You Can’t Quit, You’re Fired

by Evil HR Lady on September 19, 2014

Sometimes, the best thing for your business is to fire someone. Sometimes the worst thing for your business is to fire someone.

I got an email from Kelli, who worked for a small start up. The boss was somewhat volatile and erratic. His business partners had even hired a counselor to try to smooth the relationships over between this guy and the other employees. Kelli often felt undermined and under appreciated by this guy, but stuck it out because the money was good and she enjoyed the work, which she was good at.

Until, one day, her boss threw a temper tantrum directed at her. Kelli gave her two weeks notice on the spot, with full plans to transition all her work. The boss? Continued his temper tantrum into the next day and said she couldn’t quit, because he was firing her. Right now. As in, hand me your badge and your keys and get out of the office immediately.

To keep reading, click here: You Can’t Quit, You’re Fired

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Fast food protesters may get less than they expected

by Evil HR Lady on September 19, 2014

ull confession. I really like fast food. I love McDonald’s. I love Burger King. I love Wendy’s. I love the newer breed of fast food too — like Chipotle, Panera Bread and anything else, really. I realize it isn’t the healthiest thing ever, and it’s more money than I like to spend, so our family considers it a treat.

Therefore, on a recent trip to France, when my children begged for McDonald’s it was pretty easy to get me to acquiesce. It was an easy decision, really. I like McDonald’s and there was one, right there. We could get food quickly and then go to our hotel and go to bed.

The only problem is, I don’t speak French, not even a little bit. So, I was thrilled when I found a touch screen computer with the option to choose my language. Not only did I not have to make a poor cashier suffer through my lack of language skills, but I could easily customize my order. My kids could even change their minds 6 times before I hit “finish and pay.” Once I paid (with a credit card), we just had to wait for our number to be called.

To keep reading, click here: Fast food protesters may get less than they expected


And The Winner Is…Hiring Like Miss America

by Evil HR Lady on September 17, 2014

Going on a job interview is a lot like participating in a beauty pageant, but it absolutely should not be that way.

Last night Miss New York, Kira Kazantsev, won the 2015 Miss America Pageant, and joins a small but beautiful group of women to wear the crown. As a child, my sisters and I counted down the days and then hours until the pageant, and my mom even let us stay up late to watch it. We had deep discussions about how Miss America was preferable to the Miss USA and Miss Universe pageants because, by golly, Miss America didn’t just have to look pretty, she had to have a talent.

As an adult, I still like the fancy dresses, but the whole process makes me cringe. Not because I’m opposed to beauty pageants–if that’s your thing, go for it–but because it reminds me far too much of job interviews. The Pageant format may be the best way to find a beauty queen who can give smart sounding sound bites, but it’s not the best way to hire. Here are the mistakes you may be making.

To continue reading: And the Winner Is…Hiring Like Miss America


Employee surveys are awesome. You can find out what your employees are thinking. But today’s Bad Boss of the Week? He shouldn’t have asked. Here is what happened:

I, and everyone in my department is salaried exempt. We all have at least 20 years experience and advance degrees. Every year the company does a “company morale survey.”

The survey is supposed to be anonymous, but I’m guessing everyone in my group gave bad comments, because since the results were released, the boss has been an absolute jerk to everyone.

So, yesterday he sent out an email requiring everyone to be at work in the office from 8-5:30 every day. My offer letter (from four years ago) states 8:30-5:00. I had breakfast meetings with clients starting at 7:00 a.m. but my boss still appeared at my door at 5:25 “checking to make sure I didn’t go home early.”

I have a client dinner, which will last until late, but I’m sure if I’m not in the office at 8:00, he’ll be angry. It’s very demoralizing to be treated like a high school kid when I (and my co-workers) all have 20 or more years of experience and manage literally millions of dollars in our jobs.

Read more:


If there’s food at a meeting, you’ll get higher turnout. OK, I just made that up, but I think a government grant is in order for me to study that very principle, and I suspect that when the results come back indicating that my thesis is correct, everyone will say, “Duh.”

People love free food. And free food has long been a perk of the startup world. But the IRS has started to take note that food that is free to the employee actually costs money. And furthermore, employees need to eat anyway, so if employees are eating at the office, they are saving money by not having to procure their own food, therefore they should be (drum roll, please) taxed on it.

I really wish I were joking. I also hope that The Washington Post is making up this part: “For example, Dyson [a tax attorney working on these food cases] said she’s had the IRS tell her that a bagel is more like a meal than a snack.”

As someone on a perpetual diet, I can see the IRS’s point. A chocolate chip bagel with honey walnut cream cheese from Bruegger’s Bagels comes in at 480 calories. As someone with a clue, I think the IRS is nuts. Just try handing out bagels to your staff members and then forbidding them to eat lunch “because they’ve already eaten!” It will not go over well. (Of course, at least it would be better than what our kids get in public school.)

To keep reading, click here: Free food makes employees happy, so naturally the IRS wants to tax it


Finding the Perfect Fit

by Evil HR Lady on September 15, 2014

About 70 percent of my team are introverts, and all of them were here when I came on board as a manager. They won’t come together to solve problems. We have weekly staff meetings and give everyone an opportunity to speak so we can coordinate and work together, but I get the sense that they don’t have time to involve someone else. In fact, one of my employees told me, “I like to figure things out on my own.” It’s like each one of them lives on an island, and it’s too hard to take their boat over to collaborate. Any advice?

To read the answer, click here: Finding the Perfect Fit


Why Good Leaders Fire People

by Evil HR Lady on September 15, 2014

Can we please just fire people?

Every week I get two or three emails like this one: “I was just told, I must resign by October 1st, due to a policy change. Can they actually do that even if I haven’t seen the new policy hand book? Will I be able to file for unemployment? They’ve even written up a resignation letter for me to sign.”

Why do I get any of these emails? Because this is sleazy, slimy behavior, and it is things like this that give managers and HR their well earned reputation for being untrustworthy, underhanded and mean. I am sure there is more to the story than this. A policy change such as, “all employees must be available for all shifts” (dumb, but I don’t put that past stores) could require someone who is in school part time to leave because she won’t be available 24 hours a day, every day. But, instead of explaining, they say, “New handbook coming you, you need to resign!”

To keep reading, click here: Why Good Leaders Fire People


These internships lead to actual jobs

by Evil HR Lady on September 10, 2014

When you finish school, you want to have a job. The best way to get a job is to have an internship. But, not all internships are created equal. Not all industries are created equal, either. You’re more likely to find a job, period, internship or not, if you’ve trained in certain areas.

So, if you’re a college or high school student (or the parent of one), take into consideration some new research done by LinkedIn that can help show you where to land a job after your internship. Internships are extremely helpful in landing a job. For instance 61 percent of students who had internships have job offers by the end of their senior year, compared with 28 percent of students who skipped the internship.

To keep reading, click here: These internships lead to actual jobs

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What if you’re being pressured to resign?

by Evil HR Lady on September 9, 2014

Sometimes a boss wants to fire an employees, but for some reason he’s not straight-out honest. Instead of saying, “I’m terminating your employment. Today is your last day. Here’s your paperwork, and you will receive your last paycheck in one week,” the boss says, “You have to sign this letter of resignation.”

Take, Stephanie (who didn’t want her full name used). Her boss never hinted that she wasn’t doing a good job, so she was shocked when she was called into his office and told she was being terminated. She writes:

To keep reading, click here: What if you’re being pressured to resign?


Why ‘Wage Theft’ Should Scare You

by Evil HR Lady on September 8, 2014

“Wage theft” has a really scary sound to it. It sounds like some sleazy scheme concocted in smokey back rooms, or perhaps, street thugs hanging out in dark alleys, and stealing paychecks at gun point. What it really is, is underpaying people. For instance, not payingovertime when it’s legally owed.

As a business owner, you should cringe when you hear the term wage theft and you should fight against it. Why? Because, while some people are honestly stealing money from employees by falsifying time cards and such, most people who commit “wage theft” do so accidentally.

How do you accidentally steal wages from your employees? Extremely easily. The law that governs how employees are paid is called the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA). It divides people into two classes: exempt employees who are paid the same amount each week, regardless of how many hours they work, and non-exempt employees who are paid for each hour and must be paid overtime when they hit 40 hours in a single week. When that law was written, 76 years ago, it was really, really obvious who was a “worker” and who was a “manager.”

To keep reading, click here: Why ‘Wage Theft’ Should Scare You