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Rue Dooley, SHRM-SCP has been an HR Knowledge Advisor for SHRM for over 20 years and has plenty of HR experience as a practitioner and consultant. Rue has daily direct contact with HR professionals around the world, helping them to create solutions, to improve systems, and to find and use resources that improve the delivery of the HR function. Rue has authored and co-authored numerous articles on a variety of subjects; conducted webcasts and podcasts; created videos, and has been quoted in various media outlets. 


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Rue Dooley


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7 years 8 months

Articles by Rue Dooley

Over the past year, I have often been asked by various members of the HR community: With so many immediate changes in society, what can I do to best help my employer?

May 17, 2022


This post is strictly for the purposes of illustrating WHEN that lunch break in California must be provided.

The state says “… a meal period must be provided no later than the end of the employee’s fifth hour of work (in other words, no later than the start of the employee’s sixth hour of work).  …”

August 19, 2021


Before I get into the arithmetic – WHICH IS EASY – I must establish first that there is no law on this. This is just something that your payroll/accounting/HR folks will quibble over from time to time, so you need an expert to make it canon. That’s what this is all about: How to convert a salary into an hourly wage.

The simplest and most common methods to make the conversion are as follows:

April 1, 2021



I was reading about sensitivity training and it got me to thinking…

Sensitivity usually requires some degree of relatability, but having good manners only requires imitation or compliance. Sensitivity is difficult (if not impossible) when it’s disingenuous, but good manners do not require empathy.

March 15, 2018


A-APPRAISE the customer’s need(s).

B-BEHAVE politely and professionally.

C-CARE about the person and their concern(s). Pretend if you must.

D-DOTE on them. 

E-ENJOY the interaction as much as possible.

F-FAKE it if you must, but FLOW in friendliness.

G-GRIN! Yeah, I said it.

H-HEAR the customer. Humble yourself. Don’t assume you know.

I-INTERPRET their inquiry/observation/concern/praise/comment/etc. for what it’s intended to be.

J-JOKE. But be careful not to go too far #inappropriate

October 30, 2017

“Do we have to pay for time worked that was not approved?”
In a word, yes!  If it is time worked, it is compensable. Employers are obligated under federal law (FLSA) to pay employees for time spent working.
“But Rue we didn’t tell her to come in on a Saturday! She did that on her own!  Why should we have to pay her for working outside of her schedule?”
October 21, 2017
I once hired school teachers.  Most of our new teachers were hired fresh out of college. They were eager, and talented, if a bit overindulged.  
July 20, 2017

Humor can help relax inflexible situations, reduce rising tensions, and even improve productivity. 

Humor can also be dangerous, though, when used inappropriately.

In the workplace, funny is generally good; but inappropriateness is not.

Properly used, humor serves many good purposes, including but not limited to:

March 13, 2017

In all team environments, good communication is fundamental and great communication is critical to excellence.  I have found through observation that there are basically four actions necessary for optimal communication.  At the risk of sounding contrived, disingenuous, and plain ol’ corny, I put the main points in an alliteration. They are simply:

January 24, 2017

Many states and localities are increasing their minimum wage, effective this year. January is the popular month for changes.

So, the minimum wage went up in your state or city, like it did in dozens of others.  You budgeted to increase the pay of the minimum wage earners. Now the more senior employees are upset.

January 13, 2017


Try this to become a better employee and a better person.

Here are some plans for four popular resolutions. You will find that they overlap; so if you're daring, resolve to do all four.

  1. To improve overall health, start with being more active.

    Take the stairs instead of the elevator… ALWAYS!

    Park far from the entrance… ALWAYS!

January 3, 2017

For many employers, this time of year brings holiday parties, bonuses, good tidings, decorations, inclement weather, depression, drunkenness, and so much more.  So, here are just a few things no one else is going to warn you about.  Thank me with fruit cake later.

December 16, 2016

I sure hope the tone of the following doesn’t upset you, but all this talk about Millennials is making me sick.

September 29, 2016

“Johnson, don’t think! Just do what I tell you!”

I tell my friend this as I train him for his second half marathon. He was so bad in the first one, that I begged him to let me train him for the second one. He agreed! Now I hear myself saying things that my high school track coach used to say to me.

“Dooley, other people clear the hurdles because they do what I say. Don’t think. Just do what I say!”

September 6, 2016

Teamwork is generally a misunderstood, misused term. Many have only a hint of what teamwork really is. Some think it is about getting along. Others think it is about getting along well. Among other things, teamwork is about understanding one’s strengths and weaknesses and the roles of the other teammates in order to perform optimally.

August 25, 2016

I don’t have any answers. In fact, the older I get, the more I realize how little I know. But, I know more than you! Do this:

August 24, 2016

I only have one tip really: Start out well. For the first year, be on time, be diligent, arrive early, leave late, take shorter breaks than others, study, be nice to everyone, volunteer for the grunt work, and have fewer excuses. The adage is truer than it is false – a first impression is a lasting impression. Impress everyone that they made a good choice hiring you!

August 11, 2016

You undoubtedly already have a set of procedures you follow at terminations. That’s good.  You should.

But I’ve noticed over the years in many companies that at the point when the board or the CEO gets fed up with an executive and wants them terminated, even regular termination procedures are often abandoned. That’s not good. You shouldn’t!

July 26, 2016

I was coaching an HR executive recently, when I expressed that they should consider help with corporate culture. 

He said, “What?”

I said, “You’ll need help changing a company culture.”

The question was asked in exasperation, “Rue, why is culture so hard to change?”

I smiled while I thought of an answer. My long-winded answers usually come with analogies. I liked this one, so I just thought I would share it.

July 25, 2016