Question: My co-worker, “Erin,” and I had a horrible blowup last week. She invited me over to dinner, and after dinner asked me to go with her this week to human resources to complain about our supervisor. Erin asked another employee to do this as well and says that the three of us will be what’s needed to show HR our supervisor needs to be fired. I don’t have a problem with our… Read More

Question: According to rumors, one of my co-workers conducts unauthorized criminal background investigations on prospective employees without their knowledge or permission. This cyber-snoop doesn’t work in human resources, but collects this information and passes it along to the hiring manager and even interrogates the employees when they get hired. We’ve also been told that, despite being married, this employee masquerades as a single woman on dating sites and essentially cyber-stalks her targets. My… Read More

Question: I’ve worked in my company for 19 years and am 58 years old. Five months ago, my supervisor retired just before I was to receive my job review. Two months later, I received a job review from my new supervisor. He gave me “acceptable” ratings when previously I’ve only received “outstanding” reviews. I was shocked and protested. In response he said, “Your last supervisor apparently let a lot of things slide,… Read More

Question: I work in sales. The economy is sluggish and I know layoffs are coming. I can’t afford to lose my job, and to keep it, I need to be upbeat every day. The problem — I’m married to an emotionally abusive husband and stay with him for the sake of my kids. He stomps around the house every morning cussing out everything and everyone, including me. I feel like I’ve been… Read More

Question: I’m the newly hired human resources director for an Alaska Native corporation and faced with a situation that has no easy answer and no good solution. I supposedly enforce our corporation’s code of conduct and oversee the human resource issues in all our subsidiaries. Our most successful subsidiary is managed by a bully who runs roughshod over his employees. I won’t be popular if I argue for him to be fired but if… Read More

Question: I’m a teacher and get to work 30 to 45 minutes before the students arrive so I can accomplish tasks that I can’t easily complete with students in the room. Other teachers consider me a grouch. I’m not. I’m just not willing to squander my first 30 to 40 minutes in chit-chat, when if I start cranking on my work pile before things get busy, I can leave school at a… Read More

Question: I’m stuck in a dead-end job but don’t have time to spend searching the want ads. I thought I’d accelerate my chances of new job by letting an employment agency search for me. When I filled out the agency’s intake form, however, the worker pulled me aside and let me know they have a contract with my employer that requires the agency to notify them if one of their employees signs up… Read More

Question:  One of my top employees, “Mary,” was rear-ended at a stop light three months ago and suffered from whiplash and excruciating headaches afterwards. Mary took off work, got help from a physician and chiropractor and returned to work. After her return, Mary worked short days and frequently complained of neck pain. I asked her several times if she wanted to continue on half days, but she said she was running out… Read More

Question: What rights do I have when our receptionist intentionally, repeatedly invades my privacy by opening my personal mail? Because I don’t always want my husband to have advance knowledge of some of my purchases, I’m forced to use my work address. Despite the fact that most of these packages have return addresses that should clearly cue the receptionist that they’re personal, she opens at least half of them. At our recent… Read More

Question: Our employer regularly asks us to fill out online surveys through SurveyMonkey, and says they’re anonymous. Are they? If we fill them out at our work stations, they’re linked to our computers. How is that anonymous? Answer: Although online surveys can provide anonymity, they don’t always. Since our company regularly administers such surveys for our clients (we use the popular SurveyMonkey platform, too), I asked our team how they — and your… Read More