10 Things Your Boss Can’t Do Legally

When it comes to work, what the boss says goes. These individuals are put in place to monitor employees and drive results, helping a company’s success. However, your boss isn’t above the law. 

The National Labor Relations Act (NRLA) details the illegality of hostile work environments, discrimination, unfair labor practices, and more. If your boss is violating any of the various statutes in employment law, you have the right to seek compensation. Here’s what you need to know. 


Your boss isn’t king of the castle, as much as some would like that to be true. They are not infallible, and they cannot act in any manner they please without fear of repercussion. Violations of labor laws from bosses include:

  • Asking prohibited questions on job application or during interviews
  • Requiring you to sign a broad non-compete agreement
  • Forbid employees from discussing their salaries
  • Refusing to pay overtime or minimum wage
  • Promise jobs to unpaid interns
  • Discriminate against employees
  • Allow employees to work off the clock
  • Retaliate against you for whistleblowing or reporting them
  • Fire a worker after papering their personnel file
  • Treat an independent contractor like an employee
  • Discipline an employee for complaining about the job on social media
  • Ignore or encourage a hostile work environment
  • Ignore Title VII accommodations and exemptions
  • Fail to comply with federal mandates

Each of those bulleted items can be expanded upon, and often are in courts of law. A single employee rights lawyer San Francisco can handle hundreds of cases just like these each year. It’s unfortunate, but all too many employers think they can act above the law and mistreat their employees. 

What You Can Do

Learning about your rights as an employee is always the first step. This allows you to identify breaches of the law by your employer and document these instances as you begin to build your case. Re-reading the employee handbook can also help. 

The next step is to talk with a legal professional. They can take what you’ve witnessed along with your personal testimony and piece together a lawsuit, defending you along the way from employer retaliation and handling the immense amount of paperwork that goes into filing suit. 

They will also fight this battle for you in court as they help you seek compensation. Your case may need to be filed with the EEOC or NRL, though this process can take up to six months. It’s often better to speak with an attorney to better understand when you have a case and what actions you should take. 

You Have Rights

Your boss might be in charge of your work activities, but they cannot simply do whatever they please. Like you, they’re held to a set of laws and standards. If your employer is violating labor laws or your rights as an employee, don’t hesitate to seek help. You have protected rights as an individual and employee.