Earlier this week, I shared some stories about what real HR looks like. Human Resources deal with people and people will always have new problems. I shared the article on LinkedIn and Facebook and I got more new stories. 

If you’re an HR person you’ll nod in agreement with all of these. If you’re not in HR you’ll reaffirm your decision to go into something sensible.

  1. Robin Halford: Let’s see: My HR experiences over the years include (but are not limited to): Crazy Guy with An Axe, I Don’t Believe in Drug Testing, My Resume Should Include A Boudoir Photo of Me, I’m The CEO and I Can Sleep With Whomever I Choose, It’s Okay To Stalk My Medical Director While Simultaneously Believing My Supervisor is Stalking Me in the local Sears, Stirring the Pot is My Primary Job Function (I’m a Scientist), and Threatening the Life of My HR Rep is How I Spend My Spare Time. To name but a few…
  2. Jon Hyman: “No, you can’t store an 8-ball of coke in the ceiling tiles.” (And that was the CEO!)
  3. Christine Stevens: Two I’ve seen happen:  -Telling an employee, yes, you must wear underwear and no, you cannot “Sharon Stone” the courtroom. -Telling an employee that no, you cannot purposefully fart right before you leave the elevator and leave the rest of the passengers to suffer your emissions.

To keep reading, click here: 15 Crazy True Day-in-the-Life Stories from Real HR Managers


What Real HR Looks Like

by Evil HR Lady on August 14, 2019

If you go to an HR conference or read articles about human resources (even the ones that I’ve written) you might get the idea that HR is full of exciting planning meetings, coaching managers, and designing strategy for succession planning.

And that stuff does happen. For sure. But, the day to day–especially for generalists, employee relations, and HR departments of one or two–that’s not what it looks like.

HR Guru Robin Schooling wrote about the difference between “Conference” HR and “Real World” HR and she summed it up pretty well. Here’s my favorite example:

Conference HR: “The Future of Work is NOW!” Real World HR: “Someone is smearing feces on the walls of the men’s restroom and we’re unsure how to go about investigating this…”

This is the reality. And it’s the day-to-day. My favorite personal story is the woman who came to me, upset that she had been fired. She wanted to sue. Why, you may ask, had she been fired? She sent nude pictures of herself to her coworkers. I explained that I would back up her manager here and she had no grounds for a lawsuit. But, she protested, the pictures were professionally done! (I admit that I didn’t ask if her coworkers of different races, gender, or age were allowed to send nude photos without consequence, because I made an assumption that they did not.)

To keep reading, click here: What Real HR Looks Like


I got very unexpectedly invited to the wedding of a colleague who has been giving me the cold shoulder for over a year. No matter how many times I say good morning to her, she just ignores me. She is the girl who gets away with anything with the administration.  I know she invited me purely for the gift. Should I feel obliged to give her a gift?

To read my answer, click here: Do You Have to Give a Wedding Present to a Co-Worker You Don’t Like?

Leave your own in the comments!


If you have a child with learning or physical disabilities, you’re probably familiar with IEPs–Individual Education Plans. The Department of Labor just released an opinion letter that says that IEP meetings are covered under FMLA and that any such meetings are protected time (as long as you otherwise meet the qualifications for FMLA). Managers are required to allow eligible employees time off (unpaid) for IEP meetings.

What do managers and HR need to know?

The most important take away is that when a parent says, “I need time off for an IEP meeting,” the answer is, “I hope everything goes well. We’ll see you when you get back.” That should, of course, be the answer to other school meetings, but now this has the force of FMLA behind the IEP.

FMLA attorney Jeff Nowak gave some clear guidelines to help managers figure this out. He writes:

  1. Employers should treat a request for FMLA leave to attend an IEP meeting consistent with how they handle all other intermittent FMLA leave requests. That said, the employee is required to provide notice for a foreseeable leave of absence and provide appropriate certification to support the leave request.  In most instances, this should not be a last-minute leave request.

To keep reading, click here: The Department of Labor Just Announced New Protections for Parents of Special Needs Children


How to Respond to Requests for Reference Checks

by Evil HR Lady on August 9, 2019

My company has a policy of only confirming job title and dates of employment when people call for reference checks. I know managers are giving out more information. How can I train managers to send all reference requests to human resources?

To read my answer, click here: How to Respond to Requests for Reference Checks

Leave your own in the comments!


“We have Filipino maids!” announced one Instagram ad, aimed at wealthy expats in the Middle East who may want to hire a live-in housekeeper. This ad wasn’t aimed at job seekers (although it certainly would discourage non-Filipinos from applying for a job), but many job postings show just as much bias and prejudice for specific groups. 

It’s illegal, in the United States, to consider race and/or ethnicity when hiring, but that’s not the case in the entire world. Additionally, in the US, you cannot discriminate based on national origin–if you’re legal to work, you’re authorized to work, whether you’re a US citizen or a Green Card holder. A private business can’t say, “US citizens only!” But, in many countries. citizens legally get first dibs on jobs.

With global websites like the big networking and recruiting sites, LinkedIn, Glassdoor, and Indeed, come lots of rules and regulations that vary from country to country and lots of companies that sneak in illegal advertisements.

And people like to send them to me–which I love. (Please, feel free screenshots and links of illegal job postings to EvilHRLady@gmail.com). A friend sent me a LinkedIn post asking for “Caucasians preferred,” for instance. Cynet took that down and issued an apology.

To keep reading, click here: LinkedIn, Glassdoor, and Indeed Battle Illegal Job Postings Every Day. Here’s How


How to Reduce the Risk of Fraud at Your Office

by Evil HR Lady on August 6, 2019

When we talk about fraud and embezzlement in business, famous criminals like Bernie Madoff and Jordan Belfort might come to mind. But it isn’t just banks and institutions on Wall Street that deal with financial fraud.

Every business owner must understand the dangers of embezzlement and the implications it could have on their organization. Smaller organizations are especially at risk because they often lack the resources to take a financial loss. Plus, many small businesses only require one employee to manage financial information and documentation, making it easier for that person to commit fraud because there’s no one to hold them accountable.

As an HR professional of any corporation (large or small), you can reduce the risk of fraud by following a few simple steps.

To keep reading, click here: How to Reduce the Risk of Fraud at Your Office


An administrative law judge (ALJ) ordered Enterprise RAC Company of Baltimore LLC to pay out “$6,645,444 in lost earnings and benefits to 2,336 African-American applicants for the company’s management trainee program.” Then you add interest, and the cost of giving jobs to applicants they previously rejected, and your total now stands at $16.3 million dollars.

When the lawsuit was filed in 2016, Enterprise RAC spokeswoman, Christine Cavallini said, in an email to the Baltimore Sun, “We’re disappointed that, after all this time, the Department of Labor has apparently chosen to ignore the evidence and proceed with this action. We work hard to ensure that our workforce mirrors the diversity of the communities we serve. That’s why we are moving immediately to defend against the Department’s decision.”

To keep reading, click here: Enterprise Ordered to Pay $16.3 Million, and that’s Just Part of the Punishment for Discrimination


Lessons from a Zip Line Failure

by Evil HR Lady on August 4, 2019

I learned something about myself yesterday when I got trapped in the middle of a zipline and had to be rescued by a very kind young employee.

My children asked to go to a ropes park up in the mountains. It’s gorgeous, it’s nearby, and I thought it was a fabulous idea, right up until the point where I learned that children under 13 have to be accompanied by an adult at all times. My youngest is 11, so that meant that I would be climbing ropes and sailing along zip lines myself. 

No worries. Right?

Wrong. While the offspring were like rope climbing mountain goats, my wimpy nature and complete lack of upper body strength got the best of me. 

See, I’m also a little bit (okay, a lot) on the fluffy side (thanks SSRIs!). This means that on a zip line, I can get up to a tremendous speed. My desire not to smack into a tree was so strong that I used my gloved hands to brake. I was a little too effective with the braking and didn’t end up with enough momentum to get to the platform. I tried to pull myself along with my wimpy old lady arms and finally lost my grip and went back to the center of the rope. Stuck.

To keep reading click here: Lessons from a Zip Line Failure


Paid vacation time is mandatory in the European Union–four weeks is a minimum. That number can seem crazy to people in the United States where it takes 20 years of service to reach an average of 20 vacation days a year–and even when we have it, we don’t use it all.

But, in my experience, Europe embraces vacation–sometimes in ways that make no sense. I’ve frequently found restaurants that close for two weeks during peak tourist season–because the owners want to take their own vacation time. I’d think they would close in the offseason and make money while they could, but the vacation culture is strong.

This summer, my family is basically staying put due to a variety of reasons. We’re making a couple of short trips, but otherwise staying in our home in Switzerland (which, admittedly, is a prime vacation spot in and of itself). And it’s impossible to get anything done.

My lawyer has been on vacation for the past three weeks and will be back next week. I have some things I need her to look at, and they have to wait.

To keep reading, click here: It’s August and All of Europe is on Vacation. How Do You Run Your Global Business?