Charles River Laboratories Reviews

Updated July 30, 2015
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Charles River Laboratories Chairman, President, Director and CEO James C. Foster
James C. Foster
22 Ratings

Pros
  • They also have good benefits like vacation time (in 9 reviews)

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

Cons
  • The upper management of Charles River made this place a nightmare as an employee (in 8 reviews)

  • Low pay and zero opportunity for advancement unless you at all times keep your mouth shut (in 3 reviews)

More Pros and Cons

28 Employee Reviews

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  1. Not employee friendly

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

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

    Doesn't Recommend
    Positive Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO
    Doesn't Recommend
    Positive Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO

    Pros

    Company tries to image itself as employee friendly and they will make many claims of how much they do for their employees at least at their Reno facility.

    Cons

    Once an employee is on board, they show their true colors and don't provide the opportunities claimed in the interview.

    Advice to Management

    Be honest about what you can provide.


  2. Formulations Technician

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

    I have been working at Charles River Laboratories full-time (More than a year)

    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO
    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO

    Pros

    Able to learn GLP, formulate various drug compounds, review protocols and preparation procedures

    Cons

    Slow training, barely any growth within company. Poor management and leadership in this department. False hope on promotions. No work life balance.

    Advice to Management

    Respect employees. Take responsibility and action, not just talk and do nothing.


  3. Very top heavy and top management has no clue what they are doing

    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee in Wilmington, MA
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee in Wilmington, MA

    I worked at Charles River Laboratories

    Pros

    good people and fair salary.

    Cons

    Terrible environment. Company has way too many directors and VPs who have no clue about a company environment. They created a new role and eliminated it within 6 months. Clueless. It's full of PHDs and physicists but no real managers. I worked for a guy that had no clue about running a department, yet, he constantly lies to senior management as he will take no blame but pushes all the blame to his subordinates. I would never recommend anyone to work there

    Advice to Management

    Wake up and look around. The ship is sinking and your sitting there listening to the band as the titanic goes down.


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  5. Helpful (2)

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

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

    I worked at Charles River Laboratories full-time (More than a year)

    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO
    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO

    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 Management

    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.


  6. Management doesn't care

    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    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)

    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO
    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO

    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 Management

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


  7. Helpful (1)

    Run Away As Fast As You Can!!!

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

    I worked at Charles River Laboratories full-time

    Doesn't Recommend
    Neutral Outlook
    No opinion of CEO
    Doesn't Recommend
    Neutral Outlook
    No opinion of CEO

    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 Management

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


  8. Helpful (3)

    A frustrating place to work (BPS division)

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

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

    Doesn't Recommend
    Neutral Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO
    Doesn't Recommend
    Neutral Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO

    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 Management

    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.


  9. Helpful (1)

    Poor vision for employees and low morale

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

    I worked at Charles River Laboratories full-time

    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO
    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO

    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 Management

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


  10. Helpful (1)

    Don't work for internal audit at this company.

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

    I worked at Charles River Laboratories full-time (More than a year)

    Doesn't Recommend
    Neutral Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO
    Doesn't Recommend
    Neutral Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO

    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 Management

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


  11. Helpful (3)

    Charles River Laboratories is Unfair and Unethical

    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    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)

    Doesn't Recommend
    Neutral Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO
    Doesn't Recommend
    Neutral Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO

    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 Management

    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.



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