Question: I work in a high-stress customer service position. My co-workers and I work hard, but our workload is extreme and our company gives us inadequate training and then judges us against unrealistic performance measures. Still, I like my co-workers and initially had a great supervisor who was highly supportive. Then, he got fired and the supervisor who replaced him is an absolute jerk. The company gives him free rein to intimidate… Read More

Question:  We have problems with “Keith,” an employee we hired three months ago.  Although Keith didn’t have all the skills we wanted, his glowing references convinced us he was the right candidate. We’ve since invested hundreds of hours in training him. The problem: Keith tells white lies and we can’t trust him. For example, when I asked him about an overdue report, he told me, “No problem, got it covered already.” When… Read More

Question:  A couple of weeks ago, you told employers to look up applicants on Court View before hiring them. When I read that, I realized that may be why I’ve sent out 50 resumes and never gotten one interview. I have the same first, middle and last name as a woman in town who has done some very bad things. Or is it something else like maybe my age? I’m sending you my… Read More

Question:  I expect to be fired tomorrow. I work for a small company owned by a man and wife, both of whom are semi-retired. The husband returns from lunch smelling of alcohol and enjoys “checking” on the work my co-worker and I have accomplished. When he’s seriously drunk, I find this annoying. I admit I have an attitude about this and if I snap at him, I later apologize. The husband also… Read More

Question: Soon after I landed an entry-level job with a major Anchorage employer, a senior member of their team sent me sexually suggestive texts.  I did nothing to solicit these texts and they shocked and scared me.  I told my supervisor, who alerted HR. HR investigated, but nothing ever happened. After several months, I resigned and now work for a consulting firm and one of our largest clients is my former employer…. Read More

Question: Three months ago, I finally found an employer that would let me work between 9 a.m. and 3 p.m., giving me the ability to drop my kids off at and pick them up from school. I do not want to quit or lose this job. At the same time, my boss does things that worry me. Last month, I let my boss know that a customer had overpaid $85 for an order and… Read More

Question:  After five years in my job, during which I’ve received many accolades, I almost walked out this morning. The owners I work for provide quality professional services but lack management experience and hired me as senior administrator to run their firm. When I took over, the firm hovered near bankruptcy, partially as a result of how the owners caved in to employees pressuring them. Whenever an employee asked an owner for… Read More

Question: I’ve supported myself and my kids for three years by cleaning houses. Five months ago, I got tired of turning potential new clients down and decided it was time to hire one or two cleaners to work for me. So I got a business license, opened a company bank account and made two hires. Both were women I knew well from working out with them at the Alaska Club. It turns… Read More

Question: We’ve just learned that our very best applicant for a hard-to-fill position has an outstanding warrant against her. My business partner says this immediately rules her out of consideration, but I’m having a hard time accepting this. This candidate has all the skills we’ve been looking for, along with a truly charismatic personality. She could do great things for our business. I’m hoping you’ll say something that I can pass on to… Read More

By now you know that a federal court ruling has temporarily put the federal Department of Labor (DOL)’s Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) rules on hold. These rules raise the minimum salary threshold required to qualify for exempt status to $47,476 per year, or $913 per week, essentially doubling the minimum salary threshold.  This ruling would have changed the payroll landscape for many employers and employees. The rules were set to take… Read More