Special Report

The Labor Laws Your Boss Doesn't Want You to Know About

Thomas C. Frohlich, John Harrington

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Whistleblower shield

The Occupational Safety and Health Administration, as well as labor and public safety laws, shield so-called whistleblowers who expose violations of the law by their employers. Whistleblowers may be reinstated at their job and receive payment of back wages.

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Hostile workplace

A hostile working environment is only illegal if it is due to legally protected status such as race, age, sex, religion, or disability, and workers should complain. Otherwise, a hostile work environment in which harassment or bullying occurs is not necessarily illegal.

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Re-employment for military personnel

Those who serve in the military have a right to be re-employed by the company where they were employed at the time they joined the service.

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Protest protection

According to the NLRA, you have protection to raise objections about workplace conditions, but only if you are doing so on behalf of others as well as yourself. If you do so just for yourself, you aren’t protected.

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Employee Polygraph Protection Act

The Employee Polygraph Protection Act forbids most employers from using lie detectors on employees, though it allows employers to perform the test under certain circumstances, such as for prospective employees at federal agencies such as the FBI.