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Lynne Curry, Ph D. SPHR
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Articles by Dr. Lynne Curry

Dr. Curry publishes frequent newspaper columns addressing thorny personnel and management issues.   Her extensive article library is presented here:

Has your boss asked you to lie?

When I got hired at my company, the human resources department interviewed me and sent me into my now boss’ office for a “final interview.” He asked only one question, if I knew how to “run interference” for my supervisor. I answered...  Full Story >>

Legal issues: if someone is possibly bipolar

When we fired “Earl” this morning after he screamed at his supervisor on two separate occasions, we were ready for him to blow up. Instead, in an eerily calm voice Earl told us that our firing him would give him everything he wanted, because he could then sue us. Earl said...  Full Story >>

My boss is a bully and he wants me gone

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...  Full Story >>

An employee with cancer cuts back on overtime. Can she be fired for that?

When I told my manager I had cancer, she was initially supportive and asked a lot of personal questions, which I foolishly answered. Since then, she’s become increasingly critical of my work performance in areas that she used to call “not a problem.” Our worst fights occur when  Full Story >>

Offensive coworker insults you & says “it’s not a problem?”

One of my 30-something co-workers persists in telling me “you look just like my mother.” I’m in my 40’s and there’s no way I could be this woman’s mother. The first two times, I bristled but didn’t say anything.  Full Story >>

I left the workforce to care for my newborns. How do I get back in?

After I gave birth to twins, I tried to go back to work, but since my husband worked on the North Slope and considered his weeks off as OFF, this left me working full days and then handling housework and the twins for my “off” time. Between that, the difficulty of lining up care for when the twins got sick and couldn’t go to day care, and the cost of child care for two, made me decide to become a full-time at-home mother....  Full Story >>

My old boss is giving me a negative reference

After six months of work misery, I finally quit a job where I liked my coworkers but worked under a supervisor I couldn’t stand. In the past, I’ve never had problems getting a job and always had a new job within a week of leaving an old job. Not this time...  Full Story >>

Employers increasingly ask new hires about their medical history. Here’s why.

On my first day of work, my new employer gave me a packet of new-hire paperwork that included a detailed health questionnaire asking “have you ever had or have you ever been treated for” any of more than 40 health conditions. In addition...  Full Story >>

Operations manager rules by intimidation

Our CEO just hired a new operations manager. To call her blunt is to sugar-coat what she does. She walks through the office dishing out insults “so that everyone knows what’s correct procedure and what isn’t.” This morning ...  Full Story >>

Co-workers ‘can’t take’ your snapping? Problem may be you

About twice a week, and only when I’ve just about had it with customers or my workload, I snap at coworkers. I don’t mean anything by it and later I always say I’m sorry. After a while...  Full Story >>

The “Cover Up” Employee

We have problems with “Keith,” an employee we hired three months ago. Although Keith didn’t have all the skills we wanted, his glowing references convinced us he was the right candidate. We’ve since invested hundreds of hours in training him.  Full Story >>

22 questions a manager should ask before firing an employee

The final revenge of the fired employee: The manager makes an unwitting but critical mistake that unravels the firing decision or results in a painful payout to the employee.  Full Story >>

5 Definite steps to take if you lose out on a promotion

You put your blood, sweat and heart into your job and company. When a promotion came open, you thought it was yours. Except it wasn’t; you were passed over. What now? Should you read the writing on the wall and look for a new job, elsewhere? Or takes steps so you can snare the next, possibly even better promotion?  Full Story >>

Boss-induced anxiety is a serious problem – but you probably don’t have much legal recourse

I work in a high-stress customer service position. My co-workers and I work hard, but our workload is extreme and our company gives us inadequate training and then judges us against unrealistic performance measures.  Full Story >>

How to get a job when someone with your name has a criminal record

A couple of weeks ago, you told employers to look up applicants on Court View before hiring them. When I read that, I realized that may be why I’ve sent out 50 resumes and never gotten one interview. I have the same first, middle and last name as a woman in town who has...  Full Story >>

"This class will transform you - it will give you powers to understand people, teach you a variety of ways to communicate in a business environment and in personal life." ~ Elina Adams, BP