Every organization has an obligation to its employees to communicate about the rights and policies for the individual within the larger organization. Non-profit organizations vary in size, type and purpose. Employment rights vary by agency, state and profession. However, an employee of a non-profit is still guaranteed particular rights within their agency by virtue of their employment.
Employee rights fall within different categories. Health and safety in the workplace relates to medical benefits and what happens if you are sick. It may also include information about personal leave time for family or medical emergencies. Provisions against personal or sexual harassment in the workplace is another rights area. Employee rights related to non-discrimination for roles or hiring exist as well as rights to privacy in the workplace, fair pay and time off. Organizations should also include rights information about leaving your job or losing your job, under both voluntary and involuntary circumstances.
The types of employee rights, even for non-profit organizations, may vary depending on what state you live and work in, what profession you have and even the size of the organization. There are national governing laws for employee rights, such as Whistleblower and Anti-Retaliation laws which protect employees' jobs and benefits when they file a complaint to an authority about activity in their company that could be dangerous to public safety, illegal or break trust with the public. In many organizations publicly visible posters list the specific rules of these rights.
Different rights laws have come about due to experiences and growth in our population and awareness. When women entered the public workforce, laws such as the Family and Medical Leave Act became essential to allow for pregnancy leave and compensation. In our early history, children's education needed to be protected until they were old enough to be considered viable employees and not taken advantage of in their youth, hence Child Labor Laws. Other populations such as older employees, ethnic minorities and gay/lesbian/transsexual/bisexual people have contributed to anti-discrimination and equality rights in the workplace, which improve conditions for all employees.
In the United States, the protection of employee rights and the current labor and employment laws were developed over the country's history in order to provide the best working conditions for employees of all professions, whether industrial, educational, professional or agricultural. Employee rights protect the jobs and benefits of individuals while also protecting the integrity of companies and organizations so they can produce fruitful results in their workplace.
Not every employer has the same obligation to its employees. National and state labor laws are the basis for employers' policies, but exemptions may apply because of the nature of the organization. For example, not all non-profit organizations are required to pay overtime because their salary structure is privately or publicly grant funded. Employees should carefully review the policies and rights from the human resources department of their particular non-profit organization before filing complaints that may not apply to their situation.
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