Workers’ Rights Guide

The Workplace Justice Project offers legal assistance for a wide range of workers’ rights violations. Here are a few of the areas we work in.

Pay Issues and Wage Theft

The Workplace Justice Project may be able to help you if:

  • You were not paid the amount promised to you for your work; or
  • You were not paid for all of the hours that you worked; or
  • Your actual pay works out to less than $7.25 an hour (the federal minimum wage) when you divide your pay by the number of hours you worked in each week; or
  • You worked more than 40 hours a week and did not receive extra overtime pay; or
  • You did construction work on a government project and were not paid the required prevailing wage rate; or
  • Your employer made illegal deductions from your pay.

The right to be paid minimum wage and overtime pay applies to most employees, including workers that are paid by day rate, piece rate, and salary. The federal law also protects workers that are paid in cash and off-the-books.

Basic Employment Rights

The WJP fights to ensure that all workers can enforce their basic rights in the workplace.

All workers, regardless of immigration status, have the ability to enforce their basic employment rights at work.

Most workers have the following protections in the workplace:

  • The right to receive minimum wage;
  • The right to receive overtime pay after 40 hours of work in the workweek;
  • The right to be paid what you were promised;
  • The right to work free from illegal discrimination;
  • The right to advocate for improvements to your wages and working conditions;
  • The right to a safe workplace;
  • The right to access the justice system to enforce your rights.

Workplace Discrimination and Retaliation

Generally, employees have the right to be treated fairly, to report abuse without retaliation, request help from unions and immigrant and labor rights groups, and to work free from discrimination.

Certain types of discrimination are prohibited in the workplace under federal law and Louisiana law, including discrimination based on race, sex, religion, ethnicity, national origin (including language), age, or disability. Sex discrimination includes pregnancy discrimination, sexual harassment, and discrimination based on gender identity/expression or transgender status. There are also protections for workers who were formerly incarcerated or have criminal records.

The law generally prohibits an employer from firing or retaliating against a worker for asserting his or her rights under these laws. Similarly, the law generally prohibits an employer from retaliating against workers that have expressed concern about their wages or working conditions.

The WJP provides legal representation to individuals and groups of workers whose rights have been violated in the workplace. If you feel that your rights have been violated or you would like more information about your rights in the workplace, contact the WJP.

For legal assistance or questions about your rights at work, contact us.

Notice: This is general information and is not legal advice.