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Is HR On Your Side?


When issues arise between an employee and an employer, human resources is usually the department that assists in seeking a resolution.

Most employees have confidence in their HR departments. But whose side is HR - or these other departments - really on?

  • Employee relations offices
  • EEO offices
  • Labor relations offices
  • Staffing offices

Perhaps you went to your HR department to see advice on a particular issue: Resignation, disability retirement, harassment at work, accepting a personnel action, responding to a proposed adverse action, withdrawing an EEO complaint, etc.

How do you know that HR is offering you sound advice? How do you know that their recommendations or actions will help and not harm you?

Here are some things to keep in mind before you go to your personnel department with a complaint:

  • HR doesn't have to keep what you tell them confidential. Don't assume that what you are telling your rep is confidential.
  • Personnel departments act in the best interests of the agency and their management officials - not you. They are not neutral. Their job is to protect the company and/or management officials. There are times when this may benefit the employee - but personnel's ultimate priority is to the company.
  • HR (including employee relations and in-house EEO) may not be telling you the whole truth. Be skeptically about advice offered by an HR representative. They may not be telling you the whole story and may leave out important information. Their advice may actually harm you. Instead, talk to an employment attorney about your issue. An attorney has an ethical obligation to act in your best interests, and can give you custom-tailored advice on the issue.

Before talking to HR, talk to a federal employment law attorney from The Devadoss Law Firm, P.L.L.C. Call 888-351-0424 for representation nationwide.

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