January 2013

How to ensure strong job references

by Evil HR Lady on January 31, 2013

Most companies ask for job references before hiring you, whether it’s to be a dog walker or a senior vice president. Some employers don’t call these references, some do and some hunt down their own references by using LinkedIn, industry connections, or simply calling the switchboard operator at your former company and asking to speak to the head of your last department.

A bad reference can kill your candidacy; a good one can clinch it. Here are six tips for how to deal with references when a company ask for them.

To keep reading, click here: How to ensure strong job references


Who owns your Twitter followers?

by Evil HR Lady on January 30, 2013

Do you have a Twitter account? Do you discuss your employer online? Do you count your company’s customers among your followers? What if you work in media and every person on the planet could be considered a potential customer?

To find out how to protect your Twitter followers from your evil boss, or protect your Twitter followers from your evil employees, click here: Who owns your Twitter followers?

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A message for the Public Relations Firms

by Evil HR Lady on January 25, 2013

Forgive me, as this is not my normal topic, but something has been bugging me for a while, and it’s Public Relations Firms.

You may be an expert, want to give speeches, have written a book or just want to promote your own blog, so you hire a PR firm to help get your name out there. Good, excellent.

I write about how have a better career, solve problems with your managers/employees, find a job, hire the best person, or something really funny in the world of work. I do actually want to hear from you if you have a great idea.

What is not a great idea is not checking out how your PR firm operates. These things drive me nuts and I bet they drive other writers nuts as well.

1. I’m just another name on your list. There are a couple of PR firms that I get emails from every day (or almost every day). They always claim to have a great new book/idea/speaker. This is false. 90% of the stuff these people send me has no relationship to the topics I write about. (Helpful hint: Evil HR Ladies do not write about tricks to help with your accounting!) The result? I now delete these emails without even bothering to look at the subject line.

That’s right. I get so many from these firms that I’ve learned it’s not worth my time to evaluate if my readers would have an interest in them. So, if you’ve hired such a firm, I will never, ever hear about you from them.

2. Your public relations person does not respond to my emails. Seriously, if I was a PR person and I contacted somebody in the media and that person replied back with, “That sounds interesting, can you get me some more information on X?” I would write back IMMEDIATELY. I just got an email from a PR person that I replied to December 28 saying I would like more info. Does her client know how long it took for her to respond? I hope so, because this person deserves to be fired. (And you all know how I feel about firing.)

3. Your public relations firm makes promises that you are not prepared to keep. I get emails like this a lot: “John Doe has developed an exciting 6 step plan for turning employees into Palm Trees! This is not only good for the environment, but good for business because palm trees don’t require high paychecks. If you’d like to know what these 6 steps are, please let me know!”

So, I email back and say, “Yes, please tell me, as I know many of my readers would like to turn their employees into palm trees.” And I either hear nothing for weeks (see above) or I get the following response, “Super! I’ll ask John to get you that list.” And again, crickets for several weeks. Did the PR person send out that email before John figured out how to do this? Why? Why did John Doe hire someone if he hadn’t gotten his list together?

4. I do not care who the new VP of HR is for your local company. I also do not care who the new VP of HR is for your international company. There are people who write about that stuff. I am not one of those people. Sorry. I’ve never written about that, and again, when I receive emails on this type of stuff that indicates that I’m just a name you’ve scraped off the internet. This bugs me.

This ends my crabby pants whining for today! Thanks for bearing with me. Please direct all your Public Relations friends to this.


California protects workers’ social media

by Evil HR Lady on January 25, 2013

Although a new law bars companies in the state from prying into employees’ online lives, people should be wary

To read more, click here: California protects workers’ social media


My boss illegally cut my pay

by Evil HR Lady on January 23, 2013

Dear Evil HR Lady,

My employment title is “construction superintendent,” although we all know that titles typically mean nothing…. On “good” weeks, when work is steady, I am paid the same amount on a weekly basis, providing I turn in 40 hours or more against cost codes, even though many times I may put in up to 75-80 hours per week. With that being said, it appears that I am being treated as an exempt employee. My question comes about when there are weeks where I may only put anywhere between 30-35 hours. On those weeks, I am only paid for those hours, assuming if I do not use vacation time to compensate for the rest.

Do you have any advice to help clarify this situation? My concern lays more heavily with the time deducted rather than the amount of time I work over 40 hrs per week. On a side note, the HR department at my employer is also the owner, and she is not approachable for the most part. She portrays herself as never being incorrect, even when she calculated my vacation wrong and did indeed owe me another week that she was previously denying me.

To read the answer click here: My boss illegally cut my pay

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Readers, can you help?

by Evil HR Lady on January 23, 2013

I received this question:

I have been working for my current employer for almost 7 years.  Over the past year they have fired 2 people and pushed 1 to quit.  I have been given all 3 of the individuals work upon there termination/resignation.  The company has refused to hire any new employees to relief the workload.  They also refuse to grant me a title for almost 7 years.  When I ask when I will get a title they ask me why I want a title…they then proceed to tell me “titles are over rated”…as all other employees have titles.  Suddenly over the last two weeks they are telling me they need me to start traveling across the country and to change my work schedule.  I refuse to travel to our market shows as I am not a salesperson, I manage an office…which does not require any type of travel.  I do not know why they keep piling more work and demands on top of me.  When I ask them when they plan to hire some employees to cover the work from the ex employees the owner tells me “sooner than you think”…I have not received a performance review in over 2 years.  This does not seem right.  If I quit the job I will not qualify for unemployment…but if they fire me and tell unemployment I am not doing what they told me to then I believe i will not get unemployment either.  Please help.  i feel like I am under too much stress which I have seen a cardiologist about and he has determined it is stress and not a heart condition.  I do not know where to turn.

I don’t have a great answer off the top of my head, so I’m turning it over to you. Can you please use your brilliance (singular and collective!) to help this person out?


HR Rites of Passage

by Evil HR Lady on January 22, 2013

A couple of weeks ago, I decided to change my Twitter policy and follow everyone who follows me on Twitter. I decided I would unfollow if the person was offensive, but give everyone the benefit of the doubt at first.

Boy, was that a good decision! While there has been some weird stuff (and  a lot in Spanish, which is difficult as my Spanish is limited to ¿Dónde está el baño?), I ran across a fantastic post today: ‘HR? My employee smells: What are HR’s rites of Passage?

Read the article and then join the collection at Twitter with the hash tag #HRriteOfPassage.



Can my manager stop my job transfer?

by Evil HR Lady on January 21, 2013

Dear Evil HR Lady,

I’ve been with my extremely large organization for 12 years. This last year has been really tough in terms of morale, finances, etc. The future is going to get worse. Due to this, an “important” person took offense to an email and I was put on a Performance Improvement Plan (PIP) (with no other offenses in my records). I decided to take this as constructive criticism, and put it behind me. In the meantime, a position came available in Corporate and I applied for it, specifically asking that my current boss not be contacted.

There were no complaints nor discussions during the 90 days and finally after 4 more weeks after it was due to be finalized, my final PIP was scheduled. The day before my final PIP, my boss was told I applied for the job (don’t know by who); now I’m being asked to work 17 miles further (already at 50 miles from home) and my PIP is no longer “final.” She told her boss that that there were a few things that she needed to address (wouldn’t do it the day we talked) but hadn’t had the time.

We met twice out of 12 scheduled meetings and all she said was, “I have nothing.” Her boss wants me fired, she wants to send me to another facility where we will have very little contact, with the PIP still in effect. She also says that the PIP won’t affect the move to another facility nor the position I am applying for but now I don’t believe anything! Should I tell the person hiring (whom I know very well) about the PIP? He likes my boss so I can’t say anything bad or how she is handling the situation, but I am afraid I won’t get it without trying to do something to save face. I’m so stuck!

Any thoughts or advice would be totally appreciated!

To read the answer click here: Can my manager stop my job transfer?


Why your boss may be mad with power

by Evil HR Lady on January 18, 2013

Have you ever known a perfectly nice person who turned into a monster when they got that promotion to manager? Turns out there may be a good explanation for that.

To find out what click here: Why your boss may be mad with power


Outsourced job=Cat Videos

by Evil HR Lady on January 17, 2013

So, there’s this developer getting paid big bucks. (Several hundred thousand dollars per year. How do I get this job?) Only, he’s not doing the work himself. He personally outsourced his job to China. Paid the Chinese workers $50,000 a year and watched cat videos, and played on Reddit.

So, there’s an idea for you…

Here’s the article (not written by me, but by golly I wish it was): Developer outsourced job to China to watch cat videos.