How to Have the “Bathroom Conversation” at the Office

by Evil HR Lady on September 4, 2019

Some of my female employees have complained to me that the ladies’ bathroom in the plant is unsanitary because they sometimes find (and have shown me pictures of excrement) on toilet seats. There are other problems, as well. One time, someone asked me into the bathroom to show me a used sanitary napkin that had been pressed onto a stall wall!!

I put out a memo to all female employees saying this is unacceptable.  We have the bathrooms cleaned every night, but it’s up to them to keep it clean throughout the day. 

Things were OK for a while, but we had another incident yesterday. Honestly, this is the sort of stuff that makes me want to re-think my career choice!!

Do you have any suggestions about what to do in this situation?  ANY ideas would be much appreciated.  We don’t have the time or resources to appoint a bathroom police woman to check the bathroom after each person uses it. This is totally frustrating. 

To read my answer, click here: How to Have the “Bathroom Conversation” at the Office

Leave your own answer in the comments!


Overtime pay is mandatory under federal law if you work more than 40 hours in a week and are not exempt from the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA). For the past few years, the Department of Labor has batted around ideas for raising the salary threshold for exempt employees. The Obama administration proposed a change from $23,000 per year to $47,476 per year as the minimum salary for exemption, but a federal court struck that down late in 2016.

The Trump administration didn’t appeal and instead, set forth their own guidelines, proposing $35,308 as a minimum salary. That number may rise slightly, as median wages have increased and this proposal is based on median wages. The Department of Labor predicts that over 1 million people will be affected by this.

Employment attorney Brian Murphy predicted, back in March, when the increase was proposed, that this increase would survive a court challenge because it follows the same formula used in 2006, “aligning it to the 20th percentile of earnings of full-time salaried workers in the lowest-wage census region (then, and now, the South) and in the retail sector.”

It looks like this might actually be a reality. If you’re currently earning between $23,000 to $36,000 per year, as an exempt employee you may become eligible for overtime. Here’s what you need to know.

To keep reading, click here: If You Work More than 40 Hours a Week, This Trump Administration Change May Make Your Paycheck Bigger


How to Celebrate Birthdays in the Office

by Evil HR Lady on August 30, 2019

Everyone loves birthday cake.

No, wait.

  • Jane will only eat chocolate sheet cake from Costco.
  • Harry is gluten intolerant.
  • Stephanie is a vegan.
  • The entire accounts receivable team has gone paleo. 
  • Bonnie is a Jehovah’s Witness and doesn’t celebrate her birthday or other people’s birthdays, but she doesn’t mind if you celebrate your birthday, but please don’t invite her.
  • Steve has had two facelifts and likes to pretend that he’s 15 years younger than he is, and so denies having a birthday at all.
  • Helen loves a party and sees it as her business to collect money from everyone every month for a birthday party.
  • Albert is on a strict budget and doesn’t want to contribute to the birthday fund. And besides, he hates chocolate cake from Costco and Jane always buys that.
  • Chris’s birthday is in December and every year his birthday is ignored because of the company Christmas party. He’s just mildly bitter.

Ahh, company birthday celebrations. I’ve gotten multiple questions this week about birthdays.

To keep reading, click here: How to Celebrate Birthdays in the Office

If you have good office birthday stories to tell, share them in the comments or come over to the Evil HR Lady Facebook group and join in the conversation.


As a Human Resources Geek, many of my friends are also in HR, and I hang out in lots of HR groups. One of the things that fascinate me is the disconnect between how we see ourselves and how we see things when we’re on the other side of the table.

We talk about putting employees first and streamlining things and making quality onboarding processes that make life awesome. And then, someone will go looking for a new job, and it’s almost always a completely messed up process. Invariably one of the following happens:

If this is happening to HR people–the people who (theoretically) run the recruiting process, how terrible must it be for everyone else?

Your business doesn’t have to be like this. You can be better than this. Here’s how.

To keep reading, click here: Hiring is Broken at Other Companies (But It Doesn’t Have to Be at Yours)


You can Google lists of red flags for job hunters, but nothing beats actual stories. Some hiring managers really need a good dose of training before they are allowed anywhere near job candidates. Of course, we should be grateful some of them are so unintentionally honest about how awful they are to work for.

A data scientist tweeted this:

Data Bear, PhD @dataandpolitics

What was the biggest red flag you’ve ever gotten during a job interview?5335:36 AM – Aug 20, 2019Twitter Ads info and privacy809 people are talking about this

And boy, did people respond! I’ve chosen 25 of my favorite responses, but if you have time, go read the whole thread. It’s hilarious, frightening, and worth your time.

  1. Captain Awkward: Potential boss’s office was a mess – overflowing with clutter. He offered to take my nice expensive wool professional-lady coat from me, looked around, realized he had no place to hang it, so he balled it up and put it under his chair. And then sat down and started asking ?.

To keep reading, click here: 25 Hilarious (and Terrifying) Real-Life Job Interview Red Flags

Leave your stories in the comments or send them to or join me on Facebook to discuss them. 


Can You Pay Your Employees to Attend a Political Rally?

by Evil HR Lady on August 23, 2019

Last week, a company in Pennsylvania made headlines when they told employees to either attend a Trump rally, take a vacation day, or take a day off. It seems like an abuse of power for a company to demand attendance at a political rally. (Although technically, it was an “official event” and not a campaign one, that is just semantics. Trump’s opponents are campaigning heavily, and Trump urged attendees to vote for him.)

Lots of people were upset, but this falls into one of those categories of things you can do, but you should not do. As employment attorney Jon Hyman says, it’s a terrible idea, but  in all likelihood, there is nothing illegal about this practice.”

To keep reading, click here: Can You Pay Your Employees to Attend a Political Rally?


When you hire technicians, your first priority is ensuring that they can perform their job. Do they have the knowledge, skills, and abilities to repair a washing machine, install a furnace or troubleshoot that troublesome software? If they don’t yet have the specific skills you’re looking for, do they have the experience and capacity to learn them on the job? 

Too often, however, one question that service organizations fail to ask is whether or not the techs they hire have the proper people skills to deal with customers on a daily basis. 

Now, let’s not confuse a field tech with a salesperson tasked with converting a skeptical prospect into a customer. While field techs don’t have to worry about being persuasive like their sales team counterparts, good customer service skills are important for any employee who interacts regularly with clients. After all, if a customer finds an interaction with your tech unpleasant, you may lose a client even if the tech did a great job. 

To keep reading, click here: 4 Simple Service Rules Every Field Technician Should Follow

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Forget Work-Life Balance. Try this Instead

by Evil HR Lady on August 21, 2019

Work-life balance is an elusive dream that lots of companies and people ask for. Companies declare that they offer a great work-life balance and people aim for short commutes and telecommuting to have a great work-life balance.

There’s a problem, though. Balance is not what we are looking for. Think of a seesaw (or teeter-totter, depending on where you grew up). To be balanced everything needs to be the same and nothing can move. Think of the playgrounds where you’d put two little kids on one side to balance out a bigger kid on the other.

And what happens when the balance is uneven? One side is stuck in the air, unable to play and have fun. And what if the bigger kid decides he’s done and gets off without warning–wham! The little kids smack the ground.

To keep reading, click here: Forget Work-Life Balance. Try this Instead


Moving Up to a Coworking Space

by Evil HR Lady on August 20, 2019

When your organization is small enough and the work can be done remotely, it might not seem worth dragging your employees to one central location — especially considering the cost of leasing a private office.

And, conveniently, employees generally love telecommuting. Globally, 70% of professionals work from home at least one day per week, and 20% work remotely regularly.

That said, only interacting with your colleagues through a screen can get a little lonely, and there are some real advantages to spending time with other humans. Is it time for your business to explore the benefits of coworking spaces?

To keep reading, click here: Moving Up to a Coworking Space

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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