Unfairly Treated in a New Job? Here’s How to Handle It


You started your new job full of hope for a better work life. But things aren’t going as well as you expected. From unreasonable overtime demands to remuneration that doesn’t match what was promised, there are many reasons why you might be feeling less than happy about your current situation. But as a new employee, you’re in a sensitive position. You don’t want to rock the boat, and you don’t want to end up being dismissed as a “troublemaker.” What can you do to ensure fair treatment without risking your livelihood?

1. Get Legal Advice

HKM, a firm of employment lawyers in Boston, says it’s almost always best to try solving problems internally before you threaten an employer with legal action. But raising issues related to your employment situation requires some skills you may not have at your fingertips. The first thing you need to know is whether your complaints would be seen as reasonable. The second thing you need to know is how to go about approaching your employers with a complaint. 

Having a valid complaint and following the correct procedure means there’s a better chance of your employers addressing an issue. Keeping records, and having a lawyer who is aware of your circumstances, means a better chance of success if you later find yourself with no other option but to sue. 

2. Keep Records of Your Attempts to Negotiate

It’s quite possible that the cause of your dissatisfaction is based on an oversight or misunderstanding on the part of your employer. A “difficult” supervisor or manager may be running counter to company policy without their superiors being aware of it, for example. Although you might be justifiably furious about your treatment, it’s important to approach your situation in a calm and professional way

If you already have legal experts to back you up, they’ll be able to advise you about who you should open negotiations with and how you should phrase your complaint. Regardless of whether you have legal advice or not, you should always keep detailed records of your communications in this regard, and if possible, written records of any responses you received. 

3. Be Above Reproach

You may be feeling disgruntled and demotivated, but it’s important that you remain courteous and positive and continue to do your best at work. Two wrongs don’t make a right, and your employers aren’t going to be eager to address your problems if you’re an unproductive, uncooperative or discourteous employee. In fact, they’ll be eager to prove you’re in the wrong. If, on the other hand, you continue to demonstrate your worth and are justified in your complaint, they will be more inclined to consider your complaint impartially. 

4. Start Working on a Backup Plan

While you’re hoping that your workplace problems will be amicably resolved, it’s always good to have a backup plan. For you, this may mean job hunting, embarking on a new career, upskilling, or even starting your own small business. There are several possible ways in which your current employers may react to your complaint. They may be pleased that you pointed out a problem they weren’t aware of. They may address your issue, but regard you as problematic. At worst, they might retaliate in subtle ways or even find a “reason” to dismiss you. Having options means that you have power over your destiny. Play it safe by having a backup plan in place.