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How can you check out an employer before you accept a job offer?

It seems like you hear news about a company’s toxic culture almost every day. For example, the news that a number of former employees of The Ellen DeGeneres Show have complained about everything from poor communication about their hours, indifference about their health and outright racism has recently created quite a stir and prompted an internal investigation by Warner Media.

Getting out of a company that has a toxic environment is important — but it’s also wise to try to avoid those kinds of employers in the first place. Here are some ways you can check out a company before you sign that employment contract:

  • LinkedIn: This networking site is a great resource for people looking for a job. You can see who might become your co-worker and get a feel for the type of people who are there. You may also find someone willing to answer a few questions about the company.
  • Glassdoor: This website allows employees and former employees to submit anonymous information about a company’s benefits, culture and other important issues.
  • CareerBliss: This website ranks each company on its “Bliss Score,” which is generated based on how employees rate their overall happiness and job satisfaction.
  • Indeed: Similar to Glassdoor, Indeed allows a company’s current and past employees to rate their experiences.

Finally, remember that social media is your friend in a job search. The grumblings about Ellen’s show started that way — and a savvy job seeker would probably have been warned about problems even before the media picked it up.

What if you’re already dealing with racism, discrimination or wage and hour violations at work? If you’ve done your best to handle the process on your own, it may be time to talk the situation over with an attorney.