Question: I supervise 15 employees, the largest crew in our company, and I report to the general manager. I’m expected to handle employees who don’t show up on time or do what they’re supposed to — but I’m not allowed to fire anyone. That’s the prerogative of one person only, the general manager. That’s like giving responsibility without authority, and since my manager reads your column I hope you’ll write why it… Read More

Question: When our company downsized, we eliminated our marketing department and I became charged with maintaining our company’s blog and newsletter. Both are thankless tasks. Few people read the blog, despite how we’ve promoted it on Facebook and Google. Our statistics show that more than 70 percent of those we email our newsletter to don’t open it. Our general manager has given me permission to drop the newsletter but insists we need… Read More

Question: I’ve just learned that my employer allowed our accounting manager to take payroll records home on a laptop, which got stolen in a home burglary. Now I have to worry that a thief has my Social Security number, home address and knows the ages of my children. Do I have legal recourse? What if my identity is stolen? Can I make my employer pay for any losses I experience? Answer: Alaska… Read More

Question: I’m scared I’m going to lose my job. My coworkers and I work for a bully boss. He insults us constantly. When he’s upset, he yells things like “who’s going to pay for this!” and we all put our heads down and hope we’re not the one he picks on. After weeks in which I went home in tears nightly, I went to Human Resources to get help. The HR officer… Read More

Question:  I work for an oil patch company. Profit is king to our senior management and chief executive officer, but we’re barely making it. I’m the human resources specialist, and I’ve had to lay off 15 employees. I’m new to HR, but am now in charge because they laid off my manager, the HR director. Here’s the problem. A woman in accounting, who’s been here four years, has cancer. It’s not bad,… Read More

You have two job offers – so how do you choose? Are you torn between two potential jobs, both of which you might be able to land? Do they both have pluses and minuses, but choosing between them feels like choosing between apples and oranges? If you’re stuck in indecision and long for clarity, try this two-step process. Or, if you’re considering whether to leave your current job and seek a new… Read More

When United Airlines employees heard the now-famous statement from Dr. David Dao, “Nope. I’m not getting off the flight. I’m a doctor and have to see patients tomorrow morning,” it could — and should — have triggered an immediate re-evaluation. Except United’s employees weren’t given the freedom to situationally re-evaluate — even if their individual Richter scales screamed “trouble!” Instead, United Airlines’ employees lived according to rigid company-serving policies. [A man wouldn’t… Read More

Question: When my friends and I go out, they talk with me about their exciting new jobs. They’re all jazzed by their new duties and what they’re learning. When they ask me, “What’s new with you?” I don’t have anything to say. I have a good job, one I fell into after college. I stay because my boss and coworkers are nice. I’m good at it, but it’s neither exciting nor challenging…. Read More

Question: I’m an outside salesperson. Customers regularly email me in the evenings and I respond to these emails immediately. I also text and email the other sales people with leads and questions. This morning I got fired. Apparently there’s a policy that’s never been enforced and that I didn’t know about that employees may not use company-provided email during non-work hours. I asked my manager exactly what “non-work” hours are for me… Read More

Question: My employer just threatened to fire me for having decent values and wanting to maintain them at work. Here’s the problem. I work for a large sports facility that serves thousands of customers, young and old. Because we receive a small amount of federal funding, we can’t discriminate against employees or customers due to their sexual orientation or gender identity. This means a man named “Lena” who dresses as a woman… Read More