Charles River Laboratories
2.6 of 5 85 reviews
www.criver.com Wilmington, MA 5000+ Employees

Charles River Laboratories Reviews

Updated Jul 2, 2014

Be The First To
Add Photos

All Employees Current Employees Only

2.6 85 reviews

                             

40% Approve of the CEO

Charles River Laboratories Chairman, President, Director and CEO James C. Foster

James C. Foster

(52 ratings)

34% of employees recommend this company to a friend
85 Employee Reviews
Relevance Date Rating
in

Review Highlights

Pros:
  • "Really good benefits- medical/dental, 401k"
    in 6 reviews
  • "Great work-life balance, ability to grow within the company if you don't mind moving to other locations based on job availability"
    in 3 reviews
Cons:
  • "Meetings were fraught with bad-mouthing corporate and shooting sarcasm at upper management"
    in 7 reviews
  • "Lack of communication between upper management and lower employees"
    in 4 reviews
  • Show more review highlights

Reviews

    • Culture & Values
           
    • Work/Life Balance
           
    • Senior Management
           
    • Comp & Benefits
           
    • Career Opportunities
           
    • No Opinion of CEO

     

    prison like atmosphere

    Animal Caretaker (Current Employee)
    Frederick, MD

    Prosnone the work is Repetitive and mind numbing

    ConsAlways changing rules and standards management is almost totally incompetent, if you last long Enough you will need some type of corrective Surgery

    Advice to Senior Managementneed to replace all management at frederick location, the company needs to look at how each location is managed and put in place a set of standard rules, it is like each location is its own entity inside of charles river

    No, I would not recommend this company to a friend

    Was this review helpful?
    Yes | No
    Add Employer Response Flag Review
    • Culture & Values
           
    • Work/Life Balance
           
    • Senior Management
           
    • Comp & Benefits
           
    • Career Opportunities
           
    • Disapproves of CEO

    1 person found this helpful  

    Don't work for internal audit at this company.

    Internal Auditor (Former Employee)
    Wilmington, MA

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

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

    No, I would not recommend this company to a friend

    Was this review helpful?
    Yes | No
    Add Employer Response Flag Review
    • Culture & Values
           
    • Work/Life Balance
           
    • Senior Management
           
    • Comp & Benefits
           
    • Career Opportunities
           
    • No Opinion of CEO

     

    Formulations Technician

    Anonymous Employee (Former Employee)

    ProsGreat team atmosphere with a lot of variation in projects.

    ConsShort staffed, long hours with little time outside of the lab.

    Yes, I would recommend this company to a friend – I'm not optimistic about the outlook for this company

    Was this review helpful?
    Yes | No
    Add Employer Response Flag Review
  • We want your feedback – Are these company reviews helpful to you?  Yes | No
    • Culture & Values
           
    • Work/Life Balance
           
    • Senior Management
           
    • Comp & Benefits
           
    • Career Opportunities
           
    • No Opinion of CEO

     

    Average Company

    Technologist (Former Employee)
    Wilmington, MA

    ProsIt is a good place to obtain experience, there was always plenty of overtime, more than you would like at some times. The supervisors and project managers were, for the most part, friendly and helpful. The start times are flexible.

    ConsAlthough, It is relatively simple to move to another department to gain new skills there is not a lot of possibility for promotion. The work environment can be too casual.

    No, I would not recommend this company to a friend

    Was this review helpful?
    Yes | No
    Add Employer Response Flag Review
    • Culture & Values
           
    • Work/Life Balance
           
    • Senior Management
           
    • Comp & Benefits
           
    • Career Opportunities
           
    • Approves of CEO

     

    Good Company

    Anonymous Employee (Current Employee)

    ProsVery "family friendly" feel to the company. Concerned professionals that are working on important medical research.

    ConsHave not seen any detractors as of yet.

    Yes, I would recommend this company to a friend – I'm optimistic about the outlook for this company

    Was this review helpful?
    Yes | No
    Add Employer Response Flag Review
    • Culture & Values
           
    • Work/Life Balance
           
    • Senior Management
           
    • Comp & Benefits
           
    • Career Opportunities
           
    • Approves of CEO

    1 person found this helpful  

    One Charles River

    Anonymous Employee (Current Employee)

    ProsEven though Charles River is a global organization, there is a lot of emphasis on team work from site to site. Many of my colleagues that I interact with on a daily basis are all over the world (Canada, Europe, Asia, in the US but outside of Massachusetts) but we still work well as a team and support each other to achieve our goals. As a member of the marketing department, I have the pleasure of working with a variety of different groups within the company including operations, sales and the scientific staff. There is also a lot of room for growth within the company. I have seen a lot of my colleagues grow and move between departments when opportunities arise. The company does a great job of retaining employees.

    ConsIt can be difficult at times to find a work life balance as the company expects more from its employees without increasing resources. However, this is not unique to Charles River, but a trend across industries and corporations.

    Advice to Senior ManagementContinue to encourage employees with positive reinforcement when deserved. It can really boost moral and create increaseed productivity.

    Yes, I would recommend this company to a friend

    Was this review helpful?
    Yes | No
    Add Employer Response Flag Review
    • Culture & Values
           
    • Work/Life Balance
           
    • Senior Management
           
    • Comp & Benefits
           
    • Career Opportunities
           
    • Disapproves of CEO

    2 people found this helpful  

    Charles River Laboratories is Unfair and Unethical

    Anonymous Employee (Former Employee)
    Kingston, NY

    ProsIf 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.

    ConsOn 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 Senior ManagementManagement 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.

    No, I would not recommend this company to a friend

    Was this review helpful?
    Yes | No
    Add Employer Response Flag Review
    • Culture & Values
           
    • Work/Life Balance
           
    • Senior Management
           
    • Comp & Benefits
           
    • Career Opportunities
           
    • No Opinion of CEO

    2 people found this helpful  

    There's Potential, But Needs Some Help

    Lab Tech (Current Employee)
    Malvern, PA

    Pros-Rather laidback work environment. Managers dress business casually and technicians can dress in jeans.
    -Very friendly employees. Made me feel very welcome there the very first day.
    -Flexible schedules, for wage employees at least. You can arrive and leave at just about any time you want as long as you get in your 40 hours.
    -Nice place to get experience.

    Cons-Sometimes a little too laidback. I learned that people can get away with a lot of things that are downright unethical and sometimes dangerous.
    -Apparently incompetency doesn't get one fired.
    -Lack of communication between upper management and lower employees. Several cases of the right hand not knowing with the left hand is doing.
    -Low wages compared to many pharmaceutical companies.
    -Upper management seems unconcerned with employee needs.
    -High turnover rates.

    Advice to Senior ManagementListen to your employees' concerns and take them seriously, lest you lose a lot of good workers. This has been a common theme during my time there.

    No, I would not recommend this company to a friend

    Was this review helpful?
    Yes | No
    Add Employer Response Flag Review
    • Culture & Values
           
    • Work/Life Balance
           
    • Senior Management
           
    • Comp & Benefits
           
    • Career Opportunities
           

     

    High Turnover For a Reason

    (Former Employee)
    Reno, NV

    ProsGreat Vacation time, pay isn't great but fair considering Reno's cost of living, the abundance of biology majors in this college town, and lack of other biotech companies. They could probably get away with paying less so I do give them credit for not short changing their employees.

    ConsThe other reviews are spot on about nepotism and the work environment. Most people are trying to get into nursing school or constantly applying to other jobs. As others have said, they are the only biotech company in town so unless you are willing to move out of the area or change fields.... You are stuck here.

    Layoff happy. If you have a mortgage, a family, or are looking for something long term. This isn't the place for you. Sure the economy is on an upswing now but there will be times again in the future when it will do down. I’ve watched as people who have worked there for almost a decade are let go in layoffs.

    Terrible work schedule. Have kids? Don't even think about taking this job. Long hours are common and they happen with little or no warning and frequently (at least a couple times a week). I don't see how someone with children could balance this without having a stay at home spouse or an amazing day care that will keep your kids even when they are sick or keep your kids 3 hours later on last minute notice.
    As others have said, only those in higher positions are treated with respect. A lot of managers don't know what actually occurs in their department. Worse yet, there are managers who don't even know what they are doing.

    My department had a very, very high turnover rate. I counted, 66% of people in my department have left in the past few years. The remaining 33% are people that replaced them or people who aren't there by choice because they failed at attempts to get out. What those numbers say to me is that they have had to replace our whole department twice in the last few years. To me, that is a very high turnover rate.

    Was this review helpful?
    Yes | No
    Add Employer Response Flag Review
    • Culture & Values
           
    • Work/Life Balance
           
    • Senior Management
           
    • Comp & Benefits
           
    • Career Opportunities
           
    • No Opinion of CEO

     

    Good entry level but no growth opportunities.

    Research Assistant (Former Employee)
    Tacoma, WA

    ProsOver-time was limited so good work balance.

    ConsNo professional growth opportunities, inexperienced management, departments don't work well together.

    No, I would not recommend this company to a friend – I'm not optimistic about the outlook for this company

    Was this review helpful?
    Yes | No
    Add Employer Response Flag Review
RSS Feed Embed

Worked for Charles River Laboratories? Contribute to the Community!

Your response will be removed from the review – this cannot be undone.

Glassdoor is your free inside look at Charles River Laboratories reviews and ratings — including employee satisfaction and approval rating for Charles River Laboratories CEO James C. Foster. All 85 reviews posted anonymously by Charles River Laboratories employees.