Charles River Laboratories

  www.criver.com
  www.criver.com
There are newer employer reviews for Charles River Laboratories

6 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

100 Other Employee Reviews for Charles River Laboratories (View Most Recent)

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  1.  

    Good place to start

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Career Opportunities
    Former Employee - Senior Technologist
    Former Employee - Senior Technologist

    I worked at Charles River Laboratories

    Pros

    Good place to learn about the pharma/biotech/CRO industry if you're a kid just out of college. Most people are laid back and happy to teach you if you're willing to learn.

    Cons

    The pay is abysmal, as is the benefits--even by a CRO's standards, it's not very good. The most promising people leave as soon as they can.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    None.

    Approves of CEO
  2. 2 people 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
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