Abusive Child Labor Practices

Cinemark, formally Muvico, in Boca Raton

Imagine your 16 or 17 year-old daughter getting off work at 2:30 a.m. and then driving home near a bunch of bars that just closed.  That’s what one movie theater demands of its high school employees in Boca Raton.  The company name: Cinemark

No business should be allowed to demand kids in high school to work until 1 a.m. or 2:30 a.m. any day of the week.  It’s legal in Florida but that doesn’t mean it’s right.

Cinemark, Muvico, and others get away with this because most college kids demand higher pay for those hours or make more money in restaurants and other industries that aren’t available to kids in high school.

Muvico scheduled high school employees to work Thanksgiving Day last year, upsetting and ruining family vacations and dinner plans, and had the high school employees come in for an hour and then sent them home. They must have just wanted them “on-call” in case they needed them, without paying them.  They also told their employees that they couldn’t request vacation or time-off during holidays.  They wouldn’t accept any request.

Nice.  There’s a family friendly company.

After talking to a bunch of parents across South Florida, this type of overly-aggressive employment practice is common in the movie theater industry.

I’ll be forwarding this to our Florida State Legislature to try and get them to change the law.

Do you have these experiences with movie theaters or other industries?  Report them here.

“Unemployed need not apply!” Hiring Policies

Image courtesy of: Social Media Camp 2009

That headline is true!  Not only are many employers not willing to interview people that are unemployed, but the candidate better be under 40, have a great credit score, have no “digital dirt” on the Internet, and zero health issues in the past or on the horizon.

Believe me they check, even if they say they don’t.  I’ve been blessed to continue to be employed but I’m personal friends with several recruiters that have over 20 years experience or own their own head-hunting companies and the requirements they are given are usually the list I’ve outlined.

How many companies have cut half, three-quarters, or more of their workforce?  The performance issues were at the top, not the folks that were cut. Many of those senior executives are still there… continuing to make their organizations unsuccessful.

At the first and second line level of management, many times the hiring manager doesn’t know these silly obstacles that are set by the company.  It’s “secret stuff” the HR department dreams up.  Often the hiring manager would love to have someone with a lot of experience that can make big things happen.  And they don’t care about the candidate’s credit score or that they are 50 or older.

But HR won’t bring those candidates in because of the perceived overall cost to the company.  It’s shortsighted.

With the real rate of unemployment – 18%+ nationwide; the increasing number of divorces (over 50%); problems with real estate, bankruptcies, and foreclosures; health problems because of stress, etc… there are millions that are “un-hirable” according to some company policies.

You wouldn’t want to work for them anyway. They’re weak!  Would a pro coach you want to work for hire players based on a spreadsheet?  There’s a lot more to it than that.

It sounds impossible, but there’s hope for good people looking for work.  They just have to do it differently.  Be positive and confident – not down in the dumps!

If you’re in those categories I listed, increase your contact with current relationships (get out of the house!), go get more relationships – social media relationships, face-to-face relationships – to look for a job.

Resume blasting doesn’t work.  If someone knows you personally and you are a great person with a super track record from good employers, they’ll fight for you to get into an organization.  They’ll even fight HR.  And the company will do better with you than the ones that pass you by based on faulty logic.

I’ve been a hiring manager for many years at large and medium sized companies.  In EVERY case I’ve gone around the HR department to find the best people.  The candidates that HR found were all middle-of-the-road.  No superstars.  You can’t beat the competition with middle-of-the-roaders.

I depend on relationships and sites like LinkedIn to find top talent.  I just checked and today I have 1,736 real contacts in my cellphone.  I know who they are and they know me.  You can’t find great teammates looking at a stack of resumes, a spreadsheet, a credit report, or an actuary table.  That’s called LAZY management.

Sorry for the rant but I know a lot of great people looking for work that ran into some bad circumstances, completely out of their control, and they are getting the run-around by weak employers.

They are doing what I suggested and many are getting jobs now even in this economy.  Go make some new friends!

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