Employment and Jobs

Tools: Legal Rights

May 11, 2020  • Economic Opportunities Program

Job Quality Tools Library > Section 4: Strengthening Practices to Improve Job Quality > Tools: Legal Rights

Originally posted: May 11, 2020
Last updated: September 1, 2021

Section 4, the core of the library, includes tools designed to address specific components of job quality. Once organizations have determined their job quality priorities, they can turn to these tools to shift practices in the areas they have deemed most urgent, either in their own organizations or in the businesses with which they partner.

We’ve organized tools in eight categories that reflect the job quality attributes most commonly cited across the job quality frameworks and definitions included in Section 1. These attributes include wages, benefits, scheduling, legal rights, equity and inclusion, opportunity to build skills and advance, supportive work environment, and worker voice. Each attribute also includes sub-categories for ease of navigation.

↓ Tools and Resources Below the Box ↓



Center for Law and Social Innovation and the Center for Innovation in Worker Organization – The Labor Standards Enforcement Series

Who’s It For: Worker Advocacy, Workforce Development

What’s It For: Labor laws can support job quality for workers — but only insofar as they are enforced and that workers know about these laws and can assert their rights without fear of retaliation. This detailed series includes briefs and webinars that highlight promising practices for implementing and upholding labor standards, including uncovering and investigating violations and enacting enforcement. The briefs are on topics including compliance, investigations, and collections. These resources explain the role that public agencies, community-based organizations, businesses, and advocates can play in ensuring that basic labor standards are upheld.


Women Employed – Filing an Employment Discrimination Charge with the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC)

Who’s It For: Worker Advocacy, Workforce Development

What’s It For: While workers are granted basic protections against discrimination under the Civil Rights Act of 1964, these rights are not always enforced. This fact sheet provides a step-by-step walkthrough of the EEOC filing process to take legal recourse against discrimination. Included are sections such as a description of your legal rights, information needed to file a charge, the investigation, the employer’s response, and mediation and settlement. This resource will be most useful for workers facing discrimination and their advocates.


Center for WorkLife Law – Bias Interrupters – Toolkits

Who’s It For: Employers, Economic Development, Investing and Lending, Worker Advocacy, Workforce Development

What’s It For: These toolkits serve as guides to support individuals and organizations to interrupt biases in business processes such as hiring and recruiting, performance evaluations, assignments, meetings, and compensation. The toolkits, which are designed to interrupt biases at the organizational, supervisory, and individual levels, can support in operationalizing inclusive workplace practices. The toolkits also distill literature on bias into actionable steps. To access the toolkits, click the “View Toolkits” button in the center of the screen.


Job Accommodation Network – Employees’ Practical Guide to Requesting and Negotiating Reasonable Accommodation Under the Americans with Disabilities Act

Who’s It For: Employers, Worker Advocacy, Workforce Development

What’s It For: This guide includes information about the legal basics of the Americans with Disabilities Act and how to request and negotiate an accommodation. Each section responds to commonly asked questions about the policies and practicalities of getting an accommodation at work, including if you have to disclose your disability to your employer and what accommodations you can request. This tool could be helpful for an individual employee, a practitioner informing clients of their rights, or an employer seeking to strengthen accommodations.


Job Accommodation Network – Employee Accommodation Inquiry Letter

Who’s It For: Worker Advocacy, Workforce Development

What’s It For: This post and sample letter details how to document your disability and how to share the information with your employer to provide an accommodation. It includes helpful information about an employee’s rights and a sample letter of inquiry to an employer. Employees and the advocates who support them may find this tool useful when interfacing with an employer about needed accommodations.


Job Accommodation Network – Accommodation and Compliance Series by Disability

Who’s It For: Worker Advocacy, Workforce Development

What’s It For: The Job Accommodation Network’s publications include a resource series on Accommodation and Compliance, designed to support employers and employees in determining effective accommodations that comply with the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA). Each publication in the series addresses a specific medical condition and potential accommodations and points toward resources for additional information. These publications can be used by practitioners assisting employers in accommodating disabilities as well as by individual employees as they discuss accommodations with their employer.


Supplemental Resources
  1. AFL-CIO – Your Rights at Work. This report provides a guide to an employee’s legal rights at work as well as a list of advocacy organizations that can assist in understanding and enforcing these rights in the workplace. This is a useful resource for worker advocates and other practitioners seeking to deepen their understanding of the statutes that address protected identities, wage theft, unemployment benefits, and more.
  2. Fe y Justicia Worker Center – All Workers Have Rights. This webpage and virtual handbook is designed to educate workers about their rights on the job. Topics include wage theft, discrimination, sexual harassment, labor/human trafficking, and occupational safety with a spotlight on issues facing undocumented workers. Although some information is specific to Texas law, the information has relevance beyond Texas and could be adapted to different geographies. A range of organizations that work with workers, including workforce development and advocacy organizations, may find this resource useful to help educate workers about their rights. To view the virtual handbook, scroll down toward the bottom of the page to the header “All Workers Have Rights.”
  3. University of Illinois Labor Education Program – Workers’ Rights for Workforce Development. This “train-the-trainer” curriculum is designed for workforce development staff to educate clients about their rights as workers and strategies for protecting those rights. Units include wage and hour regulations, hiring and termination, leaves of absence, discrimination on the job, worker health and safety, and worker organizing. Although the curriculum highlights regulations that are specific to Chicago, the curriculum can serve as a model for others across the country. In addition to workforce development practitioners, worker advocacy professionals may also find this curriculum useful.