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Do you know all your rights as an employee in Minnesota?

Most adults have worked under the employment of another at some point. The hierarchical structure of many workplaces can foster an environment where employees may feel insecure about their options and obligations as workers. Consequently, these types of doubts can prohibit an employee from asking questions or exercising his or her rights on the job. That is why it is helpful for Minnesota workers to revisit a few practical employment law facts that may be relevant to every working American.

All Americans are privileged to the freedom of speech, but that may not be the case for millions of employees in this country. Like it or not, it often ultimately comes down to the discretion of office management to deal with employee complaints regarding everything from co-workers to job satisfaction. Voicing personal concerns or opinions at work is usually accompanied by the risk of disciplinary action.

That is not to say, however, that employees have no voice or recourse against issues like harassment or discrimination. Illegal hostile working conditions can and should be addressed to management without fear of retaliation. And as it turns out, there really is safety in numbers when it comes to complaining about working conditions. Employees may enjoy protection from retaliation in many instances if they voice concern collectively.

Many workers might even be surprised to learn that they are actually allowed to talk to their peers about issues like pay and company policies in most instances. The National Labor Relations Board confirms that many people hired by private businesses have the right to discuss their working conditions with coworkers, even if the business claims otherwise.

By having a clear understanding of your employment rights and responsibilities, you can recognize potential opportunities and hazards you may face in the workplace.

Source: Forbes, "Ten Things Your Boss Doesn't Want You To Know," Deborah, L. Jacobs, Feb. 5, 2013

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