Work Life

Should I blow the whistle on safety violations?

My workplace has several machines where safety guards have been removed, plus a few other things I am pretty sure are OSHA violations. My boss told me to just ignore them and do my work, but I’m afraid someone is going to get hurt. I’m also afraid I’ll be fired if I blow the whistle. What do I do?

For starters, I’m assuming from your question that your company doesn’t have a stated policy or protocols for dealing with safety matters, or recourse to an ombudsman or human resources department.

My employer won't let me take Good Friday off

I want to take time off for Good Friday, and my employer won’t let me. Don’t I have the right to do this under my freedom to practice my religion?

Only if your company has more than 15 employees. If so, you’re in luck (or rather in Providence). By law, companies must make reasonable accommodation for employees’ observance of religious holidays. If your company grants a certain number of paid personal days, you might choose that option for your Good Friday observance. If it doesn’t, your sole payback will be eternal. Not a bad deal.

How should I handle a co-worker's same-sex wedding invitation?

My co-worker invited me to he rwedding to another woman. Do I explain why I'm not going or just decline the invitation? And do I send a gift for something I don't believe is valid? 

This is a very difficult situation, with no standard solution. The assault on the sanctity and even notion of marriage has put faithful Catholics in a very uncomfortable position. Novel, previously unthinkable norms have set us back on our heels, so to speak.

I love Christmas, but not the office parties that come with it

I love Jesus’ birthday – but I hate Christmas in the office. There is an endless round of after-work parties we are expected to attend. Do I really have to go?

I appreciate your spiritual discernment and priorities. The way the world “celebrates” Christmas is a formula for stress, overeating, overspending and over-socializing. It launches on Black Friday, accelerates to a fever pitch for a month, and then crashes to an oft-disappointing halt on Christmas day.

How should I prepare for a Skype interview?

I have a job interview coming up on Skype. What are some tips for interviewing well in this medium?

Pick an attractive and dignified setting. Find your best available room and make sure it’s visually appealing with nice lighting and background. It should look professional.

Keep it quiet. Make absolutely sure there are no distracting sounds like barking dogs or auto traffic (unless you’re applying to the Humane Society or an auto dealership).

My co-worker is interested in Catholicism

Q: One of my co-workers has indicated some interest in Catholicism. How can I evangelize him without violating my company’s no-proselytizing rule?

A: Well it doesn’t sound like you’re exactly Bible thumping and altar calling from your desktop.

What is the purpose of the no-proselytizing policy? I assume that the goal is to ensure a professional atmosphere free from the distraction and divisiveness that proselytizing can generate.

I can’t get a job because of a felony conviction

Q: I have a felony conviction for possession of marijuana—I was 18 at the time. Every time I fill out a job application, I feel as if I don’t even get an interview because I have to check the ‘yes’ box next to the question about convictions. How can I deal with this? I need to work!

A: Move to Colorado? You need to make the case for a reformed life at the same time you complete a job application. Craft a short but persuasive letter that makes the following points:

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