women in a meeting

Sticking up for yourself in the workplace can be ambiguous territory to navigate. Speaking up when you’re treated unfairly isn’t the easiest when you fear for your paycheck. While it’s safe to say many (if not most) of us put up with things we wouldn’t elsewhere, there is still a line to be drawn. Such is the case even when the offender is your own boss.

To be fair, our bosses are human; and maybe they don’t realize they’re doing something wrong. This means you’re probably going to have to (kindly) point it out to them. How do you know when they’re truly out of line, though? Here are five times you should stand up to your boss.

1. When They Repeatedly Disrespect Your Time

bored employee

We all run late sometimes — life happens. But has your boss repeatedly bailed on meetings, pushed back calls, not given you their undivided intention when you do meet, and then asked you to work nights and weekends, on top of it all? Not cool.

Yes, they’re in charge. But excessively disrespecting your time like that is not only rude and unprofessional, but it makes it harder for you to do your job as well as you could.

2. When They Don’t Provide a Safe Workplace

Every employee is responsible for contributing to a safe and healthy workplace environment. If someone you work with is disrupting this, though — maybe by acting inappropriately — it’s up to you to tell your boss, and your boss to ultimately fix it. And if they don’t? It’s time to have a chat with them. Nobody deserves to be uncomfortable at work.

3. When You’re Being Overworked and Underpaid

company meeting

Have you been at your job for a couple years? Do you go above and beyond, and cater to your boss’s every need? Do you sacrifice personal time for the sake of the job? Well, it might be time to cut back… or at the very least, get a raise. True, we like to go that extra mile to really impress our superior. But at some point, it’s not so much going the extra mile as it is getting taken advantage of. If you’re not being compensated fairly, say something!

4. When You’re Being Overly Micromanaged

If you can’t scratch yourself without your boss telling you how to do it, something’s not right. Okay, we all have a boss for a reason: to help guide us as we fulfill our responsibilities. However, you were also hired because you excel in that position, and you know things other people don’t. You should have the freedom to exercise your intelligence. If your boss is seriously cramping your style, ask for some wiggle room so you can kick butt at the office.

5. When You Don’t Have the Logistical Support You Need

employee and boss talking

Are you lacking basic materials like computer paper, binders, writing utensils, or other necessary office items? Is there a software or computer program you could really benefit from? Whether it’s due to a tight budget or illogically strict rules, when you don’t have the tools you need to do your job, you need to have a conversation with the boss about it. Sure, sometimes we all need to be a little resourceful; but even that has its limits.