Charles River Laboratories

  www.criver.com
  www.criver.com
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Charles River Laboratories Reviews in Reno, NV

Updated July 14, 2014
Updated July 14, 2014
95 Reviews
2.8
95 Reviews
Rating Trends

Recommend to a friend
Approve of CEO
Charles River Laboratories Chairman, President, Director and CEO James C. Foster
James C. Foster
58 Ratings

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)

More Highlights

11 Employee Reviews Back to all reviews

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  1.  

    Reno Site - Laid back culture but heavy workloads

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Current Employee - Quality Assurance Auditor II  in  Reno, NV
    Current Employee - Quality Assurance Auditor II in Reno, NV

    I have been working at Charles River Laboratories full-time for more than 5 years

    Pros

    It is nice working in a professional environment that still maintains a casual, laid-back culture. Employees are dedicated to the mission of the company, which is aiding and accelerating drug development through preclinical research. I enjoy having a great deal of autonomy in my position... NEVER micromanaged.

    Cons

    Workloads within some departments were overwhelming at times. In general, salaries are not commensurate with other CROs and certainly not with large pharm/biotech companies. CRL- Nevada benefits from being the only gig in town for those with a biology/life sciences background. A lot of employees stay because the area is rich in quality outdoor activity, not to mention lower cost of living than the West Coast science hubs. That said, CRL seems to even be falling behind on salaries compared to other companies in the small Reno market.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Suggest periodic research/adjustment to ensure that salaries ranges are current and competitive.

    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO
  2. 1 person found this helpful  

    Great place to work.

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

    I worked at Charles River Laboratories full-time for more than a year

    Pros

    small departments that work efficiently with others

    Cons

    Be careful what you say about others because everyone knows each other.

    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    No opinion of CEO
  3.  

    High Turnover For a Reason

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

    I worked at Charles River Laboratories full-time for more than a year

    Pros

    Great 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.

    Cons

    The 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.

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  5. 1 person found this helpful  

    Charles River- ACS Tech I

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

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

    Pros

    Work Schedule - Very relaxed when it comes to time off, school schedule, and various emergencies as they arise

    Full Benefits w/ decent pay and overtime if you like to work a little extra every week

    Cons

    Nothing to bad to say except that it is a testing facility, if your sensitive to animal rights and pharmaceutical testing then this obviously is not the place for you.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    None

    Recommends
    Neutral Outlook
    Approves of CEO
  6. 4 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
  7. 1 person found this helpful  

    Unresponsive, Inconsiderate, and Unhelpful

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

    I have been working at Charles River Laboratories

    Pros

    The facility is well kept and the location is good (an industrial area away from the downtown area). The facility is highly secured.

    Cons

    The hiring website has many flaws that make it very difficult to use. There are websites and email addresses that are not functional. Human Resources is unhelpful and inconsiderate to prospective employees. Unresponsive to emails and phone calls.

    Doesn't Recommend
    No opinion of CEO
  8.  

    CRL

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

    I have been working at Charles River Laboratories

    Pros

    Great teamwork within departments at this company.

    Cons

    pay is not that great and little room for growth

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    none

    No opinion of CEO
  9. 5 people found this helpful  

    Underpaid, undervalued, overworked, little chance of promotion, inflexible hours? Check, check, check, check, and check

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Career Opportunities
    Current Employee - Research Assistant  in  Reno, NV
    Current Employee - Research Assistant in Reno, NV

    I have been working at Charles River Laboratories

    Pros

    If you're a new graduate and would like to stay in the Northern Nevada area for biotech work, then you're in luck. Charles River Laboratories is the only game in town. On the plus side, you'll learn skills that will help you land your next job elsewhere. The benefits package is decent including discounts at some major retailers and being fully vested in your 401k. If you have a PhD, then there's a career opportunity here for you; otherwise, you're better off coming into CRL with the mindset that working here is only a stepping stone to better job.

    Cons

    Where to begin? From the start, your pay grade will be low compared against the average in Nevada for the job you'll be doing. Once you're fully trained to perform your job, prepare to be overworked. Being overworked as an hourly employee is all well and fine if you get paid overtime, but that's not the case at Charles River. You'll be forced to take "employee appreciation hours," which amounts to comp time, so CRL doesn't have to pay you overtime. Even that doesn't work out properly. You'll find since the company won't be able to function with you taking all the comp time owed to you, you'll end up losing some of your comp time hours and working for free.

    Be cautious about any raises or promotions promised when starting to work at CRL. Having worked here for two years, there has not been the promised raise at six months nor the promised promotion at the one year mark. Day in and day out all tasks and expectations are performed, but that doesn't seem to carry much weight with CRL. If you are for a promotion, you better hope that everything is in order. As seen with some co-workers, the company will try to prolong the process for as long as they can and find any loopholes to keep you from your promotion. It was not until threats of quitting occurred did management get their act together to push the promotions through.

    Don't expect even a modicum of respect from your supervisors or any of the higher ups in the company. You're seen as little more than nameless peons. Have other school, family, or other obligations that conflict with work hours? Too bad! You'll constantly be shoehorned into working less than optimal schedules. You'll be forced into working weekends and holidays, not just minor holidays but the big ones like Thanksgiving and Christmas. They don't care if you have prior plans or are going out of town, you'll be working those days or not at all. By flexible hours, they mean you work around the company's schedule and not the other way around.

    The management is inept at best and disastrous at worst. On a consistent basis, you'll find certain people completely inundated with work while others have nothing to do. As a whole, management plays very apparent favorites. If you don't brown-nose with the right people, good luck getting anywhere or getting treated like a human being. Training only happens if you hound them about it which becomes difficult, because sometimes you're just not aware what you are currently supposed to be trained on. You'll get chewed out for minor mistakes that have little to no impact on a study, but receive no praise when you go above and beyond to get something done or help others. The best and brightest at Charles River can be seen looking for new jobs at their computers while at work at every free moment.

    With the way things are at CRL, it's no wonder it has such a high turnover rate. CRL is the only real biotech company in the area, and it knows it. Don't come in looking for a career. Come in looking to learn skills to springboard your career elsewhere.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    You get as much out of your employees as you put into them. It's more efficient to train and nurture the employees you have, so that you have a happy and skillful workforce than to constantly have new, untrained, belligerent employees. If the company spent as much time and money trying to cut costs and pat each other on the back for their shadow initiatives, it could create and environment that breeds loyal employees and attract some truly bright minds.

    Doesn't Recommend
    Disapproves of CEO
  10. 1 person found this helpful  

    Inexperienced management / hostile work environment.

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

    I have been working at Charles River Laboratories

    Pros

    Fine if you are a PhD. These individuals are treated with respect.

    Cons

    The monkeys are treated better than the employees.

    To quote an HR person "the only professionals here are Study Directors". Anyone else is subject to their verbal abuse.

    Nepotism ( a percentage of individuals are married and actually supervise one another!)

    Inexperienced management. Hostile environment. People are afraid to make eye contact in the hall. The less people you know, the better.

    Low pay and zero opportunity for advancement unless you at all times keep your mouth shut. Having an opinion or any level of expertise will put you in the unemployment line.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Quit.

    Doesn't Recommend
    Disapproves of CEO
  11. 1 person found this helpful  

    Good for entry level, that's about it.

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Career Opportunities
    Current Employee - Research Assistant  in  Reno, NV
    Current Employee - Research Assistant in Reno, NV

    I have been working at Charles River Laboratories

    Pros

    Flexible schedule (my specific department)
    Ice cream in the summer

    Cons

    Underpaid due to no competition in area
    No clear path for career growth (Fast Track is a joke)
    Poor management

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Invest in your employees they are your most valuable asset. Most employees feel this a stepping stone towards another career and this is reenforced. Education, experience and hard work are not rewarded. Employees feel that the company can pay reduced saleries because there is no competition for science based workers in the area (it is true). One HR represenative even said, "Where else are you going to go" as an address to our concerns. How rude and inappropriate to that. I would only reccomend workng for CRL if you are extremely desperate or fresh out of school and need some experience. PhD you have a chance to succeed but for those BS or MS you will be undervalued regardless of your contributions.

    Doesn't Recommend
    Disapproves of CEO

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