Standing up to your boss probably isn’t easy, but to serve your own best interests, there are some occasions when you really need to. Especially when your health is at risk, or when they are making unreasonable demands of you, then you are doing yourself no favors if you give in to what they are asking of you.
Here are 2 of the occasions where saying ‘no’ is the right thing to do.
#1: Say no when your boss puts your health and safety at risk.
Some jobs are more dangerous than others, of course, and you might have to expect risks to your personal health and safety. We are thinking of government contractors who work overseas in potentially unsafe countries, for example, or those people employed in potentially dangerous jobs, such as in construction.
In such instances, your employer should take the necessary steps to protect you, be that providing you with insurance coverage under the Defense Base Act if you were contracted to work overseas, or providing you with the correct safety gear if you worked in construction.
However, there are occasions when your employer might put you at risk above and beyond the call of duty. You might be asked to work on machinery for which you haven’t had the correct training, for example, or you might be asked to work in an area of your workplace that is potentially unsafe, perhaps because of structural problems. You have the right to say no, because while you are eligible for a personal injury claim if you do have an accident, it is important to note the workplace fatality database which showcases thousands of deaths a year due to employer negligence.
In short then, while you might have to say ‘yes’ in certain situations where a risk of injury might be part of your job, you should say ‘no’ when your employer is clearly putting you at risk unduly.
#2: Say no when you are asked to work more hours than you should.
Now, there are times when you will be asked to work overtime, and while you might have the right to say ‘no,’ you might still say ‘yes’ if you need the extra money or if you are looking to impress your boss and climb the career ladder.
However, saying ‘no’ should be in your best interest if your boss is asking you to work overtime with no pay (he or she is breaking the law), or if you physically and mentally can’t take the strain. So, think twice before working overtime. Check your contract and educate yourself on legalities around overtime pay if you are asked to work extra hours.
And remember that your health must always come first, so if your boss pushes you to work overtime and you are falling ill because of it, you do have the right under employment law to take your boss to court. You might want to remind them of your rights when you are standing up to them because after all, the last thing they want is a compensation claim on their hands.
We appreciate it’s not easy saying ‘no,’ to your boss, but there are some occasions when you need to. Follow our suggestions, read our tips on dealing with an awful boss, and look for other tips online that might help you should you need to reply in the negative to your employer’s demands.
Take care, and thanks for reading!