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Top 5 Most Common Examples of Workplace Violations in the US

Elechi Emekobum By Elechi Emekobum 5 Min Read
common examples of workplace violations

It’s a fact that not everyone knows or understands what rights they have at work. So, what do you know about workplace violations?

Regulations are designed to safeguard employers and employees from workplace violations. However, do you know what rights you have at work as an employee?

SEE ALSO: Working from Home? 3 Ways To Keep Your Home Office Safe

However, with all the regulations that go into employment, one would think that everyone would receive their fair share for the work that they do.

Examples of workplace violations in the US

As an employee, you would be surprised to discover that many employers commit workplace violations on a regular basis.

To spare yourself from becoming a victim, below are some of the most common examples of workplace violations in the US.

#1]. Unpaid Work

When your tasks include taking care of stock, programming websites, or just cleaning the work area, you are always entitled to regular wages for the time you spend at work.

No matter what your job is, you should be receiving money for the work that you do. You’re also entitled to any overtime you work. Such overtime work includes working through your lunch break or staying after hours to get extra work done.

Your employer is legally required to pay you for this time. Otherwise, there may be some legal trouble in favor of serving victims of wage theft.


Top 5 Most Common Examples of Workplace Violations in the US

#2]. Unpaid Vacation Time

This is entirely dependent on the state that you live in, as well as what the company policy is for your workplace. According to the Fair Labor Standards Act, employers are not required to pay employees for unused vacation time.

However, if your employer does provide paid vacation, then the time collected becomes part of the employee’s compensation. If an employee is fired or quits with vacation time still accrued, then employers are required to pay for that time.

#3]. “Use It or Lose It”

When it comes to vacation time, some companies adopt the policy that if you don’t use your vacation time before the end of the year, then you’ve lost it.

However, this policy depends on which state you are working in. As a result, this policy is deemed illegal in some states such as Nebraska, California, and Montana.

In states like New York and North Carolina, employers are required to inform employees of any policies regarding lost vacation time if it’s not used.

#4]. Commissions and Bonuses

If your employment is the kind that involves commissions and bonuses, then you are legally entitled to these wages. Performance benchmarks, such as meeting sales quotas, are not regulated but if you have been promised these, then you should receive them.

These bonuses and commissions are also stated in the contract with your employer, so it’s not a guarantee if it’s not in the print. If it is in the clauses, however, and your employer refuses to pay them, then they have violated employment law.

#5]. Misclassification of Employees

This can take place in two cases: employees misclassified as exempt workers and employees misclassified as independent contractors.

In regards to exempt workers, it’s important to pay attention to what your salary level is as well as the duties you’re performing. Exempt workers are not entitled to overtime pay.

On the other hand, independent contractors are self-employed workers who are not protected by tax and wage laws. This is because employers are not paying Social Security, Medicare, or federal unemployment insurance for independent contractors.

If you’re not an independent contractor, ensure that your employer isn’t classifying you as one. As employees, knowing your rights will ensure that you receive fair wages for the work that you do.


If you do notice any of these violations, it’s important that you seek recourse before missing out on any more wages.


What Are the Top 5 Most Common Examples of Workplace Violation in the US?
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Elechi Emekobum is into health and social care. She loves blogging, content writing, social media, branding, travelling, gadgets, and health products. Check out her other articles on and follow her on Twitter.
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