Today, employees are less likely to ask for benefits or take time off, as they know that many unemployed people want to take their jobs.
According to labor experts, the life on the job for New York City employees of all stripes - from minimum-wage workers with no benefits to office workers with six-figure salaries and paid sick days - is changing for the worse.
Although the economy regained jobs since the official end of the recession in 2009, the growth rate has been far too anaemic, and employers have the upper hand over those who are still working, the New York Post reported.
It is the unspoken reality that "there are many people who would want your job, the message being: get to work."
Heather Boushey, senior economist at the Center for American Progress said that the pressure is on, so workers are easily acquiescing to employers' demands for lower wages or no raises, or less benefits.
"[This is] what high unemployment does to people's job and economic security."
In a new national survey, the Families and Work Institute found that employers have drastically cut back on paternity leave, time off after adopting a kid and time off to care for a sick relative - even as workers are taking less vacation time for fear of falling behind or being replaced.
According to the survey, companies have also scaled back on maternity-leave pay and contributions to pension plans. More than 40 percent of employers increased employees' health-insurance co-payments in the last 12 months.