Dear Evil HR Lady,
I was just fired for using my personal laptop, during my lunch, connected to the company’s “guest” wireless network. When you connect to the guest network, a “rules of the road” message comes up about acceptable use (gambling, illegal activity, etc), but nowhere does it say employees can’t connect while using non-company devices. I am sure many employees throughout the building are connected to the guest wireless on a regular basis. I used my personal laptop to view baseball online during the opening week of the season. I honesty figured it was better to use my personal device on the guest network rather than my corporate device on the corporate network. A few days after doing this my boss called me and sakd, “Someone said you were using your personal laptop at work?” I told him that I had in fact used my computer, on the guest network during lunch, to check Major League Baseball highlights. The next Monday I was terminated for violating company policy.
I have worked for two companies for a total of 32 years. I was rated as “highly valued” or higher in each of my reviews for the 9 years at my latest employer. There were no job performance or attendance issues, but my boss and I did not get along. He is much younger and wanted to be “best buddies” with his subordinates, and I wanted to keep a professional degree of separation. After a recent management style disagreement, I voiced my concerns to my HR rep and a month later I was terminated.
I am trying to move on and am very actively perusing other employment, but the idea of having to tell people in an interview that I was “fired with cause” at my last job is very difficult. I don’t want my job back but would like to set the record straight, maybe get a severance package, and/or my insurance coverage back until I find employment.
Do I have a “case”? Should I seek the advice of a lawyer, or just get over it and move on. I am extremely careful not to bad-mouth my previous employer or company in interviews, but I can’t help but feel “blackballed” for having to explain being fired.
To read the answer, click here: Fired for violating an unwritten policy
Dear Evil HR Lady,
Will the unfairness in salary range among employees ever end? I don’t think so because there are always loops that these employers can jump through to justify why you are paid such meager wages. I have a degree and experience, but have been laid off. I worked hard for my degree. So now I am looking for a job and no one wants to pay enough.
The requirements they are asking for are not obtained from the schools for free — we have to pay for them. How can an individual pay back student loans and live off of $15/hr and $17/hr? And employers are only doing that because they know people are desperate and need to feed their families — not keep a roof over their heads — but just feed them, since no one can pay a mortgage along with other things with that compensation.
I told one interviewer who was offering me a job for $17/hr that I won’t be able to live on that. I will lose my home, and I have no where to go but at a shelter. The recruiter then fixed her mouth and asked me how am I living on unemployment. In other words, if I can make it on the unemployment check, I can make on $17/hr. I had to give her some choice words and educate her a bit ( we know she won’t be offering me any jobs in the future).
The work place and the whole job search thing has turned into a circus, with employers exploiting the employees by not paying them what they are worth. You can’t say that you won’t get your degree and just look for menial job, no, these employees want an individual to have a degree to file documents or to answer the phone for $10/hr.
You see the government knows that NO ONE can survive on the little handout they call unemployment, therefore they offer programs to assist with your mortgage and utilities, and the criteria for these programs is that you must be on unemployment. The minute you get a job, all the assistance stops. Therefore, one has to get a job that will allow them to keep their head above water.
What is this society coming to? it’s oppression right around — in the workplace, and even when you’re trying to get a job. Is there any one who can look into this?
To read the answer, click here: Why won’t employers offer me a fair salary?
Dear Evil HR Lady,
I work well over 60 hours and am a salaried exempt employee.
However when I take paid time off, my boss texts me to call or email my team to get them to produce and work. Basically to light a fire under their butts to make them work harder. She will also sometimes ask me to go in to email her a report on my day off.
When I took a week long vacation in the Caribbean she still kept texting me about work related matters. What I want to know is, is it legal? Are there any laws against this?
Also I work insane amount of hours and don’t take lunch breaks. But some weeks I have to take my kids or my elderly parents to those doctor appointments. This takes about 2 hours. I always inform her about it.
She gives me a hard time about it and tells me to find a doctor who is open late or on weekends. Is this acceptable? I am one of her good managers in production and work like a dog.
To read the answer click here: Can your boss text you when you’re on vacation?
I’m looking for a suggestion for a women in business type book that focuses on gender differences/attributes.
Anybody know any?
Are most young people ready for the working world? Not according to their mothers.
A new survey commissioned by McGraw-Hill Federal Credit Union shows that moms are worried about their children’s future independence:
- 49 percent of moms believe their children are unprepared to get a job
- 44 percent believe their children will not be able to finance college
- 33 percent believe their children are “not at all prepared” to save money or live on their own
To keep reading, click here: Many moms say their kids are unprepared for the future
Dear Evil HR Lady,
How do I deal with have outdated references and having been unemployed for two years?
Will anyone hire someone that has been at home just to find peace of mind and a life direction, that has old dated references?
Don’t tell me to volunteer, I have done that and failed, as I am shy and don’t know how to respond to rude people. I freeze.
Should I just cut off a leg and go for a disability pension?
To read the answer click here: Help! I have outdated references
In order to get people to work for you, you have to pay them. And if you want good people to work for you, you need to pay them fairly. What does fairly mean? Well, it’s more than paying them the amount that they negotiated during the hiring process. Here are five problems that I see frequently in businesses of any size.
To keep reading click here: 5 Signs Your Pay and Promotions Policies are Stupid
You want a healthy workforce. Healthy employees miss less work, concentrate better when they are there, and cost you less in insurance fees. But, employees push back if you do things like CVS Pharmacies did–requiring employees to reveal personal health details or else pay extra towards their health insurance.
But, how to get people healthy? You have neither spare time nor spare money lying around. Here are some ideas that might help your business out.
To keep reading, click here: Wellness Programs that Work for Small Businesses
After Yahoo CEO Marissa Mayer caught all sorts of flack over her no telecommuting policy, she has seemingly done a 180 on the warm and fuzzy family-friendly scale with a new maternity leave policy that is, by all accounts, awesome for an American business. New moms who give birth themselves get 16 weeks of paid leave with benefits. New dads get eight weeks paid paternity leave. If you adopt or foster, both mom and dad are eligible for eight weeks paid leave. In addition to leave, new parents receive $500 for things such as house cleaning.
All of this sounds awesome and it brings Yahoo more in line with its direct talent competitors, Google and Facebook, but it’s not what you need to do for your business. Here’s why.
To keep reading, click here: Why You Shouldn’t Try to Match Yahoo’s Fabulous New Maternity Leave Policy
Back when I had just finished my master’s degree and I was on the “real” job market for the very first time I landed an interview with a law firm. (My MA is in political science with an emphasis in statistical methodology and judicial politics. Yeah, I know.) Midway through the interview, as they explained the details of the job, I blurted out: “Doesn’t that get really boring?”
To keep reading, click here: Are You Punishing Perfectly Good Job Candidates?