Charles River Laboratories

  www.criver.com
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Charles River Laboratories Reviews

Updated August 5, 2014
Updated August 5, 2014
91 Reviews

2.7
91 Reviews
Rating Trends

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Charles River Laboratories Chairman, President, Director and CEO James C. Foster
James C. Foster
55 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

Employee Reviews

Sort: Popular Rating Date
  1.  

    Sinking ship

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee  in  Montreal, QC (Canada)
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee in Montreal, QC (Canada)

    Pros

    For people new to the industry you will get a lot of experience in a short time. Montreal site still carries some respect from CTBR times but that will not last for much longer.

    Cons

    Very poor management.
    Nepotism
    Poor organization.
    Scientific quality is secondary to costs.
    Short termism

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Employ some real managers with track records, not just friends and yes men.

    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO
  2.  

    poor culture loaded with bad politics and conniving management

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Current Employee - Manager  in  Senneville, QC (Canada)
    Current Employee - Manager in Senneville, QC (Canada)

    Pros

    Benefits are decent and health benefits are particularly better than other companies.

    Cons

    Toxic work environment, poor leaders on the IT leadership team that create a wall between employees and CIO, promote and reward inexperienced, but favorite people that are aligned with them and proliferate a culture of intolerance, poor work ethic, extreme politics and low productivity. The morale is very low, and people are afraid to speak up because those that try to make improvements are quickly terminated. The leaders appear to be generally threatened by talented individuals and work fast to eliminate them, leaving only the bottom of the pile behind.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Clean out your IT and senior leadership team that have a god-complex. It starts at the top in this company.

    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO
  3.  

    Long-time current employee

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee  in  Montreal, QC (Canada)
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee in Montreal, QC (Canada)

    Pros

    Great place to gain experience, but best to move on to somewhere that will treat you better in the long run

    Cons

    Not a great place to work if you have a life outside of work. Be aware that you can consistently go above and beyond what is required but never get so much a a thank you for your hard work. You can do a thousand things right and make one mistake. Trust me, the one mistake is what you will hear about and you will be punished for it.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Treat your employees like human beings. They are not machines. Acknowledge all the positives your employees do for the company. Do not focus solely on the negative. Yes, we all make mistakes. Because we are human, because we are overworked and tired. It might be more productive to try and boost employees morale instead of making them feel that they are not good enough.

    Doesn't Recommend
    Neutral Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO
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  5. 1 person 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

    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

    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

    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

    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

    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.  

    Analyst Immunochemistry

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Former Employee - Analyst- Immunochemistry  in  Montreal, QC (Canada)
    Former Employee - Analyst- Immunochemistry in Montreal, QC (Canada)

    Pros

    Good place to get experience if you are fresh out of school (the McDonald's of the research companies)

    Cons

    A fair number of Scientists without a science degree

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Profits and efficiencies could be increased if R&D, validations and sample analysis projects were managed by people with a science degree.

    Doesn't Recommend
    Neutral Outlook
    No opinion of CEO
  11. 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

    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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