The most extreme form of exploitation in employment is slavery. Most groups which are exploited in employment are underprivileged groups, such as indigenous populations, women, children, immigrants, the illiterate, the lowest levels of national society, the aged, and the disabled. Such groups may not have the knowledge or other means to combat exploitation and may sink into a state of apathy and resignation. Discrimination and segregation are two tools on which exploitation thrives. Existing trade unions may bar minority groups from becoming members, thus leaving them defenceless against unscrupulous employers. Where legislation exists against unjust employment conditions and rates of pay, it may be inadequate or inadequately enforced.
Work can be full-time, permanent, temporary, fixed-term, seasonal, project-based, part-time, on a zero-hours contract, casual, agency, freelance, peripheral, contingent, external, non-standard, atypical, platform-based, outsourced, sub-contracted, informal, undeclared, insecure, marginal or precarious.
Hire young women in places like the Mexican maquiladoras under conditions that lead to their physical burnout after three or four years. Once eyesight problems, allergies, kidney problems, and repetitive stress injuries deplete their efficiency they are replaced by a fresh supply of younger women. Such practices destroy lives and deplete society's human capital.