How Small Businesses Can Address Employee Lawsuits

by Evil HR Lady on September 16, 2019

While major corporations tend to have large, dedicated legal teams to protect them from employee lawsuits, small businesses rarely have those kinds of resources. But small business legal advice doesn’t have to be cost prohibitive just because you can’t afford a full legal team. Here’s what you need to know.

Prevention Is Key to Avoiding Lawsuits

Employee lawsuits are a risk from the moment you hire your first employee, even if that person is your best friend or brother-in-law. Consider hiring an employment lawyer to help you establish policies and create an employee handbook right from the outset. Then follow that handbook. There’s plenty of flexibility in how you want to run your business — just have it down on paper and doubled-checked by an expert.

To keep reading, click here: How Small Businesses Can Address Employee Lawsuits

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Man Brings Emotional Support Clown to Termination Meeting

by Evil HR Lady on September 14, 2019

I’m on record as saying when an employee asks for something look for a way to say yes. If you come to me and say you want to bring an emotional support clown to a meeting–any meeting–I will look for a way to say no.

But Human Resources people in New Zealand are nicer than I am. Or perhaps, they were blindsided and were so freaked out they didn’t know how to respond. I don’t know. 

Joshua Jack, a New Zealand ad man, received a notification to attend a meeting and said he could bring along an emotional support person. So he did — a clown.

To keep reading, click here: Man Brings Emotional Support Clown to Termination Meeting


Is it Sexist to Promote a Male Employee over Two Females

by Evil HR Lady on September 12, 2019

I manage three analysts: one male and two females. All analysts have been working in the field for a similar amount of time, but one of the women is currently on maternity leave. The male analyst recently asked for a promotion to a senior analyst position. This role doesn’t technically exist, so we’d have to create a new job title and job description. He’s a great employee and is willing to take on more work, but I’m concerned that creating a new position for him and not for the other two women in the group might be construed as sexist—especially since one of the women is out on maternity leave. I’m afraid that without the promotion, the male analyst will leave. But I’m also worried that if I promote him and not the others, I’ll get hit with a discrimination complaint. I know a quick fix would be to just promote all three of my employees, but I don’t have the budget to give everyone a raise, so I need to be selective. What should I do?

To read my answer, click here: Is it Sexist to Promote a Male Employee over Two Females


California Passes Legislation that May Kill the Gig Economy

by Evil HR Lady on September 11, 2019

California’s Senate approved, with a 29 to 11 vote, to require companies like Uber and Lyft to treat all contractors like employees. According to the New York Timesthe bill should sail through the Assembly, and Governor Gavin Newsom has already indicated that he will sign it.

It fixes the primary function problem

Earlier this year, the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) ruled that Uber drivers, and similar workers, were, indeed contractors because they

  • Use their own equipment
  • Set their own schedules
  • Are free to work for competitors
  • Are responsible for their own profit/loss

The one problem was that these drivers perform functions that are central to the business’s mission. This law solidifies this and says that because driving is the fundamental function of companies like Uber and Lyft, these people are employees.

This doesn’t just affect these app-based employers. It could affect hairdressers, nail salons, franchise owners, and any number of other contract-based industries.

To keep reading, click here: California Passes Legislation that May Kill the Gig Economy


A  Washington state aviation company posted a job listing for a Human Resources Manager. Mostly, the job listing is pretty normal, mentioning things like employee relations, policies and procedures, and tracking vacation time. But, if you scroll down to the bottom, you find this gem:

“Those applicants that chose to include a photograph with their resume will be given first consideration for a personal interview.”

Lena Smith found it and did what you should always do with a sketchy job posting: 

To keep reading, click here: Job Posting: Applicants that Include a Photograph Will Be Given First Consideration


Why a Manager Should Never Pad Employees’ Timecards

by Evil HR Lady on September 9, 2019

I was recently promoted and will be taking over a team that previously reported to my boss. A couple years ago, due to a new law regarding exempt employees, the team was switched from exempt to nonexempt. They were given a nice bonus, $5,000, to help “soften the transition.” Recently, my boss let me know he’s been adding three hours per week to their timecards. Additionally, he allows them to clock out from home after leaving the office. For example, one employee left the office at 4 p.m. but clocked out at 6:15 p.m. I told my boss I would be stopping these practices. Am I micromanaging the team by asking them to clock out when they leave the office? 

To read my answer, click here: Never Pad Employees’ Timecards

Leave your own answer in the comments!


Gala Camacho spotted a job posting on LinkedIn that she found sexist, so she commented that they “might reach a wider audience if your job ad was not so gendered and/or white. #diversity #inclusion.”

The ad was for a Vice President of Engineering at Relevant Software and included an illustration of a white guy with a beard, casually dressed. Frankly, while I agree with Camacho’s point, I don’t think it’s a huge deal. A picture of some sort often draws attention to a job posting.

But, it became a big deal when Relevant Software CEO, Andrew Burak responded and defended the picture saying, “It’s just a very precise marketing approach and no more, no less. Do not look here for any inequality ground. According to our research, most of our potential candidates look like on the picture.”

To keep reading, click here: This Tech CEO Said Targeting Bearded White Men for VP Makes Sense


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.