Knowing Your Rights
As a worker, you should be treated fairly and feel safe in your place of employment. If you have experienced sexual harassment in the workplace, been given lower pay because of your gender or been wronged by your employer in some way, then there are resources available to you. Please see the information below.
Sexual Harassment in the Workplace:
- The Equal Opportunity Employment Commission has information about what is considered sexual harassment, how much time you have to file a report and facts about sexual harassment in the workplace.
- The National Women's Law Center has facts about sexual harassment in the workplace as well as information about what steps you can take if you are being harassed.
- This article provides information for employers about preventing sexual harassment in the workplace and the benefits of creating a work environment in which all employees feel safe and respected.
- The Lilly Ledbetter Fair Pay Act of 2009 protects workers who, through discussions of pay in the workplace, discover that they have been discriminated against because of their gender and/or race.
- The National Council of Women's Organizations has a website to help you recognize instances of gender discrimination in the workplace.
- The American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) has information about pay inequality for women and other forms of gender discrimination in the workplace.
- The Equal Opportunity Employment Commission has a website with step-by-step instructions explaining how to file a charge of gender discrimination.
- The ACLU of Pennsylvania has a fact sheet for lesbian/gay/bisexual/transgender (LGBT) individuals in Pennsylvania about their rights in the workplace. Currently, Pittsburgh, Philadelphia, Lancaster City, Allegheny County and Erie County have protections in place for LGBT workers, and all state employees are also granted protections.
Unsafe Working Conditions:
- The Occupational Safety and Health Administration guarantees you the right to a safe workplace. Visit their website for information about what you can do if you are being subjected to unsafe conditions at work.
- The United States Department of Labor has information about reporting unsafe working conditions. They also provide a list of their offices in Pennsylvania, where you can file a report.
Your Rights as a Worker
- The National Labor Relations Act guarantees workers the rights to form unions. Your employers can legally attempt to discourage union activity in the workplace, but your employer cannot attempt to prevent you from forming a union with threats of firing, violence or other forms of coercion.
- This article gives a basic overview of what unions are, why workers might form unions and legal protections for workers looking to form unions.
- The Office and Professional Employees International Union has an article about your rights as a worker looking to form a union and what to do if your employer makes illegal threats against employees involved in union activities.
- The Pennsylvania AFL-CIO also has information about your rights to form a union and how to take action if you wish to organize in your workplace.
- The Pennsylvania Labor Relations Board deals with labor-management issues.