People Share 40+ Red Flags They’ve Experienced From Employers That Others Might Not Pick Up On Right Away

Alfe Mercado
Angry Boss

A lot of people care more about the salary and other benefits than the environment that a company provides for its employees. For instance, there are a lot of scary stories about people starting to work for a company only to realize that there is something not very right about the place.

This lead to various posts on Reddit with people listing all sorts of red flags that can indicate that the workplace is not healthy to operate in. The thread received over 18.3K upvotes with over 8.8K comments, so it seems that many folks were interested in the topic.

We compiled a list of the most popular things to look out for in an employer, so feel free to scroll below and read what other people have written.

Young Workers Taken Advantage Of 😢

Thirty_Helens_Agree | Thirty_Helens_Agree

The section comment details a company that hires young workers, pays them low wages and doesn't offer any opportunities to move up. The comment replies elaborates on this experience, describing it as the 24/24/24 plan and the law firm model of hiring young workers and taking advantage of them.

🔴 Young Company Hides Red Flags? 🔴

Flyinpotatoman | Flyinpotatoman

In this section, a commenter points out the discrepancy between the age of the company and its employees. No replies were found.

🤔 Red Flags In Job Offers 😳

LordMarshall | LordMarshall

The comment describes a situation in which the employer offered a starting salary of $20-23, but when the poster asked for $20, the employer said it was a red flag. Replies suggested the employer's behavior was questionable, with one reply noting that the advertised price range usually should be the minimum and the average salary should be higher depending on experience. Censored words have been replaced by asterisks e.g a**hole and f--k.

When Raise = Bad Review?

Joeyjackhammer | Joeyjackhammer

The commenter experienced a situation where their employer suddenly put their work into question and berated them when they asked for a raise. A follow-up reply talks about a similar situation where the boss had initially praised their work and asked if they want to renew the contract, but after the commenter asked for a raise, the boss suddenly thought their statistics were terrible. The reply emphasizes an a-hole behavior by the boss to manipulate the commenter.

Employers Making 'Unrealistic' Promises 😓

howwouldiknow-- | howwouldiknow--

The comment stated that the employer claimed overtime isn't mandatory, but the replies revealed that it was expected to work 60-70 hours a week and sometimes even 7 days a week, till 11pm. This was confirmed by another comment that the employer made unrealistic promises.

🎸Fancy Job Titles🎸

Marquetan | Marquetan

The comment mentions employers looking to hire 'rock stars' as a red flag, possibly indicative of a demanding workplace environment. Replies give examples of employers using funny words as buzzwords to describe jobs, and reflect on personal experience related to such job titles.

💰 Employers And Salaries 💰

UnknownL_13 | UnknownL_13

The commentor mentioned that when the employer refused to disclose their starting salary or avoided the question altogether, it was a red flag. In response, the commentor's reply was that money is the only reason they work.

Red Flags From Employers 😨

votefawnmoscato | votefawnmoscato

Interviewees share their experiences with employers asking potentially offensive questions such as, “Do you plan to have children?” and “What are your marriage plans?” They are glad they dodged the bullet, literally and metaphorically, by not getting employed there.

Don't Get Tricked By 👀 "Workday" Questions!

rockkicker27 | rockkicker27

The comment reveals that certain employers might try to trick the interviewee into working unpaid overtime by asking if they're willing to put in the time to make sure deadlines are met and work is done. In the replies, others chime in with their own experiences and counter-questions to watch out for.

🤔 Employer Trying To Rush A Decision?

aattanasio2014 | aattanasio2014

The employer attempted to make the applicant decide within 24 hours, despite the fact that the applicant would have been relocating across the country. When the applicant asked if there was any flexibility for more time, the employer said no, as they needed the decision the next day and for the applicant to start in less than a week. The comment was followed by a reply stating that the employer had hired someone else who had either quit or been fired, and they needed to replace them ASAP.

🤢 Feeling A ‘Simmer Of Dread’ In The Workplace?

PeachLeech | PeachLeech

Two former employees discuss the red flags that they experienced from employers, like a feeling of dread walking into the workplace or a misery gradient when walking towards the back of the store. One even walked out of an interview after just three minutes when they got a sense of dread from the environment.

⚠️ Are Employers Hiding Salaries? 🤔

JetSetJAK | JetSetJAK

Commenters have experienced job postings with suspiciously wide salary ranges, some as high as $25,000 - $100,000. Replies suggest this is done to hide commission-only roles, where top earners can make up to $250,000 while entry-level jobs may have no base salary.

Beware Of Sketchy Job Ads 😳

satisfiedfools | satisfiedfools

The comment warned against responding to job ads that don't mention the company name, due to the risk of it being a sales job. A reply shared their experience of responding to a 'marketing role' that they discovered was actually a telephonic sales job for insurance.

Watch Out For 🚩 Job Ads!

coolguytrav | coolguytrav

You should be wary of job ads where the manager's words don't line up with the job description or the company is vague about certain conditions. One example is when the job is advertised as full-time permanent but turns out to be a 1-year contract with a possibility of full-time. Such vagueness should raise a red flag.

🤦‍♀️ Wading Through 'Sink Or Swim' Training 😅

I_am_dean | I_am_dean

Many experienced 'sink or swim' training on their first day, with limited to no training - leaving customers frustrated. Some found ways to make it work, while others decided to walk away from the challenging situation.

😮 Before Taking A Job, Ask Questions 🤔

mfgfvd | mfgfvd

Job seekers can ask questions such as why the role is open, how senior their team members are, company KPIs, and how they are establishing a team culture. The comment author asked similar questions in an interview and was shocked to discover that the team had left for other companies. The comment author continued with the interview to get a better understanding of the company before deciding to run away.

Things Got 🔥At The Interview 🙅‍♂️

Sauerkraut_n_Pepsi | Sauerkraut_n_Pepsi

The comment describes a seemingly strange incident during an interview where three employees in turn laughed, said 'leave while you can' and made the sign of the cross. Later, the hiring manager revealed the 'zen room', where a permission was needed to use it. In the end, the commenter declined the job offer. Replies suggest that the commenter was lucky to dodge a bullet or that the other guys were making fun of them.

🤬🤑 Red Flags For An Employer

EndlesslyUnfinished | EndlesslyUnfinished

The comment states that the employer's request to not discuss wages with other employees is illegal and is a sign of unfair compensation. The reply suggests taking a picture or a copy of the agreement and going to a labor attorney or the department of labor to plan a settlement check.

🧐"Competitive Pay", What Does It Mean?

topothesia773 | topothesia773

The comment points out how employers' promise of competitive pay is suspicious, and a reply clarifies that what they really mean is the salary will struggle to cover expenses.

Employers That ✋✋✋

theWildBore | theWildBore

The original comment describes an employer who was proud of the zen garden they had made for employees to unwind, only to realize the garden was across from the offices of the higher-ups. A reply mentions a similarly shady break area, which was unused and empty in the middle of the day.

Suspicious Signs From Employers 🤔

PioneerDingus | PioneerDingus

Poor communication is an early red flag from employers that may not be detected right away. It's important to be aware of potential warning signs during the hiring process.

🤔It's Not Always Easy To Spot A Warning Sign From An Employer

T-money79 | T-money79

Someone shared the red flag of open interviews for a potential employer, and it's explained as a sign that people leave that job faster than they can be brought in. Another person has asked what an open interview is.

Be Aware Of Employers' Red Flags 💩

zbysior | zbysior

The comment discusses an employer who falsely promises to give money later on, but never does. A reply acknowledges understanding this red flag. 🚩

📌Big Red Flag: No New Hire!

The_Quicktrigger | The_Quicktrigger

The commentor warns about the red flag of a company not hiring a new employee to replace a fired or resigned one, even after a long period of time. The comment_reply further confirms this experience with the company denying an increase in the salary even after bearing the workload of the former employee for six months.

Don't Be Fooled By 🙄 "We're A Family Here"

[deleted] | [deleted]

The comment warns people not to be fooled by employers claiming they are like a family. The reply shares an experience of being asked about the racial background of one's wife during an interview, highlighting the racism that can exist even under the guise of family.

Employers Lying About 💰🤦‍♂️


The comment points out that an employer might claim the pandemic as an excuse to not grant an annual raise. One reply states that they were given a 20% pay cut during the pandemic, but then their full salary was restored to their original pay.

🙅‍♂️ Employers Don't Always Keep Their Promises 🤦‍♂️

[deleted] | [deleted]

The comment highlights the red flag of being promised updated equipment and equipment being old instead. It also mentions the consequence of getting in trouble when something breaks. One reply shares the experience of living the 'Windows 98 life'.

🤦 Stressful "Work Hard, Play Hard"✨

msor504 | msor504

The comment talks about the stressful atmosphere in a "work hard, play hard" setting, where colleagues have to get f***ed up at happy hours to cope with the stress. The reply adds that attendance at happy hours is required.

Employers Have Different Laws For Different States 😉

arnie_apesacrappin | arnie_apesacrappin

The comment points out how some employers try to avoid following certain laws by specifying certain states in their company policy. The replies agree that this is a common tactic, such as with postings that need to provide salary ranges in Colorado.

Employers That Don't Pay Enough? 🤔

primo808 | primo808

An employee commented that it's hard to find good workers these days, and then stated that they don't pay enough. No replies were found.

People Share 💡 On 🏢 🚗 🍻 🔑 💡

snootfull | snootfull

The comment provides thoughtful insight into employer red flags, such as owning a conspicuously expensive car, a history of lawsuits, and offering alcohol at company events. It also encourages readers to pay attention to their gut feeling if something feels off and to be wary of any bait-and-switch misrepresentations during the recruitment process.

"Work Fam"👎 Creepy Uncles👎 24/7 On Call👎

SuzzlePie | SuzzlePie

The section comment expresses the sentiment that when an employer refers to their employees as "work fam" or something similar, it is a guilt trip to make people work extra hours for no pay. The comment also mentions employers who have a "cult following" and invent their own words. In response, a reply suggested that the commenter was either a creepy uncle or a step-dad that steals all the cash.

Be Careful, 🚩No HR Department = 🤔Disorganization!

abolish_gender | abolish_gender

The comment advises people to be wary of companies that brag about not having an HR department, as this could mean that they are at least disorganized.

Is 💰 The Only 🔑 To 🤝?

[deleted] | [deleted]

The commenter questions why someone would work for an employer who doesn't value money. They point out that if monetary compensation isn't the driver, then what other motivator is there for accepting employment?

👀Job Interview Red Flags🚩

24204me | 24204me

The comment shared an experience of a job interview where the interviewer asked about how to deal with drama in the workplace. The comment's reply then revealed that the drama the interviewer was referring to was infidelity amongst employees.

Is Your Employer A Salesman? 🤔

Zickna | Zickna

When the interviewer unexpectedly tries to sell you the company's service, it's a major warning sign. One reply notes that it could be a sign you're being interviewed for a customer service role.

🤔 Be Wary Of "Flexible Schedules" 🤔

Ok-Advantage4191 | Ok-Advantage4191

The section comment cautions that job postings offering "flexible schedule" may not mean the worker can choose their own hours, but that the employer can change the worker's schedule without advance notice. One reply offers an example of flexibility in scheduling, by allowing the worker to come in anytime between 6-10am, but complete their hours in one week.

Sketchy Employers? ⚠️

echozulu88 | echozulu88

Employers should answer all questions about work hours, pay and benefits clearly and with specificity. Any signs of being sketchy should be a red flag for potential employees.

Do You Have 'Multiple Bosses'?

Orpheus6102 | Orpheus6102

Be cautious when being hired with multiple managers to report to. If there is not a clear hierarchy, it can create conflict and put the employee in a difficult situation with the managers.

Don't Be Fooled By 🤥 Red Flags 🚩

CD23tol | CD23tol

An engineering grad was asked to take a warehouse job, with a salary cut nearly in half and rules that might be illegal. The owner tried to guilt trip the grad when they declined the offer. Replies to the comment called the place a 'red flag factory' and said they could be 'trafficked out of the country.'

Red Flags From Employers 🚩

ctone777 | ctone777

The respondent shared that they interviewed with a regional VP of a billion dollar company for a sales role, and were told that the job was a backfill and that people were quitting due to the pressure. This was a red flag, and the respondent declined the next step in the hiring process.

Meeting An Unexpected Employer 🤨

Flaky_Sandwich9353 | Flaky_Sandwich9353

The commentator was asked to take an online IQ test before even being considered for an interview. They were then asked to meet at a downtown cafe in Melbourne. At the meeting, the old lady quickly revealed an IQ of 160, rarest blood type and the job details - administering tests in schools to recruit children to special camps, followed by teaching. The commentator noticed that the old lady's business card said 'The Wise Ones', which after further research, proved to be a cult.

Do Not Trust The ✋🏽 Unprofessional 🤦‍♀️

irritated-imp | irritated-imp

The person who was supposed to interview the commentor came out to tell them they were heading home for the day instead. The commentor was then offered the job and accepted, leading to a less than desirable experience with a high turn over rate and unpredictable office hours. Management did not keep to their own schedule and was always hiring due to their crazy turn over rate.

Is Money Behind It All? 🤔

zaphod_beeble_bro | zaphod_beeble_bro

The comment highlights the reality of most jobs - money is the primary motivator. This is not fun for the commenter, or any other worker involved in the job.

When 'Meritocracy' Means Something Else 🤔

FancyStegosaurus | FancyStegosaurus

The comment points out that for many employers, "meritocracy" is more about how much you're willing to put up with from them. No replies were found.