how do I tell our HR director she’s breaking the law?

A reader writes: Our HR director sent a message to everyone today saying that due to many people failing to take their required lunch breaks every day, they are instituting a policy by which your time will be deducted automatically if you do not take a lunch. This is illegal in our state, but I…

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is it bad for managers to sound frustrated or impatient?

A reader writes: I am relatively new to management and I have a question about a specific incident, which raises the issue of whether a good boss should ever show impatience. One of my direct reports, Jane, does a good job. I’ve given her a lot of (genuinely well-deserved) praise in public and private, and…

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weekend free-for-all – September 14-15, 2019

This comment section is open for any non-work-related discussion you’d like to have with other readers, by popular demand. (This one is truly no work and no school.) Book recommendation of the week: The Lager Queen of Minnesota, by J. Ryan Stadal. I am a huge fan of his Kitchens of the Great Midwest (until stumbling across his…

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open thread – September 13-14, 2019

It’s the Friday open thread! The comment section on this post is open for discussion with other readers on anything work-related that you want to talk about. If you want an answer from me, emailing me is still your best bet*, but this is a chance to talk to other readers. * If you submitted…

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are my clients hiring me to do work their companies believe they’re doing on their own?

A reader writes: I’m a somewhat newish, full-time freelancer (data visualization and reporting). Previously, I was an employee for many, many years at huge financial institutions, so that’s my “level-set” in terms of business norms (conservative, process-driven, high awareness of confidentiality). It has happened twice (among 20ish contracts) that I find out some time after…

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updates: the fake pregnancy rumor and more

Here are three updates from people whose letters I answered here previously. 1. My coworkers are joking that I’m pregnant when I’m not Firstly, thank you so much for publishing my letter and for your thoughtful response. I was intensely frustrated when I wrote to you and worried I was overreacting, but your response along…

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