Businesses often have no regard for morals or ethics for the sake of profit.

Reddit user Elaus wanted to bring some of these practices to light by asking:

What is unethical as f***, but is extremely common practice in the business world?

Here are some of the hair curling answers.

Late Invoices

My father did some work on a solicitors' building, and they didn't pay.

My mother noticed after a month they hadn't paid, and went up to have a word.

The receptionist said "That's fine, i'll get it sorted and we'll post the cheque to you".

My mother said "I live across the road, i can see my house from here; i'll just take the cheque".

The receptionist said "I'll need to get the owner to write the check".

My mother said "I can wait".

The receptionist went back to work.

My mother waited.

The receptionist did nothing further to get the cheque and was talking to clients in the waiting area.

My mother confronted her and said it's cool, she can just go through to the back room and talk to the owner.

The receptionist called the owner in.

[Whole bunch of arguments and bloody haggling for time in front of the clients]

My father got paid. P0sitive_Outlook

Small Time Embezzlement

Oh god, I used to work in retail and this was something my boss and managers always insisted that we do (sign people up for add-ons on their existing bills and hope they don't notice.) I was a cashier and I was explicitly instructed to have a sticker or a keychain or some other low cost item on hand so I could 'add on' that item to the customer's items without the customer noticing. The intent was to artificially increase the average IPS (items per sale) which boosted our store's sales stats relative to the other branches in the area. A lot of customers didn't notice, and if they did, we were instructed to be all "Oops, sorry, I thought that item was yours, let me remove it from your bill." I hated it.

That was just the tip of the iceberg with them. They also made us sign up customers for a bullsh*t rewards program without their knowledge or consent by getting their phone numbers or email addresses. If anyone ordered online from our store, we automatically grabbed their information and added them to our rewards program database to (again) artificially increase our stats. It was slimy as hell and after a while I refused to do it. Best job I ever quit. antlerhoof


Net Profits

Doing illegal sh*t to make $20million then getting caught and paying a $5million fine. xxkoloblicinxx

Soft Release

Letting an employee go/easing them out instead of addressing a situation they brought up. AndroWanda

Short Changed

The salary is "dependent on experience". Then they inflate the job requirements so they justify paying you less, since you don't have all the experience they want. SailedBasilisk

No Seniority

Its shady to give dedicated, long-term employees a measly 2-3% annual raise (if any at all), while hiring less experienced people for the same (or higher) salary, than the experienced employee.

It essentially punishes loyal employees. SmthgWicked


Oh, Sorry About That!

No auto-cancel on recurring payments.

Companies could very easily add the feature but won't hoping you forget and pay them more. BergevinsPlant

Unethical Overtime

Consistently making salaried exempt employees work 10+ hours overtime a week in order to avoid hiring more staff. gnosis_carmot

Salary Wars

Using a previous salary against you.

"Oh, you make $40,000? Well, we'll offer you $50,000. That's a 25% increase in pay!"

Your salary shouldn't be relative, it should be what the market value of the position is. If a job pays $75,000, don't pay me only $50,000 because I only currently make $40,000. BoilerMaker11


Ill Will

Working when you are sick. I have heard stories of bosses forcing people to come in despite being extremely ill.

Also I just wish that it would be mandatory schedule length of at least two weeks if the hours are not the same evety day. Mine changes weekly, and it's hard to plan anything. Akitiki


Using your employment as leverage to keep your mouth shut.

For example. A temp agency i worked through tried to deduct the cost of ppe from my paycheck. I told them that legally, employers need to provide ppe to their employees. Not sell it to them. They threatened to fire me. I reported them to OSHA. They got fined and had to reimburse everyone their $15 deduction for ppe.

Temp agencies are f***ing scams. ViciousKnids

Extra Money Against You

A company having a business model that relies on charging fees for breaking its own rules without justification for them.

Looking at you CreditOne.

-Has a late payment fee but refuses to add any kind of auto-payment. In 2017.

-Takes 5 days to clear a normal payment. Pay 4 days before your bill is due? That's a late payment fee. Want your payment to clear earlier to avoid that fee? Pay an express payment fee! Its the same fee amount? Lordy! What a coincidence! philipwithpostral

Gainz Bruh

Nominal weights and measures that don't match actual weights and measures. My company sells by the each but each item has a nominal weight. We intentionally produce our product approximately 10% light to save raw material costs. [deleted]


Duping Employees

Fake promotions. Theres a role you can apply for that doesnt have any extra pay or benefits, in which you do the same work as the role above that (which is higher paid) in the hopes that eventually you'll be the next in line to actually be given that next position. Except you wont. shongage

Child Endangerment

I've seen so many to name just one. Here's the worse I've seen.

So, PCB are highly toxic, highly carcinogenic stuff used mainly as coolant in power transformers. Heavy industries often have their own transformers, usually on the roof of their building. When these transformers get old, they need to be replaced, and the PCB need to be destroyed properly. However, doing this properly is very costly.

So, a solution is to wait for a rainy day, then pour the PCB in the gutters on the roof of the heavy industry's building (where the power transformers typically are). This way they disperse on the ground and noone is the wiser.

Well, since then, laws were changed to make sure that all power transformers are labelled and tracked by the government, to ensure their proper disposal. Still, sometimes a few older units get overlooked. And this is how I learned of this trick... the heavy industry's building is in the middle of a large city, with kids playing nearby and all. F*** these f***ers. norgue

Pay Your Employees

Using unpaid intern as worker. They have the exact same tasks has everyone else, they work the same hours, even more because they think that if they work more they will be noticed and hired (they won't), and it's rare that their supervisor take the time to teach them anything. They have to figure out things by themselves. Of course most struggle, and it's use as an excuse to not hire them. shrekine



Hire young people who are prepared and motivated and enjoy the work.

Give them 50 hours a week of work, no special overtime pay, tell them it'll be back to normal at then end of the month when the regular crunch is over.

Repeat until near a deadline.

Give them 80 hours a week, 7 days a week of crunch to meet the deadline.

Continue past deadline a little while then return to "regular" hours of 50 hours.

Repeat until your employees hate life. Refuse to give references when they quit "to protect yourself legally". Normalize across the industry so nobody can complain too much and sound credible. macboot


Refusing to pay overtime for overtime. I saw it happen all the time. I didn't complain. I got promoted a bunch. Zaorish9

Mincing Words

Careful (deceptive) wording.

"Up to 100mbps internet speeds!" means you get 5-6mbps, and "up to" 100 for a moment here and there.

"Made with 100% Chicken" simply means that real chicken was utilized as an ingredient at some point. It's like saying a bottle of wine is "made with" 100% organic cork.

"Sugar free!" means "Less sugar per serving than the minimum we have to report"

"The top rated____" usually followed by the specific study that ranked it best. Did you know you can pay a company to perform a study for you that's guaranteed to determine you're the best? MyNameIsRay

Government Sly

Government contracting - Building a thing to "specs" but not entirely up to full functionality. Knowing the issues that can/will arise, doing nothing about it, and then make the government cut a whole different (and very profitable) contract to fix said problems. lurch350z

Internet Skyrocketing

Comcast's pricing strategy where they raise the price an absurd amount from one month to the next and just hope customers aren't paying attention or too passive to complain. Negative_Goodwill


Teaching Runs

Public school teacher here. My school has started to deduct vacation/sick hours if teachers forget to swipe in. Were basically there all the time anyways and dont get paid overtime so clocking in is pretty easy to forget. What ends up happening is teachers get their accumulated vacay/sick hours deducted WHILE actively teaching, all because of a forgotten swipe. The admin and district people didnt seem to see how absolutely unethical this practice is and I never got back 4 days of vacay hours from missed swipes. lmac187

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The Association for Psychological Science published a paper that reviewed some of the research:

"This research suggests that people may be drawn to conspiracy theories when—compared with nonconspiracy explanations—they promise to satisfy important social psychological motives that can be characterized as epistemic (e.g., the desire for understanding, accuracy, and subjective certainty), existential (e.g., the desire for control and security), and social (e.g., the desire to maintain a positive image of the self or group)."

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