Suzanne Lucas spent 10 years in corporate human resources, where she hired, fired, managed the numbers and double-checked with the lawyers. Read more at www.evilhrlady.org. On Twitter @RealEvilHRLady.
I recently developed a sensitivity to fragrances. I get headaches, suffer from vertigo and generally feel awful. My boss allowed me to post signs that say “Fragrance-Free Zone,” but some people persist in wearing fragrances. I’m non-exempt and can’t work from home: Part of my job is to take notes in meetings, and the biggest fragrance offenders are in these meetings. What can I do?
I have an hourly employee who I cannot get to stop working off the clock. I’ve asked him to only work while on the clock, but the problem persists. I think he’s trying to be helpful, but I’m worried about our liability on the matter and am unsure how to address it with my employee.
We are hiring for a new senior marketing position, and I decided to go with CMO for the title to help recruit a rock star from within our industry to potentially serve as my No 2. My director of fundraising, who I personally recruited four years ago, wants her title changed to Chief Advancement Officer for parity. She does good work but in my mind is not C-level material.
I am an exempt employee and have been working at my company for just under three years. I recently had a serious medical issue that required me to terminate a pregnancy for my own health. I’ve now had three doctor visits in comparatively short succession, and my supervisor is asking why. Since this is an incredibly personal matter, I’m wondering how much I am required to disclose?
I work at a marketing company and often work long hours. Sometimes issues come up outside of the office, and I frequently find myself using my cellphone (and personal computer) for work. Am I required to do this and if not, how can I respectfully set limitations?
I’m overseeing the hire of a new leadership position. We want to post the position online, but there are so many options, including up-sells to “featured posting” and the like. How do I write a compelling job description that will attract top-notch potential employees, and how do I best use my dollars — some of these sites are expensive!
I just started a new job where I am an exempt employee. When I started, I was asked to provide a “regular work schedule” that I selected as 7:30 a.m.-4:00 p.m. When I inquired about coming in at 8:30 on Monday and Friday mornings, my employer said they didn’t favor that and as a new employee, I didn’t feel comfortable pushing back. As an exempt employee, what are the rules about standard hours?
I am currently handling a nasty investigation into bullying and harassment at my company. What do I do after the investigation if all parties remain with the company? The relationship has broken down — do we just have to move the employees? I think it’s too late for mediation.
It’s not a party. It’s a meeting with barbecue and beer. Granted, nobody is (hopefully) going to show a Power Point or be called to the carpet for not meeting their Q2 goals, but it’s a meeting. Anytime you are with coworkers, you should consider yourself at work and treat it as such.
I work for a small, established company, and we don’t have policies in place for employee reviews. Actually, we don’t really do reviews at all. I find this odd. Is there a reason a company wouldn’t ask for or provide formal feedback? If I wanted to put a procedure in place for the people I manage in my department, what would I need?
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?
I am a new hire at a Fortune 100 tech company. It’s a sales position, and just days into the job I landed my first sale — a big one. I am about to close my second sale and was excited until I was told that because my compensation package had not yet been signed and finalized, I would not be receiving nearly $5,000 in commission for these deals. I’m angry, and I don’t know what to do to get paid and make sure this doesn’t happen again.
My supervisor assigned to me major new responsibilities at work. When I asked to discuss my compensation, he said it could only be addressed as part of my annual review. Now, my compensation will be discussed only after HR signs off on the raise he already proposed. How should I proceed if the pay increase feels too low or if back pay isn’t included?
Our small company is considering bringing on two or three summer interns. Half of me thinks this is a great way to get some help with projects, tap into the knowledge of a younger generation and give back to our local students. The other half of me thinks this is going to be a management nightmare that will suck my working hours dry. How can we ensure a successful summer for everyone involved?
I hired a new business development director because she promised she could bring a specific new client on board. It’s been six months, and it’s pretty clear that the client is not happening. She’s done a great job otherwise, but I feel duped. What can I do?
Last year, I paid someone to relocate for a position with our company. I had the person sign a contract requiring repayment if she left before one year. At one year and two weeks, she quit. Now it’s looking like I need to recruit from out of the area again. Are there any tips you can give me for making sure that the person doesn’t run out the door?
“I am an entry-level employee who just graduated from university. I am finding that most of the companies I am applying to rely on automated application systems and even impersonal Skype interviews, making it nearly impossible for me to use my references or get my resume to the top of the pile. What should I know about besting these systems?”
“We have a male employee whose shirt buttons pop open, leaving his skin exposed. We also have a female employee whose tight clothing reveals her undergarments. This is a horribly awkward and uncomfortable situation, but their attire is not appropriate for the office. How should HR address this?”
I know sitting all day is bad for me, even if I’m getting exercise, so I’d like to try a standing desk. Some of my coworkers would, too. How do I approach my boss about potentially making a change to the way his employees do their work? I have the same question for getting new chairs. I know they’re expensive, but many of us are uncomfortable. How can I convince him that it’s a good idea to spend the money?
I manage a group of about 13 people, and we communicate via instant messages. I have one employee who persistently bad-mouthed me in online conversations. I confirmed that he was aware that I could see his messages, and I told him I saw messages that concerned me. Since then, he’s disengaged from his job and is only doing the bare minimum. I feel I should address this with him, but I’m unsure of how to do so.
What items gathered during the recruitment process can I share with others? We require approval from several parties before making an employment offer, and I am concerned that we may be sharing confidential information when “check complete” should be enough.
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. 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?
I work at a small, privately owned company of 15 people. I am third in the chain of command. My direct boss has just put in his notice, and now I am in the odd position of having to hire myself a new boss. How do I make sure that the boss is the right fit?
I’m an accountant for a small start up in Sacramento — not an HR manager. But, as often happens, HR issues tend to fall on someone, and that someone is me. The current team has been here since the beginning; we started the place. But now we need to hire someone. A stranger. How do I start?
Have you ever arrived at work and realized you don’t remember driving there? It’s kind of a weird feeling, but your consciousness was somewhere else while your subconscious did all the work of traveling, turning, merging and parking. You can do this because your commute is so ingrained that it doesn’t involve any real decision-making.
Terminating an employee is never easy, and there are no guarantees that you won’t be slapped, but there are a few things you can do to make it easier on everyone.