Spooky Hour Horror Stories from the Crypt

Have you ever been sitting down to watch a movie and thought to yourself “wow, I wonder who has to deal with this HR mess?” Have you ever thought about who has to file the employee concern report form at Camp Crystal Lake the morning after Jason Voorhees has had a spree and the other employees come into the mess he left behind? *raises hand*

Fun fact: CEDR HR not only supports the dental and medical communities, we also support the scary movie universe (SCU, anyone?). Imagine that! Of course, someone had to do it. Who else was going to make sure Dr. Frankenstein got properly terminated after he was conducting illegal experiments after hours??

As you can imagine, October is our busiest month for this industry. We thought we’d roundup and share some of our favorite situations we’ve had to help solve recently. But first, make sure you sign up for our emails. We send content like this, plus other complimentary compliance and education resources for managers, all the time.

“We have an employee named Jason, who is pretty awesome. I mean, overall, I think the customers like him. His stick-to-itiveness and dedication to his job duties are always impressive. But he’s creating a lot of messes, and I just got a complaint from a new employee saying they feel bullied by Jason.

On top of that, it seems like more employees than usual are walking off the job every night shift and not returning. I mean, it’s almost as if they just disappear. We asked Jason for his thoughts; he claims to have no idea what’s going on and says everything is great.

Nonetheless, we are getting complaints about blood spatter in the bathrooms, and he’s also asking for a lot more rolls of plastic sheeting and chainsaw replacement blades than any of his predecessors, we feel like we need to talk to him about our policies regarding borrowing supplies and keeping his area clean. Where should we start?”

Since this and several of the other questions in this specific round-up are so complex this week, instead of writing out our answers like we normally do, we’ve joined forces with the podcast What the Hell Just Happened?!, where CEDR’s director of compliance and host Paul Edwards discuss Jason’s issues, along with the other two questions submitted this week. Click here to listen!

“We are in California and have an employee who has just informed us that he has been researching online and feels like he is supposed to be paid overtime for all hours worked over 8 in a day, which he does practically every day.

A few months ago we decided we needed to save a little money in his department, so we asked him if he would go on salary and we gave him a manager's title. Since his main job is chopping and slashing, and added to that, he leads a team who are pretty much chopping and slashing non-stop for ten hours overnight night after night, we decided to make him the manager on paper and pay him a fixed salary.”

One thing to note here is that choppers and slashers became a hot commodity during the pandemic. Hiring and keeping choppers and slashers on the team continues to be difficult. It seems like there are fewer of them and that they are also demanding much higher wages, so this member’s concern about wanting to address the problems and also worrying about pissing them off is legitimate.

If the employee spends most of his time chopping and slashing, just like his team, then he’s not spending enough of his time doing managerial-type work to qualify for exempt status. That means that even though he’s paid a salary, he needs to get paid overtime.

Jennie and Paul slice and dice this one up and discuss the rules regarding classifying employees as managers in the podcast here.

“Help! You won't believe what the hell just happened! I hired a new employee to help us address overstaffing and think they may have taken it a step too far - but we are very happy with the results. We got a call a couple of days ago from the local sheriff, and she says that several of our employees are being reported as missing.

Incidentally, the sheriff is no longer returning my calls, but that’s not your problem. I do want to say that I was worried about the drama and the toll that layoffs normally take on the managers and the team. Still, this one manager seems happier than ever, and we’ve not heard a single peep or had any unemployment claims filed by a single person laid off from his team.

Given the sheriff’s call, though, I am a little bit concerned. Should we have done a background check when we hired that manager?”

This one is our favorite. Go listen to it, we have no words other than that.

Oct 27, 2023

Friendly Disclaimer: This information is general in nature and is not intended to provide legal advice or replace individual guidance about a specific issue with an attorney or HR expert. The information on this page is general human resources guidance based on applicable local, state and/or federal U.S. employment law that is believed to be current as of the date of publication. Note that CEDR is not a law firm, and as the law is always changing, you should consult with a qualified attorney or HR expert who is familiar with all of the facts of your situation before making a decision about any human resources or employment law matter.

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