Workers in the United States have some of w most robust and comprehensive worker’s rights of any country in the world. The federal and state governments seek to protect workers while they are working and even in between employment. Here is a list of some of the most often cited worker’s rights that are standard for American workers.
Workers Compensation Insurance
Workers compensation insurance is a federally mandated, state managed and employer financed insurance that covers workers who are injured or fall ill while they are at the job. This program is designed to take the mystery out of who is at fault and who will pay when a worker gets hurt. The program varies in small ways from state to state but overs more than 90% of workers at private companies. Sometimes there is a dispute between employer and employee over workers compensation and this results in the employee engaging a local workers’ compensation attorney to assist in helping to employee to receive workers compensation benefits. These specialized attorneys can get needed medical care and compensation for employees in need.
Employers must pay each worker a federally mandated minimum wage that is set by the government. Today several states mandate a minimum wage higher than the federal minimum wage in order to ensure workers make a salary that allows them to afford to live in the city in which they work.
A 40 Hour Work Week with Overtime
All American workers are guaranteed to work only a 40 hour work week for the base salary they receive. Any additional hours must be agreed to by the employee (not mandated by the employer) and the employee must receive a salary higher than their base salary for this additional work.
Every employee is eligible to receive unemployment benefits if they are terminated from their current job and cannot find employment elsewhere. This federally mandated program provides workers with financial payments for a specific period of time or until they find a new job. Benefits are provided by state unemployment insurance programs within guidelines established by federal law. Eligibility for unemployment insurance, benefit amounts, and the length of time benefits are provided are determined by each state.
Depending on where you work and the type of employment you have, you may also be eligible for Family and Medical Leave, State mandated Disability Insurance or Consolidated Omnibus Budget Reconciliation Act COBRA, which gives certain employees, spouses, former spouses, children, and retirees who lose their health benefits because of the loss of a job, the option to continue health benefits for limited periods of time at group rates.
The US federal government is constantly reviewing the status of the American workers to insure that are receiving benefits that allow them to live healthy and productive lives as they work hard to get ahead. Collectively these employee benefits provide a needed safety net for American workers.