Just because your boss is your boss doesn’t mean he or she can take advantage of you. If you let them do it once, they’ll keep doing it over and over again. These scenarios will give you some pointers that will help you step back and say, "I don’t think so," the next time a situation like this arises at your workplace.
You Didn’t Get Paid
The person you baby-sit or do odd jobs for on a regular basis can’t pay you one night because they "forgot" their debit card when they drove you home. Then, when your next shift rolls around, they don’t need you that week. When they do have you in again, they’ve forgotten all about the missed payment, and are sure you must have miscalculated.
A: Say nothing, and agree that it’s your mistake, not theirs
B: Remind them of the series of events, and respectfully request payment
If you’re thinking that it’s easier to say nothing, stop right there. If they can get away with not paying you once, they’ll do it again. Your time is just as valuable as anyone else’s, and when you work, you deserve to be paid.
Your Pay Was Short
When you got paid this week, you noticed that you were short-changed on your hours. You were really counting on that extra money.
A: Decide it’s better to keep your mouth shut than to argue
B: Walk right up to the boss and inquire about the missing hours
If you chose A, you need to realize that people really will try to get you to work for nothing. You need to keep a written copy of your own hours that you can compare to your pay stubs. Don’t just blindly trust the time sheets at work. Always protect your bottom line and make sure you get paid for every single hour you put in.
Your Supervisor Works You like a Dog
Let’s face it. All supervisors are going to make you work. That’s their job. We’re talking about a supervisor who seriously has it in for you and makes you scrub toilets with a toothbrush or a similar demeaning menial task.
A: Keep on scrubbing and think about your next paycheck
B: Tell your supervisor how you feel
That’s right, choose B, but make sure you have a witness with you. Tell your supervisor why you think the treatment is unfair and give them a chance to respond. If you can’t get anywhere with the supervisor, go over their head to a manager or the labor board.
You Aren’t Getting Breaks
You work your shifts, but rarely get your breaks. Your supervisor or manager explains to you that they can’t guarantee you a break when they’re busy. Sometimes it’s not even busy, but they still won’t let you get away for a few minutes.
A: Keep working through your breaks and figure sooner or later they’ll let you sneak out
B: Call the labor board
Although you think you’re helping out by working during your break, it’s your boss’s way of taking advantage of you. By making you work through a paid break, they’re making sure they’re basically getting free labor and they’re also violating your rights.
If this has happened on a regular basis, don’t even try to deal with it yourself. Call the labor board. They’ll send someone in there to talk directly to your boss about shifts and required break periods. After that you’ll get all of your breaks on time without fail. Trust me.
What situations have you faced at work where you thought you were being unfairly taken advantage of? How did you deal with it?