4 Ways to Take Responsibility for Your Career

by Evil HR Lady on August 14, 2015

It’s not my fault. How many times did you say that as a child? The question is, are you still saying that?

One of the important things about your career is taking responsibility for your own career. Here’s how:

Don’t wait for things to happen, make them happen. Often times, people wait for coworkers to come to them, for promotions to land in their laps, and for management to offer up new jobs on a platter.

Employees get frustrated when they see coworkers rewarded before they are, even if they’re harder workers. What gives?

To keep reading, click here: 4 Ways to Take Responsibility for Your Career


How to Become a Manager Employees Want to Follow

by Evil HR Lady on August 13, 2015

Anyone can become a boss – all that takes is hiring someone. Becoming a manager that your employees respect and willingly follow is a bit more difficult. If you want to be a leader and not just a boss, you can learn how to do it. For some people, these things come naturally, but for most of us, you have to consciously set out to become a great manager. Here’s how.

To keep reading, click here: How to Become a Manager Employees Want to Follow

{ 1 comment }

Can I be written up for this?

by Evil HR Lady on August 12, 2015

Recently my boss went out of town. Upon her return, she called me and my co-worker into her office to tell us that our HR person emailed her while she was out and said someone in the office complained about us being too loud. Yes, we were joking and laughing, but no one came to me to complain or ask that we lower our voices. Still, my supervisor told me the incident is going on my record. I feel like I’m in kindergarten even asking for advice on this, but can I really be written up for talking loudly? In seven years of working here, I’ve never had my conduct questioned. Furthermore, I am up for a promotion and I feel this will hurt my chances for advancement. Am I entitled to know who made this claim? Do I advise the HR person it was never brought to my attention? Please help.

To read the answer, click here: Can I be written up for this?


My boss told me I needed a new bra

by Evil HR Lady on August 10, 2015

Ok, I don’t know what to do.

My boss called me into her office as I was heading home. It was 2 hours past time for me to leave, but I stayed to help her do monthly reports. She had me sit in the chair closest to her in her office and she shut the door. She told me that she is changing my dress code and along with this I need to change my bra to one that is more supportive. I am currently pumping at work because my baby is 9 mo old. I only pump one time on the clock but management has been jerks about this from the start.

I can’t wear a tight bra, but my bra certainly is supportive. She then made comments about my hair and lack of jewelry. She then said that I also smelled bad. She said she knew I was homely and earthy but then asked if I wore deodorant!!! I said yes! Then she made me tell her what kind. This was the most humiliating conversation I have ever had. Can my employer mandate the type of bra I wear? She literally told me to go to Victoria secret to get fitted and talked to me like I have never worn a bra before. Humiliating! She then stood up and made me give her a hug…. A hug!! I was furious. What should I do?

I’d like the answer to be, “Your boss is a horrible jerk! You should report her to HR and her boss and notify the papers!” But, that’s not actually the correct answer. The correct answer depends on a whole heck of a lot of variables.

Is she normally a nice person? This actually means a lot, because if she is normally a nice person, she truly believes you need the help and advice she’s offered you. Nice people don’t like to tell people that their bras don’t fit right and that they smell bad. If she’s a nice person, the hug at the end was to assure you that she thinks you’re a great person and you just need to change a few things.

Obviously, you didn’t take it that way. I wouldn’t either. I don’t care for hugging, and I wouldn’t handle it well if my boss told me to get a new bra and then hugged me. Frankly, I’d be creeped out. But, if she’s nice, you need  to consider the following:

  • You may actually need a different bra. Nursing can do strange things to your body. A 9-month-old is probably eating quite a bit of solid food, so you may be going through some shape changes and your current bra really doesn’t fit. You also may be losing that pregnancy weight and, like me, the first area to shrink is the area I don’t want want to shrink. Seriously, couldn’t my behind shrink instead?
  • You may smell. Let’s talk hormones! Okay, I’m not a doctor, but I am observant. As your hormones change, your sweat may change and the deodorant you’ve used for years may stop working.
  • Are hair and jewelry important? You didn’t say what it is you do, but those things can be very important in some jobs and completely irrelevant in others. If you’re the person selling high end makeup in a department store and you’re not wearing any makeup now, this can be a huge problem. On the other hand, if your job involves sitting in a cube and writing emails and you never talk to other humans face to face, this would be a ridiculous thing.

So, if she’s a nice person, and it’s possible that she’s correct, the best thing to do is buy a new bra, change brands of deodorant and change your hairdo.

Is she normally a jerk? What if she’s constantly critical? What if she’s annoyed that you take time out to pump. (The laws around pumping at work are pretty stupid. If you’re exempt, you aren’t entitled to pumping time.)  What if she’s still bitter that you took FMLA time and would prefer to have someone there who didn’t have to worry about a baby? Then it’s a different ballgame.

First, you need to consider that even jerks can be right. Evaluate your bra, your deodorant, and your appearance. If they need fixing, then swallow your pride and fix them and let it go–even if she is a jerk.

But, if you evaluate all that and she’s just flat out wrong, Then you can go back to her and say, “Jane, I double checked my bras, and they fit properly. I don’t smell bad. My hair and makeup are the same today as they’ve been the whole time I’ve worked here. Can you explain why you brought this up now?”

Let her answer.  If her answer isn’t an apology, it’s time to bring HR into it. Explain what happened and ask for their advice. Explain that, in addition, you’ve received a lot of criticism for pumping (and please state from whom), and that that is inappropriate (or violates laws, depending on where you live and what your status is). Regardless of the law, pumping once a day on the clock should be no big deal. People spend more time on Facebook.

A note to managers. The time to bring up dress code problems is when they first appear–not after someone has a baby, breaks a leg, or gets diagnosed with cancer. If you wait to address a problem, chances are something will happen that will make bringing it up look suspect.



The Labor Department’s new overtime rule proposal changes the minimum salary level for overtime exemption from $23,660 to $50,440 starting in 2016 or whenever the rule is implemented. Currently, of course, just offering a salary at a certain level doesn’t mean an employee qualifies–the job description still has to meet the qualifications for exemption. This change means everyone earning less than $50,440 is automatically eligible for overtime, regardless of actual responsibilities.

To be clear, while the goal of this change is to makemore people eligible for time and a half for working overtime, it’s a huge step backward. We’re not the manufacturing economy that the original Fair Labor Standards Act was designed for. We’re a knowledge economy and knowledge is much harder to measure in terms of hours than manufacturing is. You can’t accurately judge how long it took someone to come up with an idea, the way you can judge how long it took someone to manufacture a widget. Do you pay someone for the time they spent pondering a work related problem while jogging? It’s complicated.

You can’t pay for knowledge by the hour. But this new rules make you do just that. Here’s what you need to do to implement the new rule.

To keep reading, click here: The Nightmare of the Labor Department’s New Overtime Rule


7 Myths About the Americans With Disabilities Act

by Evil HR Lady on August 5, 2015

Today is the 25th anniversary of the passing of the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA). That long time means that for many people in the workforce, it’s always been in effect, yet there are still problems with implementation. Many people–with and without disabilities–misunderstand the meaning and implementation of the law. Here are some myths and realities about it.

To keep reading, click here: 7 Myths About the Americans With Disabilities Act


Why Applicant Tracking Systems Need a Human Touch

by Evil HR Lady on August 4, 2015

“Thank you for submitting your application. If your qualifications meet our needs, we’ll contact you. Otherwise, we’ll keep your resume on file for 12 months.”

If your company has an online application system, every applicant receives an email like the above. Likewise, when someone applies to a specific job you’re sourcing, you get a notice. In theory, online application systems are great — the candidate is notified when her resume is received and your human resources team doesn’t have to engage with the candidate unless you want to conduct an actual interview. Applicant tracking systems allow HR professionals to keep on top of numerous requisitions, sort through stacks of resumes without touching a single sheet of paper and run reports to understand the level of interest in any job posting.

But if these systems make the entire hiring process easier, why do job candidates hate them so much? Because they take the “human” out of the process.

To keep reading, click here: Why Applicant Tracking Systems Need a Human Touch


Turnover reports. Let’s be honest—they’re kind of boring. But, if you want to be a business that’s responsive to employees and boasts a great company culture, you need to track your turnover.

People in small business often say, “I don’t need to track anything! I know the names of everyone who works here and I can give you a list of everyone who has left, along with their reasons for leaving! Jane left because her husband got a job in Milwaukee. Steve left because a headhunter called him up out of the blue and offered him a raise we couldn’t match. Carol left because she wanted to stay home with her kids.”

It’s easy to think you’ve got it under control, but let me tell you a secret: People lie about why they’re leaving. Jane told her husband to go ahead and take that job in Milwaukee because she hated her manager. Steve was actively looking for a job for two years before he finally landed that one. He would have taken it without the raise. And Carol? Carol actually does want to stay home with her kids, but she intends to do consulting on the side. She would have stayed if you had granted her request for part time.

To keep reading, click here: The Value of Tracking Turnover–And How to Do It Right


Do you operate on gut feelings a lot? You know, when you interview someone for a job and within an instant you know this person is right—or wrong—for the job? What about when you’re making a big decision about a reorganization, or implementing perks that you just know employees will love?

Many HR professionals make all kinds of decisions without looking at the numbers—sometimes it works out and sometimes it doesn’t. But the flip side is also true: Sometimes you look at the numbers, make your decision accordingly and things go poorly.

So, how do you know when it makes sense to use data and when to trust your gut?

To keep reading, click here: Data or Intuition: When Should HR Rely on the Numbers

{ 1 comment }

American culture says that salary information is confidential; 43 percent of married couples couldn’t correctly name their spouse’s salary. Some were off by as much as $25,000. We don’t talk about salaries with our friends and family, and we certainly don’t talk about them with our co-workers. Leaving a list of salaries on the copy machine is certainly a fireable offense in many companies. But, despite all the confidentiality, it’s all self-imposed. Federal law protects your right (and the right of your employees) to discuss their working conditions–including salary.

So, some people at Google did just that. Erica Baker, a former Google employee, created a spreadsheet on which people could report their own salaries. According to Baker, management freaked out. She told the story through a series of tweets. After Baker created the spreadsheet and word of it started spreading, she got called in by her supervisor. Here’s the critical part.

To keep reading, click here? Think Salaries Are Confidential? Google Found Out They Aren’t