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BusinessColumnistsCarrie Mason-Draffen

Resume request is legal, even after 24 years on the job

Use your employer's request for your resume as

Use your employer's request for your resume as a chance to let your experience and skills shine. Photo Credit: iStock

DEAR CARRIE: I have worked at the same university for 24 years. Recently, I was asked to supply a copy of my resume, something I didn’t have to do when I was hired so many years ago. I just filled out an application. But we have a new president and a new director of human resources. So maybe the request is related to those changes. Still, after so many years on the job, do I have to go through the process of crafting a resume?

— Legal Resume Request?

DEAR LEGAL: For help with your question I turned to employment attorney Alan Sklover of Sklover & Co., whose expertise at the Manhattan firm includes advising employees on workplace negotiations. He said you can be required to provide a resume.

“As the request is reasonable, not providing a resume would be a kind of misconduct known as insubordination, which is a fireable offense,” he said.

In fact, Sklover said, asking the employee to provide an updated resume so that the new president and the new HR director “can more efficiently and effectively reorganize the human resources available to them, is entirely within acceptable limits of employer behavior.” And he added, “Indeed, efficiently and effectively using their available resources of all kinds is the very essence of their management duties.”

The request for your resume might not be unusual, given these times of lean staffing.

During “these days of limited budgets and seemingly unlimited demands, so common in universities of all kinds, many administrators are requesting resumes in order to do more with less, meaning, at times, getting more accomplished with fewer employees.”

Sklover suggests that you use the request to showcase your talent.

“You would be wise,” he said, “to take this request as a grand opportunity for you to build up your job security at work by pointing out, in your resume, the many and varied — and perhaps, unknown and unappreciated — experiences, skills, knowledge, relations, abilities and work wisdom you have developed in your 24 years on the job.”

He also said that someone who has been on the job for 24 years certainly has a broad range of qualifications that others may not know about.

“This is the reader’s chance to fly her flags to justify both her elevation to greater opportunities, as well as her no-doubt deserved job security,” Sklover said.

What’s more, he said, “With 24 years on the job, the reader probably knows the major players since they were little leaguers. Things like that count for a lot.”

DEAR CARRIE: I work in a doctor’s office, and all the employees are hourly and work part time. Whenever one of us has to stay late, we don’t get paid for those extra hours. Instead, we are told to come in late the next day or leave early to even out the hours for the week. But that approach wreaks havoc on the schedule because we are then short of employees. Is this overtime strategy legal?

— Overtime Ruse?

DEAR OVERTIME: Though inconvenient for you, the practice is legal, as long as you are paid for all the time you work.

Usually, the shorter days after extended hours are designed to keep a lid on the number of hours employees work during the week. If you normally work six hours a day, that is 12 hours over two days. You would work the same number of hours if you had to work eight hours one day because the office was unexpectedly busy, and then you came in later the next day and worked just four hours.

As long as you are paid for those 12 hours, the strategy is legal. But once you surpass 40 hours in a week, all bets are off, because the good doctor must pay you 1 1/2 times your regular hourly wage for those extra hours. And that is non-negotiable.


Go to for more on labor laws and hourly workers.

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