May 2012

Your employer can ask you to give up many things in exchange for employment. For instance, they can require you to sign a non-compete agreement, work a specific schedule, and consent to all sorts of confidentiality agreements. But what it can’t do is force you to give up your right to sue for discrimination, according to a new ruling by a federal court.

To keep reading click here: Don’t give up your right to sue for discrimination.

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Dear Evil HR Lady,

The company I work for, like many high-tech IT companies, has a guy who is very skilled and inventive but who behaves like a madman. He insults embarrasses, and abuses fellow staff — to the extent that some of them get depressed and cry. He is never on time with anything, causing confusion, and he is tyrannical. Anyone who tried to work for him quits. Whatever prototype or half-finished product he has created may be novel, but they are typically unstable, causing dissatisfaction among our early-user clients and driving them to change suppliers. The products take 2-3 times longer than normal to get into the marketplace. He listens to no one, especially not sales and marketing personnel.

The executive management seems to think he is indispensable (like themselves), and our nightmare goes on year after year. I’ve seen IT staff at other companies who are twice who are highly inventive, develop products that work right the first time, and make money for the company. They may be on the nerdy and shy side, but at least they are nice. I think it is wrong and unethical to allow the above.

[My personal view is that] if the abusive IT person is retained, he should be carefully locked up in a lab and supervised by specially trained guards. In fact, they have put him in an an office that is far out of the way, but they forgot to chain him.

What is your view? What can be done?

To read the answer click here: What if the office ‘genius’ is really a nightmare?

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How to handle sexual misconduct at work

by Evil HR Lady on May 25, 2012

Dear Evil HR Lady,
I am an HR manager with a multinational corporation. Yesterday I received information about two employees having sex in the bathroom. Several staff members observed them, and apparently this is not the first episode — just the first time I’ve been informed. At what point do we terminate them?

To read the utterly obvious answer (yesterday!) click here: How to handle sexual misconduct at work.

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My temporary boss was abusive

by Evil HR Lady on May 23, 2012

Dear Evil HR Lady,
In my last temporary assignment, we were required not to work above 40 hours, but our assignment company made it difficult to complete the increasing workload within that time period. I arrived early as a courtesy, although we were told not to work above 40 hours. I was also given more work with an advanced specialized position without an increase in pay. My recruiter told me to alert her of position changes, so I can be compensated; nothing was ever done to compensate me. I also told my recruiter about the toxic work environment and workload.

The assignment company was a state agency, and due to cuts and lean staff, I was overworked, bullied and sabotaged. As a temp, I couldn’t report the abuse to human resources at the state agency, so I reported my experience to my recruiter. My agency’s recruiter cared more about keeping contracts with this company, and did nothing to protect me. The assignment company with the abusive staff wanted to hire me, but entrap me in a position with less pay and more specialized work. I ended my assignment due to an onset illness, and at the advice of the recruiter, who retracted her suggestion when I decided to leave. I also documented this abuse and onset illness in my exit interview for the temp agency.

I discovered 14 months after I left the assignment that the recruiter placed a termination mark on my record and banned me from working with the company. It was evident in the few call backs I received for work. I had to seek legal counsel and send information to senior human resources management at the temp agency to get the “termination” and “banned record” removed. It was removed and I could work at the agency, but the damage was done.

I experienced a case of slander and defamation from my recruiter; bullying and sneaky workload time abuse from the assignment company. I believe my experience ran past the statutes of limitations.

What can I do avoid explaining this false termination?

To read the answer click here: My temporary boss was abusive

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Do temporary employees have rights?

by Evil HR Lady on May 23, 2012

Find out what protections temporary workers are entitled to by clicking here: Do temporary employees have rights?

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Why I left my job without a new one lined up

by Evil HR Lady on May 18, 2012

“Oops, I quit my job.” Katherine Stevensen’s Facebook status casually proclaimed that she had made a potentially life-changing decision. For one thing, she had no new job lined up. I wanted to know why.

To keep reading click here: Why I left my job without a new one lined up

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Use social media? Memorize these vital 12 words

by Evil HR Lady on May 16, 2012

Anyone who blogs, tweets, or otherwise expresses themselves online should keep this policy in mind for using social media.

To keep reading click here: Use social media? Memorize these vital 12 words

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What moms really want on the job

by Evil HR Lady on May 14, 2012

Instead of flowers, find out what working moms really want.

Click here: What moms really want on the job

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Zero tolerance for tardiness in the workplace

by Evil HR Lady on May 14, 2012

Dear Evil HR Lady,

Our company recently implemented a policy that has quite a few people perturbed, myself included.

If an employee is late for any reason what-so-ever; traffic, weather, sick kid; the employee is forced to use their PTO time. We have for YEARS had the option of staying late to make up this time or use PTO. We are now forced to use PTO in order to curb excessive tardiness. A case of a few bad apples spoiling the bunch.

I was stuck in over 20 minutes of traffic this morning. Upon arriving late at the office in a bundle of nerves I sent an email to HR letting them know of my displeasure regarding this new policy. I even suggested a compromise that employees are given two or three “forgivenesses” per year for traffic issues, etc. I was basically told that this is the new policy and to deal with it.

Is this practice of forcing employees to use their PTO time for being late legal?

To read the answer click here: Zero tolerance for tardiness in the workplace

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Resume problem: Is it your fault?

by Evil HR Lady on May 9, 2012

Is it your fault your resume stinks or the recruiter’s fault for being too dumb to understand it?

To read more click here: Resume problem: Is it your fault?

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