/ Asked by Akash
I work for a service company, and I'm currently an on-site consultant. My actual employer is asking me to do extra work (internal projects) beyond working for the on-site client - without extra pay. I am a graduate, and I have built my skills through online courses, forums, meet-ups etc. Are the employers just taking advantage? Should I talk to them about the workload?
Answered by Stephanie, Hiring Expert at AT&T Inc., on Tuesday, November 8, 2016
Hi there,

It would be difficult to determine the scope of your job without seeing your job description or employment contract. If it is open ended and not specific to work you would be doing for the on-site client, then there may be no reason to think you wouldn't be asked to take on projects on a larger scale.  Frankly, this might give you more opportunity to grow and make more connections within the company.

There are employment laws in place (state by state) to ensure that hourly and non-hourly, exempt and non-exempt employees are not taken advantage of, and if you are concerned that there is a violation of the law happening, I would recommend checking out the laws in your state.  If you are an hourly employee and not being paid for the hours you work, that would be a scenario where you might want to engage assistance.

If you are taking on extra work and working more hours and you are an exempt employee, you may want to talk to your manager about your workload and how they can better assist you in prioritizing the work.  There are only so many hours in the day, and that is just a fact!

Best of luck!
Answered by Sara, Hiring Expert at Grace, on Friday, November 11, 2016
Honestly this is a tough question. Nowadays there are no 8-5 jobs unless you are doing shift work and shifts are usually 10 hours in some cases. Companies are driven to do more with less and employees are taking on more work as a product of our current environment. You can do research which will show you that with the current economic costs of business, companies are doing the same work with fewer employees. You need to determine if your employer is really taking advantage of you or simply asking you do what it takes to get the job done. I have learned that there is more growth and opportunity in taking on additional projects. If you are truly struggling with the workload and it does seem unfair as it relates to your co-workers then, yes, you should have a discussion with your employer. Explain your workload and ask if they can relive some of the pressure. Keep in mind that your work will have to go to another co-worker. Hope the conversation goes well.
Answered by Ellee, Hiring Expert at Textron Inc., on Thursday, December 15, 2016
I do not believe that an employer would intentionally take advantage of you. Your employer may be assigning additional projects because they believe the projects will expand your current skill set and allow you to grow professionally. I have found that additional projects have challenged me in a positive way and allowed me to step outside of my comfort zone. I would suggest prioritizing your projects and understand deadlines for assigned tasks and segment your day off to work on specific projects. If you believe your workload is unmanageable after prioritizing and you are not able to complete your projects for your on-site client and your employer, have the conversation with your employer regarding the expectations of additional projects assigned and that your workload is unmanageable. There may be members of the team who can help you out!
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