Swiss Saturday: I Learned I’m a Scofflaw

by Evil HR Lady on February 22, 2020

I’ve lived in Switzerland for almost 11 years, and yet there are still new things for me to learn. Like, for instance, I learned that this picture may be illegal:

It’s not potentially illegal because it shows people about to go torch city hall, even though it may look that way.

It’s potentially illegal because there are humans in there and I didn’t get their permission to take the picture or share it on the internet. I have no idea who these people are.

Also, they are just participating in Chienbäse, which is part of the Fasnacht celebration in Liestal, which is a nearby town. It’s an old celebration where they march through confetti covered streets with fire while everyone is drunk. Here’s a great video:

But, I digress. We were talking about illegal photos. Or videos, for that matter. This person doesn’t have express permission to film these people either.

See, in the United States, there’s no expectation of privacy when you’re in public. You can take a picture of just about anyone and anything.

But, in Switzerland, you have the (limited) right not to be photographed, or rather to have the photo deleted if someone takes one without permission.

Now, there are exceptions, of course! And, chances are both my photo and this video fall into the exceptions, because the photos/film isn’t focused on a person, but people happen to be in the pictures. News is exempt, of course. So is art. If you’re taking a picture of your child and someone else is in the background, as long as that person isn’t the focus, it’s probably okay.

I say probably, because it’s not entirely clear what counts as art and what counts as focusing on a person and what counts as news.

However, clearly having lived here for 11 years and just learning about this a week ago, I can say it’s not enforced and not a big deal. However, it would prevent a “People of Walmart” type website of pictures of people in Switzerland.

Good? Bad? I’m not a fan. I agree with the idea that if you’re in public, there’s no expectation of privacy. But, I also think you should be polite and not take embarrassing pictures of people, nor should you take pictures of other people’s children. But, I don’t want to make it illegal.

And, it turns out that I don’t take a lot of pictures that include identifiable anonymous people. So, I’m not a very good scofflaw.


It’s Okay to Cry at Work–Everyone Else Does It

by Evil HR Lady on February 21, 2020

‘ve cried at work. Twice.

The first time, I was a temp in my very first HR job. The position was supposed to be temp to perm (a term I now despise), and I was doing what I thought was a great job. But, the company eliminated a senior administrative assistant’s role, and rather than fire her, they got rid of the temp.

This was right and fair and exactly what they should have done.

But, when my boss told me, I cried. I needed the job. I was six months out of graduate school, and finding a professional job had been difficult. My boss helped me get the next position, and it turned out to be an excellent path for me. But, at the moment, I went into the bathroom and cried.

To keep reading, click here: It’s Okay to Cry at Work–Everyone Else Does It


What Kickstarter Employees’ Union Win Means for Tech

by Evil HR Lady on February 20, 2020

Kickstarter’s vote to approve a union may throw the tech sector into a tailspin.

Employees at the Brooklyn, N.Y.-based platform, which helps people raise money for projects, voted 46 to 37 to unionize this week–a move that could prompt employees of other tech companies to unionize.

Historically, unions protected blue collar and government workers fighting for higher wages, better benefits, more flexible work hours, Nataliya Nedzhvetskaya, a doctoral student at the University of California, Berkeley, told The Hill. “This action seems to be motivated primarily by more moral issues,” added Nedzhvetskaya, who studies employees in the tech sector.

In other words, tech employees are no longer just looking out for their own paycheck.

To keep reading, click here: What Kickstarter Employees’ Union Win Means for Tech


When I managed a team, we had a team meeting every other week. At the beginning of the year, I booked the conference room for the entire year’s worth of meetings. 

It won’t surprise you that not all of those meetings happened.

What surprised me is new research out of Norway that says that 30 percent of scheduled meetings never happen and it costs businesses a fortune. They estimate, for instance, that a business with 250 employees in New York City wastes almost $150,000 a year on canceled meetings.


To keep reading, click here: Meetings Can Be a Waste of Time and Money, but Skipping them Isn’t Free


Data privacy is something we pretend to worry about while discussing it on Facebook, Twitter, and Tumblr, where we share every detail of our personal lives and take pictures of all our food.

Of course, there’s a difference between the entire world knowing that you had spaghetti last night and knowing the details of your performance improvement plan and Social Security number. So, while our employees are happy to overshare online, we must keep their information private.

This became more difficult with the digital transformation of Human Resources. In the old days, companies kept employee files in rooms, accessible with the keys only held by one cranky woman named Helen, who left at 2:00 pm every day. And she knew everyone in the company, so you couldn’t easily sneak in and grab your file, let alone someone else’s. It was information security at its finest.

To keep reading, click here: What’s Next in Human Resources Data Privacy and Compliance

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Happy Valentine’s Day!

by Evil HR Lady on February 14, 2020

Love is in the air! So, as a reminder about proper boundaries in the world of work, here are some mushy posts. And some not so mushy posts.

10 Ways to Show Your Employees You Love Them

Happy Valentine’s Day: Tales of Harassment Horror at Work

Welcome to LinkedIn, the Awkward Dating Site Version

Sorry, Managers, You Don’t Get to Date at Work

Want to Get Fired? Have an Office Romance.


Employment-at-Will Does Not Mean What You Think It Means

by Evil HR Lady on February 14, 2020

“I live in an at-will state, so there’s nothing I can do, but…” I see this phrase, or one similar, all the time. But at-will doesn’t mean it’s a free-for-all when companies want to fire someone. Here’s what you need to know (as an employee or an employer). 

What is at-will employment?

The simple version is that employees can quit at any time for any reason or no reason, and companies can fire employees at any time for any reason or no reason. There are, however, limits to this that are important. People get caught up in the plain language and forget that there are both legal protections and company policy protections in place.

Limits on employees

Realistically, an at-will employee can walk out the door right now. They can walk away in the middle of the busy season. They can say something rude to a customer, throw their name tag on the floor, and head out the door if they want to. They can ghost an employer. And the employer still has to pay them for all hours worked, and if it’s an exempt employee, for the whole day.

To keep reading, click here: Employment-at-Will Does Not Mean What You Think It Means


How to Pick up Women on LinkedIn

by Evil HR Lady on February 11, 2020

One thing I love about being a woman on LinkedIn is the fabulous messages I get from Army Generals and entrepreneurs who find me so incredibly attractive that they have to reach out. Like this message I received today from “Greg.” 

I put “Greg” in quotation marks because, while he says that’s his name, I have my doubts. But, hey, love is love regardless of the name. Anyway, here’s the message!


How are you doing? I hope this finds you in good health. I have been going through some profiles and yours catches my attention. Your extremely beautiful and I would like to get to know more about you. I’m an entrepreneaur. Owning two businesses. One in china and one in Turkey. Widowed and searching for a woman who is like minded and would like to build my business with me. what do you thing? I hope to reading from you soon  

Regards Greg

Sadly, his message did not work on me, and I suspect it might not be effective on the other ladies on the world’s biggest dating site—errr I mean LinkedIn. So, in the spirit of Valentine’s day, I thought I’d give Greg and his fellow true love searchers some help in picking up women on LinkedIn.

To keep reading, click here: How to Pick up Women on LinkedIn


Outsourcing happens. Sometimes it’s an excellent decision for the company, and sometimes it is not, but regardless when it happens people lose their jobs. That is precisely what happened to Chief Human Resources Leader and General Counsel Marc Alifanz. (Full disclosure–Marc is a friend of mine, and he taught me how to use LinkedIn more effectively.)

Marc wasn’t alone in his job loss–the company decided to outsource the function, so the whole HR team lost their jobs. It’s depressing, but it happens. Instead of focusing on his own job hunt directly, Marc made a brilliant move that showed authentic leadership.

To keep reading, click here: When This HR Leader and His Team Got Laid Off, He Responded in a Perfect Way


Corporate Jargon that We Love to Hear

by Evil HR Lady on February 6, 2020

There are plenty of things your coworkers say that drive you up the wall. There are plenty of things that you say that drive your coworkers up the wall. But, it turns out there are some corporate phrases–jargon that people like to hear.

Who knew? 

I mean, we all knew we liked to say it, but we don’t want other people saying it. (I swear if one more person says they have an “ask” for me, I won’t be able to control myself.) 

Verizon did a survey and asked people about corporate jargon and came up with quite a list of phrases. But, surprisingly, they also included phrases we like. They are:

To keep reading, click here: Corporate Jargon that We Love to Hear