Starting your career can be quite exciting, but you should be careful not to fall victim to certain legal issues. At the same time, it is important to know that you are entitled to certain rights in the workplace.
In this guide, we will cover three common issues that you need to be aware of as you start your career.
In the workplace, discrimination can come in many forms. It may be because of your race, ethnic origin, disability, religion, or even sexual preference. It is important to note that discrimination resulting from such issues is illegal, so you may need to hire a workplace lawyer to deal with the problem.
In the USA, the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) enforces federal laws that prohibit discrimination against job applicants and employees. Discrimination can be seen in the hiring patterns of a company, its training, its wages, and its benefits.
While the US laws don’t prohibit simple teasing or offhanded comments, such cases can be punishable by law if they are frequent enough to make the working environment hostile. The issues can also be punishable if they result in adverse employment decisions. For example, if the victim ends up getting demoted or fired, they may go forward with a claim to the EEOC.
2. Patent Infringement
Patent infringement can be a major issue for employees who are also inventors. This issue is more common in start-ups that are trying to come up with new technologies or methods of doing things. In some cases, the employees will be required to sign away the ownership of their patents to the company.
Generally, inventors are presumed to be the owners of their inventions unless have assigned their rights to the patent. That being said, courts may find that employees don’t have the rights to their patents because of their employee or assignment contracts.
3. Wrong Employment Status
When you start your career, you should also be careful about your employment status. Some companies hire interns who end up doing the same work as actual employees, and this can be illegal. This will especially be clear if there are employees with your level of experience or education who are getting paid full wages for the same work.
The purpose of an intern is to help inexperienced workers learn a trade, and they aren’t necessarily meant to do meaningful work for the company. You should note that interns in the USA are required to report their salaries in their taxes, and in some cases, they may even qualify for unemployment benefits.
As you start your career, you need to be aware of a few issues. One of these is discrimination. If you think your workplace is discriminating against you because of your race, gender, sexual orientation, or ethnic origin, you may have a case against the company.
You should also be aware of patent infringement laws and how they can affect you in the workplace. Another issue to check is your employment status.