Getting Screwed Over At Work: What To Do


getting screwed over at work

Being taken advantage of at work can feel unfair and frustrating. In fact, in extreme situations, it may even feel like you’re getting screwed over at work entirely.

To that end, this article is going to look at what it means to get screwed over at work. We’ll assess how to know if you’re being screwed over, look at common examples, and provide recommendations for what to do if you’re being screwed over at work.

And all of the content is provided by different career experts.

Let’s dive in.

What Does Being Screwed Over at Work Mean?

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Being screwed over at work refers to a situation where an employee feels betrayed, taken advantage of, or treated unfairly in their professional setting. It can encompass a range of experiences, such as being subjected to workplace bullying, being denied deserved opportunities or promotions, experiencing discrimination, or facing unethical behavior by colleagues or superiors.

This can leave individuals feeling disrespected, demotivated, and disillusioned with their work environment. Being screwed over at work can have a significant impact on one’s well-being, job satisfaction, and overall career trajectory. 

The above content was provided by Matthew Warzel, CPRW, President, MJW Careers, LLC.

How Do You Know if Your Job Is Screwing You Over?

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Signs that your job may be screwing you over include:

  1. Constant overwork without corresponding compensation – if you consistently find yourself taking on more duties and working overtime without any adjustment to your salary or recognition, it could be a sign of exploitation.
  2. Unfulfilled promises – if your employer consistently fails to deliver on promised raises, promotions, or professional development opportunities, you might be getting the short end of the stick. 
  3. Unjust treatment – if you’re regularly overlooked for promotions, despite performing on par with or better than your peers, or if your contributions are frequently dismissed or appropriated by others, you may be facing unfair treatment.

The above content was provided by Brendan Brown, Founder, The Expert Editor.

What Are Examples of Being Screwed Over at Work?

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There are a variety of different ways that you could get screwed over at work.

Perry Zheng, CEO & Founder, Pallas, shares an example that he’s familiar with:

“There is an employee who spent 5 years in a company and expected a promotion. Employee reached out to the HR department to ask about any possibility of promotion, but they told that due to budget restraints, there were no promotions. After some time, their co-worker received that particular promotion, which was not available at the time. This shows that an employee is being screwed over at work.”

Another common way to get screwed over at work involves backstabbing and unfair workloads, as Anjela Mangrum, President, Mangrum Career Solutions, shares in her example below:

“Backstabbing behavior, such as cutting workers out of meetings they should attend or passing over deserving candidates for raises or promotions, are common examples of screwing over employees.

Additionally, if you’re constantly bearing a heavy workload compared to your coworkers, if someone else is taking credit for your efforts, or if you’re a harassment or bullying victim no one takes a stand for, it’s likely you’re being screwed over.

Moreover, I’ve noticed many employees being led on under false promises of oncoming raises or promotions that are never fulfilled, which, I believe, is one of the worst forms of manipulative employer behavior.”

What to Do When You’re Screwed Over at Work?

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My first advice is to maintain documentation and gather as much evidence as you can of what was done to you and why that was unfair. Document both promises that were made to you and evidence of them having been broken. If you’re shorted on a paycheck, for example, save your time punches, your paycheck stub, and a ledger of how much you should have been paid on that check.

Sometimes employers can end up exploiting their employees without meaning to, or the issue may be the result of an individual within the company rather than the workplace as a whole. In these instances, talking to your boss about the problem, or taking it to HR, can be one way to address the situation.

If the company repeatedly takes advantage of you, though, your best bet is often to look for work elsewhere. A company that is willing to take advantage of its employees once will likely do so again. This can change, but that process is often long and you shouldn’t have to wait years for a workplace that respects and values you. Getting another job will benefit you, and can send a clear message to the company that their behavior is not acceptable.

The above content was provide by Carlos da Silva of PA Career Hub.


Getting screwed over at work is frustrating and unfair.

However, there is productive action that you can take to address the situation. And, fortunately, in an increasingly remote work context, employees have more flexibility than ever to go out and find a company that will treat them well.

About the author

Dan Slocum

Dan is the founder of Best Fit Work and is a business professional with over 10 years of experience. He has been a hiring and people manager on multiple occasions, and has also gone through the hiring process himself at a variety of different companies. Dan writes to share content, tools, and resources to help people discover and thrive in their own best fit work.

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