Stopping Work Exploitation: What You Can Do

workers huddling

Everyone needs to work and earn money. While some places are excellent places to work, some employers exploit this need for income. They push their workers too much and do technically illegal things. Being aware of these violations is important since you can better protect yourself that way. Here are some ways your employer might be exploiting you and how you can defend against them.


One of the most common forms of exploitation at work is being given too much work. You might notice that you seem to be doing the work of two people, or you are always on overtime. The problem is that you should be getting paid for it, and it should be voluntary. Some employers dump extra work on their current employees so that they won’t have to pay more salaries. They usually do this to inexperienced new employees who don’t know any better. If you feel that you are doing too much work for too little pay, you should consult with experts. For example, if you are a newbie truck driver, consulting with a labor lawyer who works with truck drivers can give you an idea of what you should be getting paid and help you get the amount you deserve.

Doing Jobs Outside Of Your Position

Similar to overworking, you might be given jobs that you were not hired for. An example of this is that you might have been hired as a simple data encoder, but you are being given additional jobs and duties. While it is occasionally allowed for employers to give trusted staff additional work outside of their field, this is usually temporary. An exploitative boss would have you acting as their assistant when you have a different job. Normal bosses would transition you to new positions or give a promotion for the work you are doing. If you have been given additional duties indefinitely and have not received adequate pay or reward, then you should be asking for them. Requesting a raise should not be out of line. Negotiating first will give you an edge, but going to a lawyer would help if nothing changes.

woman reading

Incomplete Leave Policy

Leave time is important. It would be best if you had the chance to relax and take a break. It is even more important if something major happened, like a sickness or a bereavement. When your company doesn’t have a clear leave or vacation policy, you might need to worry. A good policy allows you to get still paid or have a chance to come back to work with no worries.

Additionally, while it is not a legal requirement to give employees vacation days, you know that a business is exploitative if it doesn’t offer any at all. Besides that, when a company does offer vacation days, it is legally required to convert any vacation days to cash. If it does not do that, then the company is cheating you, and you need to complain.

No Promotions Or Recognition

While a company is not required to promote people or give them bonuses, it is the mark of a good operation that great work gets a reward. If you have been working hard and are not getting recognition or praise for it, you will likely be exploited. A good company would reward you for doing a great job. The reward is even more important if you did something noteworthy. If you feel you are not receiving proper recognition, you should meet with your direct manager and discuss things with them. Present your case on why you deserve a promotion or a raise.

Late Payments

The worst potential exploitation is your company being late in its payment. If you have been working for months without pay, you will likely be exploited by your company. Even though the company is cutting costs or doing something similar, there is no excuse for you not to get paid for your work. Depending on the state, some laws require a company to pay their employees on time. If your company is late in paying you or owes you several months of pay, then you should first approach them for it. If they won’t or can’t pay you, then you might have to go to the authorities for help.

Everyone deserves to have a good work environment. Employees should also not be exploited. Knowing your rights can ensure that, along with knowing how to fight for those rights. Additionally, it would be best if you remembered that your well-being is more important than any salary. If your workplace is terrible, then you should be willing to walk away from it. No one deserves exploitation, and you should stand up for yourself and others in your workplace.

Scroll to Top