5 Signs of Exploitation In The Workplace & What To Do About It

5 Signs of Exploitation in the Workplace & What to Do About It

When you get hired to do a job, you have certain expectations. You have been told what your hours will be, how much you should get paid, and what your responsibilities are. You also should be informed about your breaks, days off, potential benefits, and your vacation time. You should be treated with respect. Discrimination has no place in the modern workplace. Your conditions at the job site should be safe and healthy. Unfortunately, there are always going to be some employers who take advantage of their workforce. Pay close attention to these 5 signs of exploitation in the workplace and know what you should do about it.

1. You Have Been Asked To Do More Than Your Normal Responsibilities On A Regular Basis

You accepted your job because you believed you had a role that was designated for you. If you find yourself taking on more than you signed up for in the beginning, you are being exploited. This especially holds true if you are not given the option to refuse, your extra responsibilities are keeping you on the job past your normal hours, and you aren't being compensated for doing more.

2. Your Paycheck Isn't Showing Up

When you begin any job, your paycheck is a priority. You'll be told what you can expect for your hourly wage or annual salary. You'll also be informed of when your pay period ends. There may be a delay, in the beginning, depending on your start date. However, there's a big problem if payday keeps rolling around while you don't receive a check. You can't be expected to work without pay.

3. You Are Asked To Work On Your Day Off

Your days off are yours to do whatever you want with them. Unless you have certain days when you are on call, you should not be expected to give up your time off. Your boss may ask you to help out in a pinch from time to time with the understanding you will be paid. You should have the option to say no. If you are pressured or bullied into coming in, it's a problem. It's even worse if you aren't paid for it.

4. Your Schedule Is Changed Constantly Without Any Warning

You should have a regular schedule so you can plan accordingly for appointments and other activities on your time off. If your employer pulls the rug out from under you by suddenly changing up your schedule, you have cause for frustration. Telling you to come to work when you were supposed to be off, means you are being exploited, especially if you are threatened with dismissal if you don't come in.

5. Your Employer Is Causing You Emotional Or Physical Strain

If your employer has established a work environment that is hostile to you, this can put a great deal of strain on your emotional state. It's hard to have a positive attitude about your job if you are filled with dread. If your employer fails to create a safe environment, you could be compromised physically. If you have a disability or a health condition that requires certain accommodations, your employer has a legal responsibility to take them into account. Keeping you on your feet too long, withholding break times when you need to rest, or refusing to give you privacy to administer medication is a violation of your rights. A Seattle L&I attorney can assist you in fighting injustice brought on by your employer when you are at work. You should not accept conditions that are placing unacceptable levels of stress on you.

If you recognize signs of exploitation at your job, you can take action. You can begin by reporting your complaint to someone who has your back. It could be your union representative, someone in human resources, or your employer's superior. If this does not get you anywhere, you can turn to the Department of Labor for the United States. Hiring a lawyer to represent you could be the next step to receive compensation that is your due. Remember that you have no obligation to stay at a job where you are being exploited. You can move on and still fight for restitution with help from a legal professional.

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