Human resources is an essential department for companies. They oversee hiring, payroll, benefits, policy creation, training, compliance, workplace safety, and employee relations. These are all efforts to keep the organization running smoothly by meeting the needs of employees and protecting business stakeholders at the same time. This brings up the question, can you trust human resources?
As an employee, your first contact with human resources is during the hiring process and onboarding, which generally is a smooth process without major conflicts. Due to this amiable relationship, it’s natural to assume that your company’s human resources department has your best interest at heart. However, when it comes to reporting sexual harassment claims, keeping details confidential, and preventing retaliation and a hostile work environment, it’s wise to realize that human resources doesn’t always have your best interest in mind. Unfortunately, we see evidence of this fact often.
Who Does Human Resources Help?
Human resources teams work for the company. At their core, they focus on protecting the company’s legal and financial interests. That means they may not always put you first when it comes to handling complex issues like a sexual harassment claim. In fact, if you think about it, human resources departments have a built-in conflict of interest in investigating and managing sexual harassment claims. Often, the accused harasser is a higher-up in the company, someone human resources has worked with closely, or even someone they are friends with. This can create a situation where human resources is more focused on protecting their colleague than helping the victim.
Human resources departments are often tasked with minimizing the company’s legal liability, which can sometimes mean sweeping allegations under the rug or downplaying their severity. They may even convince victims not to pursue legal action to protect the company’s reputation. It is an unfair practice, and companies should face the consequences of these actions.
This Is Confidential, Right?
Unfortunately, human resources departments are not always effective at keeping personal details confidential. Policies may be in place to keep details like social security numbers or insurance information private, but loose-lipped co-workers might leak harassment claim information such as the names of those involved and encounter specifics, causing rumors to spread throughout the company. This can lead to a hostile work environment for the victim, making it difficult for them to continue working in their current role.
Your Legal Rights
You have the right to a safe, harassment-free, and retaliation-free workplace. If you’ve experienced sexual harassment at work or retaliation for reporting harassment, including being demoted or fired, you have legal options and should seek advice from New Jersey sexual harassment lawyers Schall & Barasch, LLC.
We know that taking legal action can be intimidating, but with Schall & Barasch, LLC., by your side, you’ll have an advocate who will fight for justice and ensure that your rights are protected. Our experienced team can help you navigate the legal system and hold the harasser and the company accountable for their actions.
Please don’t wait to contact us; there are time limits for filing a legal claim. Fill out our online questionnaire now or call us at 856.914.9200 to get started with Schall & Barasch, LLC.