How to Protect Yourself Financially From a Disability

Category : legal

Life is unpredictable, and no matter how careful you are about your health and safety, it’s possible to suffer a short-term disability at any time. Even a minor accident or illness could keep you out of work for months. To protect yourself and your family financially, you should take several proactive steps.

Create an Emergency Fund

Saving is never easy, but it’s important to put aside some money from every paycheck to create an emergency fund. The amount isn’t as important as the regularity. Even a small biweekly contribution can accumulate over time to a significant amount.

Then, don’t touch the money unless there’s a real emergency. If you do have to miss work because of a short-term disability, you’ll have the funds to keep paying your bills. If you’re fortunate to never use it, you’ll have a nice nest egg someday.

Evaluate Your Insurance Needs

Check with your employer to see what types of insurance may help you out in case of a short-term disability. The two most common work benefits are short-term disability and workers’ compensation. An injury on the job may entitle you to workers’ compensation.

If you are injured off the job or you experience illness, then disability insurance may cover you. Coverage varies, but it could pay half or more of your salary if you’re out of work for up to a year. Your employer may provide the insurance at no cost or with low-cost premiums, so consult with your HR department.

Keep Your Debt Low

Disability pay might cover the basics, such as rent and utilities, but if you have high debt, you may still struggle financially. Credit card debt is the worst because of the high interest rates. If you’re only able to make the minimum payment each month because you’re out of work, your balance could skyrocket. Plan now to eliminate the credit card debt balance and keep it low enough to pay off each month. That way, if something happens that puts you in a financial crunch, you won’t be adding to the pain with high debt.

Planning for the worst isn’t always on your mind, especially if you’re young and healthy. But that’s precisely the best time to get your finances in order. Emergencies happen without warning, and you can get through them with peace of mind if you are well prepared.

Check out this article on high-paying trades you should look into!

What You Need to Know About Your Rights

Category : legal

Wherever you are employed, and whatever industry you work in, you have rights guaranteed by federal law. Although you certainly hope you will never need to pursue any relief or litigation, you should be informed about your rights and understand how they apply to you. While your rights are many, there are three that rise to the top in importance.

Your Rights Against Discrimination

In hiring, promotion, or job assignment, you are protected against discrimination if you are a member of certain protected classes. These include race, color, sex, religion, disability, national origin or age (40 years or older). Sex includes gender identity and expression, as well as sexual orientation. If you feel you have been discriminated against, you should take action. Keep records and document instances of discrimination by date, time, place, and people involved. First, file a complaint with the designated authority in your workplace. If the issue is not resolved, you can contact the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) for further steps.

Your Right to Physical Safety

Even if you work in an inherently dangerous situation, such as dealing with hazardous materials or working in high-rise construction, your employer is required to make working conditions as safe as possible. This may involve anything from providing protective clothing to making alterations in the workplace to make it safer. Employers must follow regulations set by the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA). Employees that are put in danger have a right to file a complaint with OSHA. You can report by phone, email, or online at the OSHA website.

Your Right to Non-Retaliation

Whether your complaint is for discrimination, sexual harassment, an unsafe workplace, or any other concern, you have a right to file a report or complaint without fearing retaliation from your employer. You are protected from getting fired, demoted, harassed, having wages reduced, or being assigned an unfavorable position because of making a complaint on any level.

If you experience any retaliation, you can take legal measures. You can contact the EEOC, the DOJ, or your equivalent state agency. Going directly to an attorney is also an option.

Knowing your rights contributes to your safety and wellbeing in the workplace. Your employer has a responsibility to make information about your rights available to you, so it’s acceptable to ask about your company’s workers’ rights policies. When everyone is aware and informed, everyone benefits.

Read this next: Why It’s Important to Get to Know Your Workplace Well


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