Charles River Laboratories

  www.criver.com
  www.criver.com

Charles River Laboratories Reviews

Updated September 18, 2014
Updated September 18, 2014
96 Reviews
2.7
96 Reviews
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Charles River Laboratories Chairman, President, Director and CEO James C. Foster
James C. Foster
59 Ratings

Review Highlights

Pros
  • Really good benefits- medical/dental, 401k (in 7 reviews)

  • A good place to learn some of the basics of nonclinical testing (in 3 reviews)


Cons
  • Meetings were fraught with bad-mouthing corporate and shooting sarcasm at upper management (in 8 reviews)

  • Lack of communication between upper management and lower employees (in 4 reviews)

More Highlights

23 Employee Reviews Back to all reviews

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  1. 1 person found this helpful  

    Unprofessional place to work, no respect for employees, worst job I've ever had!

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee

    I worked at Charles River Laboratories full-time (more than an year)

    Pros

    Charles River has many great employees - many of the low to mid-level managers are great and the staff is very knowledgeable. Good place to learn.

    Cons

    The upper management of Charles River made this place a nightmare as an employee! The organization functions as an amalgamation of many different companies and divisions and, as such, there is a large gap in harmonization and standardization across the organization. More importantly, upper management has little to no respect for it's employees. I witnessed behavior that ranged from extreme unprofessionalism to outright abuse - it was shocking. Promotion is based on nepotism instead of merit, and challenging the status quo with new ideas or fresh perspectives is discouraged. Salaries are lower than industry standard, and incentives are spotty - in cases, incentives may not even be paid (or only paid after a long lag) even when they're earned. This is by far the worst place I've worked in my career - I would strongly recommend against working for Charles RIver!

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    The human resource at Charles River is its greatest asset - it would be in the company's best interest to treat people with respect and compensate them fairly.

    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO
  2.  

    Management doesn't care

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Former Employee - Process Development Associate in Wilmington, MA
    Former Employee - Process Development Associate in Wilmington, MA

    I worked at Charles River Laboratories full-time (more than 3 years)

    Pros

    While members of the senior management team are busy strategizing over the direction to take the business, the lack of empathy for the manual labor pool in the laboratories caring for rats, mice, and dogs is disgusting.

    Cons

    Most jobs in animal care consist of mindless work and a large amount of injuries are incurred.
    Internal politics get in the way of the company being successful.
    Policies are so strict that employees are constantly fired. There is no compassion.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Hire a stronger management team that has a balance of business savvy and compassion for people.

    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO
  3. 1 person found this helpful  

    Run Away As Fast As You Can!!!

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee

    I worked at Charles River Laboratories full-time

    Pros

    Company has a mission to succeed.

    Cons

    CRL is doing everything it can to maintain validity within the pharmeceutical testing industry...but at the expense of its employees. If you are interested in working in anything other than testing on rodents, run!! There is not an adequate onboarding process, no training on systems, very little interaction with HR or management. If you trying to have a career here...you are only kidding yourself.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Use your employees to their best qualities and skill set. Encourage and expand the knowledge of your resources (your employees)!!

    Doesn't Recommend
    Neutral Outlook
    No opinion of CEO
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  5. 2 people found this helpful  

    A frustrating place to work (BPS division)

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee

    I worked at Charles River Laboratories full-time (more than 3 years)

    Pros

    Ex-employee of the BPS division. Comments pertain to this division of CRL only.

    1. Many of my co-workers were nice
    2. Adequate to good benefits

    Cons

    1. Low base salary
    2. Limited advancement opportunities
    3. High employee turnover rate, and senior/corporate management indifference to this problem.
    4. A corporate culture which tends to ignore large, systematic problems, while getting bogged down with minutiae
    5. A corporate culture which does not recognize the need for process improvements or R&D, instead focusing almost solely on short-term revenue goals
    6. General miserliness and penny-pinching, to the point of perhaps being pennywise but pound foolish, related to #5.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    To corporate management: GMP QC/release testing facilities are not animal breeding facilities, and should be managed differently.

    To local, senior management: Find some way, any way, to entice employees to stick around.

    Doesn't Recommend
    Neutral Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO
  6. 1 person found this helpful  

    Poor vision for employees and low morale

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee in Malvern, PA
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee in Malvern, PA

    I worked at Charles River Laboratories full-time

    Pros

    Good relations with my direct line manager

    Cons

    No one seemed to know what the company goals were. Meetings were fraught with bad-mouthing corporate and shooting sarcasm at upper management. People actually spent time on company hours looking for other job options and were not shy about it. Whenever someone got a new job, people lined up their cubby to ask for inside recommendations on the new job.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Stop bashing corporate for your mediocrity. The people that work for you will respect you more if you owned your mistakes more pften

    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO
  7. 1 person found this helpful  

    Don't work for internal audit at this company.

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Former Employee - Internal Auditor in Wilmington, MA
    Former Employee - Internal Auditor in Wilmington, MA

    I worked at Charles River Laboratories full-time (more than an year)

    Pros

    There is nothing good about this company's internal audit department unless you enjoy dealing with juvenile behavior from those in charge.

    Cons

    Horrible work environment in the internal audit department. The entire department quit in 2008; no one has stayed there long after that. There are always job openings now. The guy who replaced me walked off the job after four weeks since he couldn't stand those in charge of internal audit. Nothing anyone did was any good for these guys. Mistakes were on you, but they were sure to take credit for anything that went well. They would stab you in the back for a nickel.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Get rid of your present heads of internal audit and replace them with people who actually care about employees and not just themselves.

    Doesn't Recommend
    Neutral Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO
  8. 3 people found this helpful  

    Charles River Laboratories is Unfair and Unethical

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee in Kingston, NY
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee in Kingston, NY

    I worked at Charles River Laboratories full-time (more than 10 years)

    Pros

    If you can deal with the poor and unfair treatment and bite your tongue, it's a good job with good benefits in a very depressed area of Ulster County, NY.

    Cons

    On Thursday, October 18, 2012, Charles River had a major layoff. Only to have several of those employees return to work again the following Monday (?). Raises were given all over the plant after the lay-offs and some supervisors were demoted, only to be able to work loads of overtime and get paid even more money than usual working for hours instead of salary. Here we all thought that money was tight and Jim Foster was cutting his budget due to the economy. On top of that, those of us that were let go were told we couldn't bad mouth the company or anyone at the plant by name or our pitilly little severence pay would have to be returned. Sounds a little like blackmail. I believe there are lawyers out there that only practice constiutional law, and they do it for a reason, if you get my drift!!? It wouldn't have been so bad if the lay off was performanced based instead of senority based (which is just completely wrong, unfair and makes no sense). Good workers, hard workers, dependable workers were let go while lousy slacker call outs got to keep their jobs. I only hope this company continues to operate in this fashion and eventually goes belly up or PETA or some form of ANIMAL WELFARE shut it down. Animals are suffering as a result of the type of workers that have remained employed. I've seen it!

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Management needs a refresher course in what it's like to work in those rooms following their own SOP's. They could also stand to take a class a business ethics and constiutional freedoms and cruelity to animals.

    Doesn't Recommend
    Neutral Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO
  9. 1 person found this helpful  

    Management is nothing more than a few high school graduates who've put in their decades with the company.

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Former Employee - Animal Care Technician I in Kingston, NY
    Former Employee - Animal Care Technician I in Kingston, NY

    I worked at Charles River Laboratories full-time (more than 3 years)

    Pros

    If you can stick it out (years), you will eventually end up making a good paycheck and they offer good benefits. The women in the front office are very kind and helpful. It was always a pleasure to see and speak with them. There are also a few good supervisors at this company but they are truly few and far between.

    Cons

    The job is very physical and demanding. Most people at the plant are just horrible to each other and go out of their way to be difficult and hurtful to one another. Most supervisiors look the other way, or, they are the worst offenders of them all when it comes to bad behavior. I've known workers, both men and women, who have been brought to tears because of the Bully in charge. Good work reviews are given to lousy workers because some supervisors are whimps, and in turn that hurts the team (but they don't care). SOP's are ignored and so is the humane treatment of the animals. If you tell anyone about it (which you're supposed to do) it is ignored as well. Charles River Labs is a company that says it will not tolerate harassment of any kind. Yet harassment runs rampant there, starting at the top within management and trickling down to the lowly peons. If management has an issue with you, they will go out of their way to give you a hard time at every bend in the road. The opposite is true if management likes you, well then, you're the golden child. Favoritism runs the show and brown nosing takes a close 2nd.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Put in your resignations and let some real professionals have a chance to run this company the right way. It's time to start at the top and get rid of the dead wood, then work your way down the ladder. That's how you cut your budget Mr. Foster.

    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
  10. 5 people found this helpful  

    They treat you poorly, just like they do with their animals.

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Career Opportunities
    Current Employee - Animal Care Technician II in Wilmington, MA
    Current Employee - Animal Care Technician II in Wilmington, MA

    I have been working at Charles River Laboratories

    Pros

    The only really pro I would bother to mention is that I am 'required' to work so much overtime that my paycheck is a lot larger than I expect every week. It is great if you don't have friends, family, children, pets, or any other commitment in your life...

    Cons

    Disrespect at every level, unfair work practices, punishing the hardest workers with additional work, forcing resignations of higher paid employees, disregard for animal welfare, constant threats, NO vacation time allowed (you have to come in regardless). Legally questionable labor practices. Worst place I have ever worked in my entire career.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Your employees make the company run, hurting them is hurting the company. Your constant disregard of your own operating procedures and protocol will eventually catch up with you.

    Doesn't Recommend
    Disapproves of CEO
  11. 5 people found this helpful  

    Terrible place to work

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Career Opportunities
    Current Employee - Animal Care Technician I in Reno, NV
    Current Employee - Animal Care Technician I in Reno, NV

    I have been working at Charles River Laboratories

    Pros

    They actually have good pay and if they followed their own SOPs and guidelines good advancement opportunities. They treat the animals well because that is the right thing to do and it is their business. There are tons of breaks, basically whenever you want and plenty of people show up late and leave early. So, you only work like seven hours a day and get paid for eight. There are paid holidays and if you work on Thanksgiving or Christmas, food is provided, usually from Boston Market. They do take care of their employees and give lots of room for error.

    Cons

    Unfair treatment of employees, supervisors are incompetent. I understand their hands are somewhat tied and they cant make a decision without corporate but why are they needed then? Employees are lazy, disrespectful, rude and selfish. While some are busting a hump in the back, others are sleeping at their desk as a supervisor walks by and says nothing. If you are lazy, great place to work. If you work hard, run for the hills!! The drama makes the pay not worth it.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Start from the top. You need new supervisors in ACS, Tech ops and Necropsy. Senior techs in ACS need to be let go as they continually teach new people not to follow SOPs and can't even set up a rodent rack correctly. Bottom line is you need employees that want to be there and care about the animals more than when they get their next break.

    Doesn't Recommend
    Disapproves of CEO

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