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
Rating Trends

Recommend to a friend
Approve of CEO
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

Employee Reviews

Sort: Popular Rating Date
  1.  

    prison like atmosphere

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Current Employee - Animal Caretaker in Frederick, MD
    Current Employee - Animal Caretaker in Frederick, MD

    I have been working at Charles River Laboratories full-time (more than 3 years)

    Pros

    none the work is Repetitive and mind numbing

    Cons

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

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    need 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

    Doesn't Recommend
    Neutral Outlook
    No opinion of CEO
  2. 1 person found this helpful  

    Average Company

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

    I worked at Charles River Laboratories full-time (more than 5 years)

    Pros

    It 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.

    Cons

    Although, 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.

    Doesn't Recommend
    No opinion of CEO
  3.  

    Formulations Technician

    • 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

    Pros

    Great team atmosphere with a lot of variation in projects.

    Cons

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

    Recommends
    Negative Outlook
    No opinion of CEO
  4. Is this helpful? The community relies on everyone sharing – Add Anonymous Review


  5.  

    Good Company

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

    I have been working at Charles River Laboratories full-time (less than an year)

    Pros

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

    Cons

    Have not seen any detractors as of yet.

    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO
  6. 3 people found this helpful  

    There's Potential, But Needs Some Help

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

    I have been working at Charles River Laboratories as a contractor (less than an year)

    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 ManagementAdvice

    Listen 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.

    Doesn't Recommend
    No opinion of CEO
  7. 1 person found this helpful  

    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 (more than an 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.

  8. 1 person found this helpful  

    One Charles River

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

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

    Pros

    Even 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.

    Cons

    It 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 ManagementAdvice

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

    Recommends
    Approves of CEO
  9. 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
  10.  

    Good entry level but no growth opportunities.

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Former Employee - Research Assistant in Tacoma, WA
    Former Employee - Research Assistant in Tacoma, WA

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

    Pros

    Over-time was limited so good work balance.

    Cons

    No professional growth opportunities, inexperienced management, departments don't work well together.

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

    Good company in an unstable industry

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

    I worked at Charles River Laboratories full-time (more than 5 years)

    Pros

    Very structured, provides continuous training and support to employees. Lots of really nice people in the company with long tenure.

    Cons

    Too many Directors, VPs, so confusing.
    Company is too big, hard to get noticed for the extra efforts
    Not much room for growth if you don't have an an advanced degree

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Bring back the old culture that CRL onced had. A lot of good employees left due to change in management especially when the company started laying off people from different business segments.

    Recommends
    Neutral Outlook
    No opinion of CEO

Work at Charles River Laboratories? Share Your Experiences

Charles River Laboratories

 
Click to Rate
or

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