November 2017

“You don’t have a positive attitude!” or “You’re not a team player!” or “It was just a joke. Everyone jokes.”

Look, I’m a fan of positive attitudes, teamwork, and jokes, but when it comes to race in the workplace, foul language and treating people poorly because of their skin color or national origin is never, ever, not once appropriate.

Marcus Vaughn, a former Tesla employee, filed a lawsuit in California claiming that while he was officially terminated for not having a positive attitude, the real reason was that he complained about racial harassment and that Tesla never investigated.

Tesla responded, in a statement to The Mercury News:

Several months ago we had already investigated disappointing behavior involving a group of individuals who worked on or near Marcus Vaughn’s team. At the time, our investigation identified a number of conflicting accusations and counter-accusations between several African-American and Hispanic individuals, alleging use of racial language, including the ‘n-word’ and ‘w-word,’ (a slur against Latino people) towards each other and a threat of violence.

After a thorough investigation, immediate action was taken, which included terminating the employment of three of the individuals.

To keep reading, click here: It’s Time for Tesla (and Everyone Else) to Take Racial Harassment Seriously


I had the opportunity to be interviewed by Chris Rainey on the HR Leaders Podcast–and Youtube Channel.

You can watch it below or listen to it on Apple Podcasts by clicking here.

Give it a listen and tell me what you think.

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Have you received a holiday present, only to find out that the cost was deducted from your paycheck?

Or, been given a framed picture of the boss?

What’s the worst present you’ve gotten from your boss or co-worker over the year?  Or have you been pressured into giving a present to a supervisor only to receive nothing in return?

Tell me your story!

I’ve never gotten anything “bad” but as a Mormon, I don’t drink. One year, when I was very pregnant, I received a bottle of champagne. A lovely gift, but hint, don’t buy alcohol for the pregnant Mormon in your office.

(I will say, in defense of the gift giver, I had never discussed my religion with him, and he probably just thought I was fat. He was truly a lovely person, and I found it hilarious.)


Sign Up Now: Employment Law Year in Review 2017

by Evil HR Lady on November 15, 2017

This has been a crazy year as far as employment law is concerned. Sexual harassment, medical marijuana, the mark of the beast, you name it, it’s happened this year.

And if you’re an HR practitioner or an attorney, or just really like to learn things, have I got the webinar for you. And it’s FREE. But spaces are limited so sign up quickly.

Date: Thursday, December 7

Time: 12:00-1:00 pm Eastern Time

I will be moderating a panel of 5 attorneys, Jon Hyman, Eric Meyer, Jeff Nowak, Daniel Schwartz, and Robin E. Shea, so, hopefully, I’ll come out alive, but guaranteed you’ll come out learning something. And, you can get SHRM and HRCI credits for spending time with us.

To register (for free!), click here: Employment Law Year in Review 2017

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Kevin Spacey: Netflix Can’t Fire Me

by Evil HR Lady on November 14, 2017

In House of Cards, Kevin Spacey has the real talent for making the viewer root for a truly horrible person, Francis Underwood. But, can he get people behind him now?

According to The Blast, Spacey is claiming that Netflix fired him too quickly after claims came out that he committed sexual misconduct with a then 14-year-old Anthony Rapp and that they don’t have the legal ability to do so. They write:

Sources close to the situation tell us the actor does not have a morality clause in his contract that would trigger a suspension or termination from the production based upon personal actions.

We’re told Spacey’s contract states the only way he can be suspended or fired from the show would be if he becomes “unavailable” or “incapacitated” to fulfill his obligations with production.

Another Case of the Rich and Famous Aren’t Like Us

You don’t have a morality clause in your contract either, largely because it would be highly unlikely for you to have a contract–unless you’re in a union.

To keep reading, click here: Kevin Spacey: Netflix Can’t Fire Me


Good management is important. We all know this. In fact, multiple studies have shown that not getting along with a manager is often the strongest influence on employee engagement—and eventual departure. Or, at least, that’s what we thought.

According to new research from IBM on why employees quit, the old HR adage “people don’t leave companies, they leave managers” is being called into question. After surveying 22,000 people, IBM found out the following:

  • 14 percent leave because they are unhappy with their manager
  • 40 percent leave because they are unhappy with their jobs
  • 39 percent leave for personal reasons (e.g., spouse relocation, child care, health, etc.)
  • 20 percent leave because they are unhappy with the organization
  • 18 percent leave due to uncertainty in the organization, following a change

To keep reading, click here: A New Study Finds Bad Managers Aren’t the Reason Employees Quit


A few years ago, we went out and asked real people what their bosses had given them as holiday presents that they actually appreciated. Because times change and people change, it was time to go out and ask again.

Take a look at this list of gifts that have been a big hit. You’ll notice (again) that some are contradictory–that’s because employees and managers are human. This list is meant to spark your imagination, not to give you an excuse to not know anything about your staff.

And remember, presents only go one direction in the office–down. If you’re the boss, don’t even think about hinting that you’d like something.

  • My boss always gives us a bottle of wine — which I love. (I always end up with a 2nd bottle because one of my colleagues doesn’t drink wine–which my boss should know) I give my staff Girl Scout candy or cookies that I know they like & then we go out to lunch.
  • We go to lunch and take the rest of the day off. At lunch, annual bonus checks are given as well as small gifts: soft blankets, spa gift cards, or something like that. My staff also like to exchange gifts, so everyone is getting four or five gifts.

To read the whole list, click here: What Real People Want as a Gift From the Boss: We Asked Them


Swiss Saturday: The Red Light District

by Evil HR Lady on November 11, 2017

When you think about Switzerland, you might think of Heidi, or of James Bond, or cows with bells. These things are all true, but you also have to think about legalized prostitution.

Apparently, Basel has added these helpful signs, indicating the red light district. If you want to, uh, meet some new people, this is the place to go!

My dentist, by the way, has his office in this red light district, so it’s not an area limited to just certain activities. Dunkin’ Donuts is there too, because, frankly, everyone has to eat.


Yes, Your Boss Can Require You to Work Crazy Hours

by Evil HR Lady on November 10, 2017

I am an exempt employee and work where many, many hours have now become the standard. One night we were required to stay until 11:30 p.m. After a 7:30 a.m. Start time. At a certain point are there any protections for workers in this class? We cannot be expected to work until all hours of the night on a consistent basis. Being salaried kinda stinks.  What, if anything can be done? My workplace found out I have begun tracking my hours and are most unhappy.

To read the answer, click here: Yes, Your Boss Can Require You to Work Crazy Hours


Capitalizing on Small Business Saturday

by Evil HR Lady on November 10, 2017

Everyone has heard of Black Friday—but have you heard of Small Business Saturday?

The Saturday after Thanksgiving is a day designed to encourage shoppers to shop at local businesses rather than big chain stores. Curious to learn about the best ways your business can capitalize on the Small Business Saturday initiative? Here are a few ideas.

Take Advantage of Social Media

You may have a company Facebook page or Twitter account and, of course, you post about your business there. But have you considered using your personal accounts to do the same? You don’t want to turn the place where you normally share pictures of your kids into a business account, but you do want to occasionally remind your friends that your small business supports your family.

To keep reading, click here: Capitalizing on Small Business Saturday