Pregnant at work: How you’re protected

by Evil HR Lady on July 21, 2014

Discriminating against a pregnant woman at work has been illegal since 1978, but what is and is not allowed hasn’t always been clear. To help end the confusion, the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) recently issued new guidelines to help businesses understand the law. While these are guidelines and not statutory law, employers would be wise to follow them. The complete guidelines give detailed instructions, but here are some of the key points.

To keep reading, click here: Pregnant at work: How you’re protected

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Cards on the table here: I’ve worked part time since my first child was born, in 2003. For the first five years, I worked for a big pharma company, in a job share. I would have happilystayed in that job, had my husband not received a too-good-to-refuse job offer over an ocean. So, I quit that job and took up free-lance writing, where editors set deadlines, but I determine when I work. Which means my part time career life has always had a predictable, regular schedule. (Income, of course, varies when one free-lances, but I choose my own hours.)

However, for many part time workers, this is not the case at all. Managers provide completely unpredictable schedules (and often wait until the last minute to post said schedules), which makes things like child care almost impossible. Students can also find it difficult, as they need to work their schedules around their classes.

So, in steps the government. San Francisco, Vermont and Federal employees now have the “right to request” schedules that accommodate such things as school, child care, and elder care, according to the New York Times. Managers aren’t required to give the requested schedule, but are required to listen to their employees.

To continue reading, click here: Treat Your Employees Right or Big Government Will Step In

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How to Close Your Gender Pay Gap

by Evil HR Lady on July 16, 2014

Overall, men earn more money than women do. That’s not disputed. But, what is disputed is if that is fair or not. McGill University thought it wasn’t fair, so they did something about it, and it took them 13 years to close their gender pay gap.

I, personally, think they screwed up. Not because women should be paid less than men, but because they fell into the old trap of trying to equate jobs that are completely and wholly unrelated to each other as equal. For instance, the Wall Street Journal writes:

The program’s goal was to ensure that pay for female-dominated professions was keeping pace with male-dominated ones of equal importance. If administrative assistants were considered as valuable as groundskeepers, the thinking went, the women who jotted down phone messages and kept appointment calendars should be compensated as well as the men working the lawns.


To keep reading, click here: How to Close Your Gender Pay Gap

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Are Bad Parenting and Bad Management the Same Thing?

by Evil HR Lady on July 10, 2014

If you stink as a manager, perhaps you need to up your parenting techniques. Fortunately, that doesn’t include potty training, but everything else pretty much seems to fit. Emma Jenner, a British Nanny just wrote an article on modern day parenting failures that has gone pretty viral, with half the people applauding Ms. Jenner and the other half condemning her for insensitivity to the needs of their little darlings.

I don’t claim to be a parenting expert–you can check back with me when my children are adults to see if my methods were good–but four of her five observations are are spot on for management. Here are where Jenner sees failures in parenting and I see failures in management.

To keep reading, click here: Are Bad Parenting and Bad Management the Same Thing?

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Kathryn recently went on a job interview and felt like she nailed it. In fact, the hiring manager started talking about start dates, so she was shocked when she spoke to the recruiter the following morning and found out that company had decided she wasn’t a “good fit.” Kathryn pushed the recruiter for additional feedback, which the recruiter reluctantly shared. Her problem? She seemed too desperate for the job.

Desperation is a big turn off for many employers. This, of course, has some logic behind it. Desperate people will take any job they are offered and employers don’t like that. They want someone who wants this job, because otherwise, the employee is likely to leave when something better comes along.

So, avoiding the desperate means you have less of a chance of hiring someone who isn’t a good fit. But, let’s be honest here, have you ever been desperate?

To keep reading, click here: Why You Shouldn’t Overlook Desperate Job Candidates

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Working extra before vacation

by Evil HR Lady on July 8, 2014

Dear Evil HR Lady,

I have an exempt salaried employee, who requested time off.  It was granted.  Because she is salaried and is basically hired to do a job or project, she stayed late a couple of nights and worked a to complete her work before she left for vacation.  Now since she put in 40 hours during the week she was out (she took Wednesday through Friday off).  She doesn’t think she needs to account for those three days as vacation.  What is your take on that, should those three days count towards her allotted vacation?  She has done this three times this year already.

In my experience, working a few late nights before going on vacation and after getting home from vacation is totally standard and doesn’t negate the fact that she’s taking days off in any way, shape or form. This is standard behavior for an exempt employee. Therefore, my policy would be that yes, those days count as vacation days.

That said, you have a management issue if her job is such that if she doesn’t get 40 hours worth of work done in the week, she’ll be terribly behind or punished for lack of productivity. Managers need to ensure that employees can take true vacation, not just be away from the office for a few days. So, you need to evaluate your management methods and how you handle workload when someone is out of the office. Putting in 10 extra hours the week before vacation is fine and expected. Having to put in 40 hours of extra work the week before vacation is not fine and is a sign that you’re not truly offering employees vacation.

The same goes for work while on vacation. Tons of exempt employees put in a few hours while on vacation. Participating on one call with an important client is not a big deal. Spending every evening in the hotel room while the spouse and kids are at the pool, hunched over the laptop, working like a dog, is a bad thing. (Although, truth be told, there are definitely times I’d rather be the parent in the hotel room working than at the pool where you get “Watch this! Are you watching me, Mom! Mom! Look!” 476 times in ever 15 minute period.” In fact, I’m technically on vacation right now, but I’m self employed, so I can’t blame a boss. No one is at the pool though. They are sleeping.)

Since this is the third time she has done this, I’m guessing that you allowed her to do this in the past, and she’s figured out a great way to ensure she can take vacation and never have to dip into her PTO bank. Obviously, this isn’t a great position for your business to be in. Provided that you didn’t require her to come in on Sunday to do work, I’d explain that putting in a bit of extra work is standard before vacation, but that she absolutely is not expected to do a full week’s worth of work in two days before she goes on vacation. I’d split the difference with her this time and make it clear in the future that days out of the office are PTO days. Period

Okay, not period. The exception is if you require her to work a weekend, then she should receive comp days. Being exempt shouldn’t mean being beholden to the whims of your employer.

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Want a new job? Fill out your Facebook profile

by Evil HR Lady on July 7, 2014

Whether you’re actively pursuing a new job or just kind of hoping someone contacts you with a great lead, you need to completely fill out your Facebook (FB) profile. OK, it’s not a “need.” Plenty of jobs are available for people without full Facebook profiles, and LinkedIn (LNKD) is still the premier job-hunting/networking site, but you’ll likely be missing out if you don’t have your Facebook profile completed.

Why? Because more and more companies are targeting potential job candidates on Facebook, and you want to be targeted. Companies can’t find you if they don’t know enough about you. Stephane Le Viet, CEO of Work4, a company that helps other companies use Facebook for recruiting explained:

To keep reading, click here: Want a new job? Fill out your Facebook profile

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I ran 3.1 miles today without stopping or walking. My high school gym teacher would be utterly shocked. Why? Because my senior year of high school, the gym teacher decided that we all needed to be able to run 1.5 miles in 15 minutes. She took us out to the track and told us to run 6 laps.

I couldn’t do it. I ended up walking for some of the distance, as did several girls in the class. One week later, she sent us to the track again and said, “Run!” She, of course, sat on the bleacher steps, surrounded by the girls who had successfully completed the task the week before. They talked about movies. This continued — the once a week run — for about 2 months, with a group of us never accomplishing the task at hand.

To keep reading, click here: Pick a mentor who can teach you the how, not just the what

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Happy Independence Day

by Evil HR Lady on July 4, 2014

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Does better collaboration equal better results?

by Evil HR Lady on July 2, 2014

Brainstorming is frequently one of the first steps of a group project. We gather in a conference room and someone writes ideas on a white board and through collaboration we come up with a great idea, which we then execute.

And the better the collaboration the better the end project, right? Well maybe not. Researchers conducted an experiment where teams were brought together for 30-minute brainstorming sessions, with a project to be completed at the end.

Some teams were provided with chairs and others were not. The researchers found that the “standers” had much better collaboration, Research Digest reports:

To keep reading, click here: Does better collaboration equal better results?

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