essential to take note of your employment rights. This way, you will not be exploited at work.

Let’s look at some key employment rights.

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Right to a Safe Workplace

The government gives employees the right to a healthy and safe workplace. Before you start working, your employer is required to inform you about workplace hazards through training, labels, alarms, or color-coded systems.

If you get hurt at work, you should first inform your supervisor so that they get the paperwork ready. Your employer will also let you know which doctor you should visit as the company will always have health insurance for workers’ injuries.

Once you are released by the doctor to go back to work, you will have the right to return to your job.

Right to Compensation Equality

Employees also have to be compensated equally, provided they perform the same work. This was a major issue in the past, where women were usually given lower pay for similar tasks. As per this law, the jobs don’t have to be exactly the same for the payment to be equal; but they have to be substantially similar.

Also, the law doesn’t consider the job titles and instead focuses on the content of the work. You should remember that all forms of pay are covered by this law, including salaries, overtime, stock options, profit-sharing, bonuses, and life insurance.

Right to Family and Medical Leave

At some point, you may need to take time off work in order to take care of a sick family member. You may also need to take a leave because you are suffering from an illness. In either of these scenarios, your employer is required to protect your job for the duration of your leave.

Some medical conditions that would qualify for medical leave include incapacitating illnesses, childbirth, and conditions that require hospitalization. The duration of the time off will vary depending on the situation and your country of residence.

During this period, your employer may still give you a salary and other benefits.

Right to a Harassment-Free Workplace

You also have a right to work in a harassment-free environment. The law protects employees from discrimination based on race, gender, sexual orientation, age, religion, disability, and nationality. You should also take note of any quid pro quo as this amounts to harassment.

If you think you are being harassed in your workplace, you should contact Denver discrimination attorneys HKM for guidance on how you should handle the situation.

Right to a Living Wage

The minimum wage varies from one place to another. As an employee, you should know the living wage in your country or city and should ensure that your employer is able to meet this requirement. Paying people less than minimum wage amounts to exploitation and is punishable by the law.


Employees are entitled to various rights, and these include the right to compensation equality, right to a safe workplace, right to a harassment-free workplace, right to family and medical leave, and the right to a living wage.

As you start your new job, you should take note of these rights and contact a competent attorney in case they are breached.