What Are Common Ways Employers Take Advantage of Employees?

In today’s dynamic work environment, being aware of your rights as an employee is crucial. Unfortunately, instances where employers take advantage of their employees are not uncommon.

Unpaid Overtime

Employers often require employees to work beyond their scheduled hours without appropriate compensation. This violates wage and hour laws, specifically the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA). If you find yourself in this situation, it is advisable to document your overtime hours and consult with an employment attorney.

For instance, consider a fictional scenario where Jane, an administrative assistant in a New Jersey company, regularly works extra hours to complete her assignments. Despite her overtime, she receives no additional pay. This is a classic example of unpaid overtime.

Misclassification of Employees

Some employers misclassify employees as independent contractors to avoid paying benefits and overtime. Under New Jersey law, this constitutes employee exploitation. If you suspect misclassification, consult an attorney to determine your correct status and potential back pay.

Imagine a scenario where a full-time graphic designer for a tech company is classified as an independent contractor despite working regular hours under the company’s direction. This is a typical misclassification case, which would subject the company to government fines, penalties, and back pay and back overtime.

Ignoring Workplace Safety

Employers are obliged to maintain a safe working environment under the Occupational Safety and Health (OSH) Act. Ignoring workplace safety standards to cut costs is a form of exploitation. If your workplace conditions are unsafe, report the issue to the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) immediately.

Consider a fictional warehouse worker who is injured due to faulty machinery that her employer failed to repair. This is an example of ignoring workplace safety, which results in business penalties.


Discrimination in the workplace is an illegal and unethical practice where employers treat employees unfairly based on their race, gender, age, nationality, disability, or religion. This act is prohibited under the Civil Rights Act of 1964, the Americans with Disabilities Act, and the Age Discrimination in Employment Act, among others. Employers might discriminate in hiring practices, promotions, pay rates, job assignments, and terminations.

If you suspect that you are a recipient of discrimination, it is crucial to document every incident carefully. Note the date, time, location, people involved, and details of the occurrence. Consult with an employment attorney to understand your legal options.

Consider a fictional scenario where a black sales executive constantly receives lower-tier clients compared to her white colleagues despite having similar qualifications and work performance. Her employer’s actions might constitute racial discrimination.


Retaliation refers to adverse actions taken by employers against employees who have filed complaints or participated in workplace investigations. The law protects employees from retaliation under various statutes, including Title VII of the Civil Rights Act, the Age Discrimination in Employment Act, and the Americans with Disabilities Act. Employees facing retaliation may experience unjustified negative job evaluations, demotions, job transfers, changes in job duties, or even job termination.

Our South Jersey Employment Lawyers at The Law Offices of Leo B. Dubler, III, LLC Can Protect Your Workplace Rights

No employee should ever feel taken advantage of by their employer. Unfortunately, it happens, and if it happens to you, know that you have legal options. Speak with our South Jersey employment lawyers at The Law Offices of Leo B. Dubler, III, LLC. Call us at 856-235-7075 or contact us online to schedule your free consultation. Located in Mount Laurel and Atlantic City, New Jersey, we proudly serve clients in South Jersey, including Cherry Hill, Burlington County, and Camden County.