I Quit My Job: Can I Get Unemployment?

by Evil HR Lady on March 22, 2017

Unemployment insurance is designed to provide you money between jobs when you lose your job through no fault of your own, but is there ever a case where you can receive unemployment payments even when you resigned? Yes there are. There are not very many (and they vary by state–remember unemployment is a state decision, not a federal one), but they do exist.

If you’re contemplating quitting your job, and wonder if you could possibly get unemployment payments, here are four times when it’s possible.

Valid personal reason

If your wife is in the military and is transferred from Florida to Idaho, and you quit your job to follow her, you’ll be eligible for unemployment payments from Florida. (You always get the payment from the state you worked in.) If you live in California and quit your job to follow your spouse for any job, you can be eligible there–but in Florida, it has to be a military job that triggered the relocation. Each state has their own rules, but here is a list of which states offer unemployment for trailing spouses.

To read the other three reasons, click here: I Quit My Job: Can I Get Unemployment?


We talk a lot about  making the workplace better for women, but the reality is, we should make the workplace better for everyone. Women and men do (generally) have different needs and wants in the workplace, but what benefits one group can benefit others.

Over at The Balance, I identify 5 different things businesses can do to make an office environment:

  1. Increase flexibility
  2. Create set schedules for retail/shift work
  3. Salary openness
  4. Provide management training
  5. Make things equal but not the same.

To learn details on how these things help your workplace achieve gender equality, hop on over to The Balance: 5 Ways to Ensure Gender Equality in Your Workplace.


You’ve probably heard about the company in Maine that will end up shelling out around $10 million due to the lack of an Oxford comma. The New York Times explains it as follows:

A class-action lawsuit about overtime pay for truck drivers hinged entirely on a debate that has bitterly divided friends, families and foes: The dreaded — or totally necessary — Oxford comma, perhaps the most polarizing of punctuation marks.

What ensued in the United States Court of Appeals for the First Circuit, and in a 29-page court decision handed down on Monday, was an exercise in high-stakes grammar pedantry that could cost a dairy company in Portland, Me., an estimated $10 million.

Everyone is focusing on the Oxford comma part of this case, but I’d like to focus on the ridiculousness of an employment law that could result in this confusion and hinge on a grammar question.

My first question on this was how on earth do truck drivers qualify for being exempt on a federal law level? The Fair Labor Standards Act has strict rules for who can and who cannot be salaried exempt (that is, not eligible for overtime), and at first glance truck drivers don’t seem to meet those criteria, but it turns out that labor law exempts employees who fall under the jurisdiction of the Secretary of Transportation through the Motor Carrier Act of 1935. That’s why Maine could make their own rules.7

To keep reading, click here: The Oxford Comma Case Proves We Need New Employment Laws, Not Better Grammar


Meetings are a fact of business life. Sure, a lot of things can be accomplished via email, IM or Slack, but sometimes you have to meet face to face or over video conference. These are good things–face to face can bring a lot of advantages and convey information more clearly than via text message. (After all, you can hear tone of voice and see facial expressions when you can actually see each other.) But, what if you’re a person who is prone to fidgeting?

If you’re that person you’ve been known to tap your pen, doodle on your paper, or bounce your foot up and down, which can sometimes result in accidentally kicking a co-worker. You can buy one of the many fidget toys on the market, but that is obvious and can project an image of unprofessionalism (even though fidgeting can help us remember things we hear. Or, you can get one of these Fidgipens.

To keep reading, click here: This Kickstarter Solves the Boring Meeting Fidgeting Problem


President Trump met this week with German Chancellor Angela Merkel. One of the things President Trump talked about was Germany’s successful apprenticeship program.

We often think about apprenticeship programs as being something you do for a blue collar job, which is true but Germany’s apprenticeship (and the apprenticeship programs of other European countries) aren’t focused exclusively on blue collar work. Teenagers often do a combined academic and practical program, where they may attend school part time and work part time.

This comes after Salesforce’s Marc Benikoff challenged President Trump to create 5 million apprenticeships within the next five years, and Trump replied, “Let’s go for that 5 million.”

To keep reading, click here: Trump Wants to Create 5 Million Apprenticeships in 5 Years (Because Marc Benioff Told Him to Do It)


Altaba, what will be left of Yahoo, filed documents with the SEC regarding Marissa Mayer’s replacement, Thomas McInerney. McInerney’s salary is $2,000,000 a year, which is twice what Mayer’s current salary is.

Same job, double the salary, fair? Unfair?

Newsweek’s headline: Gender Pay Gap, Marissa Mayer’s Yahoo Replacement to Make Double Her Salary

Fortune’s headline: Yahoo’s New Male CEO Will Make Double Marissa Mayer’s Salary

Perez Hilton’s headline: Gross! The Man Replacing Marissa Mayer As Yahoo CEO Is Getting Paid TWICE AS MUCH!

While I don’t put Perez Hilton in the same category as Newsweek or Fortune, the sentiment is running all over the internet. But different salaries don’t mean illegal discrimination. They mean different people. Replacing one CEO with another isn’t like replacing one cashier with another. They are substantially different people with substantially different backgrounds and taking on substantially different jobs. Which means the salaries shouldn’t be the same.

To keep reading, click here: Marissa Mayer’s Replacement, Thomas McInerney, Will Earn Twice Her Salary. Good for McInerney.


My friend and fellow writer, Amy Alkon (author of Good Manners for Nice People Who Sometimes Say F*ck) received a press release announcing a certain company’s celebration of International Women’s Day. The press release stated:

[Company] CEO, [Man], is joining the nation in solidarity of women’s rights and values by giving his female employees paid time off March 8th. With nearly 35 percent of his company’s positions held by women – including a majority of the executive seats and almost the entire PR department – much of the site’s operations will shut down for the day.

Does anyone see a problem with that? Alkon did, and she emailed back to ask for clarification:

Alkon: So, men have to work and only women get the day off?

PR person: Yes. Women across the country are participating in a national day of strike (called “A Day Without Women”) on International Women’s Day as a way of showing how important women are in the workplace. [Company] CEO supports this movement and has encouraged any women in the office who wish to participate to do so.

Alkon: “yes” meaning that men have to work while women get the day off?

PR person: Correct. ​

To read more, click here: When Your “Day Without Women” Press Release Announces You Are Violating Federal Law


When Lots of Praise Backfires

by Evil HR Lady on March 15, 2017

With some office environments being completely toxic, it should feel like a relief to land in one where everyone is kind to each other. But it can go south as well. Too much of a good thing can become a bad thing.

The Wall Street Journal took on the growing trend of having people give positive feedback to their peers. It sounds fabulous–who wouldn’t want more praise? And Slack (full disclosure: Inc. writers and editors communicate via Slack), even allows you to send virtual tacos to co-workers. While, frankly, I’d prefer real tacos, that’s the next best thing.

But there is a downside. For instance, knowing who is giving the praise. The WSJ writes:

In most cases, bosses and other co-workers using HeyTaco, Growbot or similar tools can see who’s praising whom; leaderboards show who’s getting the most shout-outs; and often points are tallied that can be traded in for rewards like gift cards or time off.

While this can be good for managers when performance appraisal time rolls around, it can cause problems as well. For instance, let’s talk about bullying.

To keep reading, click here: When Lots of Praise Backfires


Career Growth is Up to You

by Evil HR Lady on March 14, 2017

Wouldn’t it be awesome if when you were 18 you could sit down with a counselor who could help you plan out your career and then you’d just follow that path? “So, when you’re 22 you’ll take an entry level job as a marketing assistant. At 24, you’ll be promoted to an analyst position….by the time you’re 35, you’ll be a director!”

Ha, no. That’s not how it works. While some companies have programs to help you with growth, career growth is really up to you. If you want to grow and be promoted or learn new things, you need to take charge.

I’ve put together some tips growing your career over at The Balance. To read it, click here: 4 Ways to Take Charge of Your Career Growth

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It’s time for a guest appearance at Stacking Benjamins. The focus of the show is on ETFs, but my segment is about when you should take a pay cut. The whole thing is a good listen, but the best part is the very last minute.

I mentioned that this last minute happened last week when I talked about the hilarious hazards of working from home, but I had no idea that Joe included it until I listened today.

To hear the show, click here: ETFs May Do More Harm Than Good

Or you can subscribe to the podcast and listen every day!