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Is your employer taking advantage of you?

On Behalf of | May 22, 2024 | Employment Law

A good employer-employee relationship can impact the business’s trajectory. It fosters mutual respect, enhances productivity and improves overall job satisfaction. When employers honor their commitments and employees feel valued, the workplace thrives. 

However, in today’s fast-paced working environment, employees find themselves overwhelmed with responsibilities and expectations. Recognizing the signs of exploitation, especially concerning wage and hour regulation, is crucial to helping ensure fair workplace treatment.

Ways your employer could be taking advantage of you 

Employers disregarding wage laws or overburdening their staff can create a toxic environment. If you are an employee, this can lead to burnout and decreased morale. Here are some signs that you should look out for: 

  • Unpaid overtime: According to the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA), non-exempt employees should get overtime pay if they work beyond the standard 40-hour workweek. However, some employers may misclassify employees to avoid paying overtime or subtly pressure staff to work off the clock. 
  • Misclassification of employees: Employers sometimes classify employees as independent contractors to ‘ignore’ hour and wage laws. Independent contractors do not get the same protections and benefits as regular employees, such as overtime pay and benefits or minimum wage. 
  • Inadequate breaks and meal periods: The law mandates certain breaks and meal periods during work hours. Employers who deny these essential breaks or create an environment where taking breaks is discouraged violate labor laws. 
  • Wage theft: It includes different practices such as refusing to pay minimum wage, not paying for all hours worked or making unauthorized paycheck deductions. 
  • Overloading with work without additional pay: Employers may increase an employee’s workload without a corresponding increase in pay or job title. This practice exploits the employee’s dedication, often leading to burnout and dissatisfaction. 

As an employee, you should understand your rights under labor laws and consider seeking legal help if necessary. A fair and respectful employer-employee relationship benefits the individual workers and enhances the business’s overall success and reputation.