Should Employers Require Intellectual Property Agreements?

images-191Dear Evil Skippy:

A prospective employer told me an intellectual property agreement would be required. After I said there was no way that I was signing something like that, the interview ended. Do you think employers should require employees to sign intellectual property agreements?

– Pete

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How Do I Stop Co-Workers From Using A Dumb Nickname?

images-189Dear Evil Skippy:

About a year ago, one of my co-workers and I wore the same outfit to work. People called us “the twins” all day. It did not bother me much that day, but the name stuck and people are still calling us the twins even though we do not look anything alike. I don’t get along all that much with this co-worker and do not appreciate being linked to her. How do I get the dumb nickname to stop?

– Not Related

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Should We Have A Halloween Party At Work?

Dear Evil Skippy:

I manage a group of nearly 50 people who do work that is usually monotonous.  I try to make up for some of the monotony by creating a fun workplace.  As part of that philosophy, the employees have “theme” potlucks every other month.  We’ve never had a Halloween theme for some reason and my employees are proposing that we do a costume contest this year.  I have a nagging feeling that this would be a bad idea but I do not want to be a killjoy.  What do you think of the idea?

–  Unsure

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How Long Should An Employee Have To Wait For A Harassment Complaint To Be Addressed?

images-188Dear Evil Skippy,

After lodging a complaint about another employee to Human Resources, how long should one expect to wait before the issue is addressed?

We have an employee who has been here for years who gets away with the rudest, dishonest, cunning behavior of anyone I’ve ever known. She is disliked throughout the company, but there must be something the owners see in her because she gets away with her behavior and is still here. After one of our employees told her to stop badgering a new intern about parking in “her” spot (we don’t have assigned parking spots), she turned on him, telling him he’s a grumpy old man who needed to be in a home and take Midol. She got loud (I heard it at the opposite end of the hall.). This was witnessed by at least 3 other people. The guy who told her to leave the intern alone went into HR and reported the incident and the other employee’s past rudeness, including a time when she challenged him to fight outside so she could “give him his lunch”. HR wanted details, which were provided, but when it’s an almost-daily event, one would have to keep a log. HR said she’d talk to one of the owners about it.  It’s been 30 days and not a word yet. Wouldn’t you expect some action by now – address it with the Hated One, talk to others who witnessed this event?

– Works with Cruella de Vil

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The Top Ten Scary Workplace Movies of 2014

Long-time readers may recall ES@W’s Halloween Movie Guide from past years. With the annual nod to witches, goblins and naughty nurses fast approaching, is it any wonder that my mind keeps detouring from productive work to scary cinematic achievements?

With a little bit of tweaking, many current films could easily be re-imagined into American Horror Stories: The Workplace, so who could resist a new Top Ten? Not me! (Hey Ryan Murphy – if you use any of these ideas for next season, I want a cut!)

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I Was Rejected Because I Had Previously Applied

images-186Dear Evil Skippy:

I applied for a job at a local company last year. Although I made it through several rounds of interviews, I did not make the final cut. I heard they were hiring again, so I re-applied. The H.R. person contacted me and said I would not be invited in for an interview because it is the company’s policy not to consider any unsuccessful past applicants. What do you think of that policy?

– Annoyed

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