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Susan M. Heathfield

Trust HR? Never

By March 5, 2014

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Some employees hate Human Resources. I am reminded as another reader comments with thoughts about the comments on the article, Still Hate HR? I bring these comments forward as they present a prevalent point of view that I believe all of us should know.

For everyone who loves HR, there are an equivalent number of people who feel differently. A reader, So Far So Good, says:

"Eh...I have to agree with the article. I have never, ever - not once in my entire career - had a positive experience with HR.

"In one example, I was in the darkroom at work when a male employee came up behind me and ground himself against my back. I told HR, who then called the male employee in and asked him about it right in front of me. Then I started getting micromanaged to death and getting called in until I looked at each new workday with dread and finally left.

In another example, our VP wanted to make budget cuts and decided my position was no longer fiscally justifiable. Instead of being fair about it and working out a way for me to leave gracefully, he put me on probation without any basis for doing so.

"I don't know about anyone in HR, but I was always told that the burden of proof is on the accuser. If HR is going to be effective in this scenario, they have to learn that there are two sides and be savvy enough to read between the lines and make sure all are treated fairly. I was completely confident that my VP was lying (he has since been fired) in order to circumnavigate the process of laying someone off and save the company some dough.

"When the probation didn't provide the results he wanted, he told my boss that he 'didn't do it right' and to put me on probation again. HR acted as an extension of him and enabled his harassment by allowing this behavior without any documented instance for why it was a valid course of action.

"THIS I KNOW FOR CERTAIN:

"You will never be treated 'fairly' by HR. If you are being mistreated or harassed, you'll be making waves by saying a peep. All going to HR does is flag yourself as someone who needs to be swimming with the fishies, not helped out.

"Try it. Go to HR and let them know that there is anything slightly out of the desired norm and watch how fast you get on their radar and drummed out of town."

Your thoughts for this reader?

Image Copyright Mary Gascho

More About Human Resources

Comments
October 29, 2009 at 5:18 pm
(1) HR Pro says:

When you have a respectable HR department, those allegations would not have been swept under the rug. I am sorry for the way that you were treated. HR departments do not normally function that way. At my company if someone says anything about any type of harassment, we do an investigation, interview witnesses the whole 9 yards.

June 16, 2010 at 12:35 am
(2) J says:

Long overdue rebuttal to HR Pro: Sorry, kiddo. HR departments do not normally function that way? What a joke. HR is the tool of upper management, and you know it.

February 11, 2011 at 10:04 am
(3) l says:

This article is right. And the other two comments know it.

Why would foolish HR ask if you have talked to your mgr about leaving the department? Foolish. If you a needed FTE, why would you let the Mgr. know you are interviewing. Foolish HR question or generic proportion. Whether they are veterans or new grads. HR is for the birds. They have to follow a policy, so I suggest folks do as I do, contact the manager you are seeking employment with directly. Leave HR is the wind. They are worthless anyway, and I made my way to SVP without them. Don’t get me wrong, HR has a purpose, I just don’t know what it is. Why contact or go through them for a position, go through extra screening interviews by somebody who knows nothing about the role besides what the mgr told them, when you can go straight to the mgr, express your interest, provide your resume, and get them job. HR – Horrendous Retards

July 28, 2011 at 10:04 am
(4) jim says:

This article is so true. Dont trust HR.

I recently have been bullied at work – have seen that the company I work for has a good bully and harrasment policy, after raising a formal grievance via HR about the bullying they investigated and have reported back that there is no evidence of bullying. HR are lying and I know it but I know the way they work now and they just cover their butts and their companies anyone who has a grievance or is bullied is meant to suffer and HR will not really help although they will pretend like they do.

This experienced has opened my eyes to HR now as I have never ever had any experience like this before and its the worst thing anyone can go through.

Sooner or later someone will sue this company as the bullies will get caught out.

August 14, 2011 at 3:21 pm
(5) Frode H says:

There is some truth about this.

I know that there are a lot of good HR people and leaders around that do a great job. But when there is a conflict they might have a hard time to choose sides for or against their own management. A client of mine had problems with one manager that micromanaged and had temper problems, this person ruled with fear and nobody (120 people) at this departement liked this person because of the leadership style. He was stuck in the middle trying to defend his employees from being battered. Talking with this person was useless. He talked to HR and all hell broke lose. They talked to the CEO and he yelled at his boss, and all in all this resulted in him getting a deal to quit. They shot the messenger…

HR has a great responsibility to act proffesional, helping employees. But HR also has a boss, and at some level there is the same boss. Who will HR be loyal to? The company or the employee? It is hard to be loyal against the people paying for your job.

But Hey! I like HR! But I see some clear interests of conflict that probably should be discussed to find good guidelines. Maybe they should use outside people in conflicts?

October 27, 2011 at 5:57 pm
(6) realist says:

Never trust HR is an absolute truth. Remember, HR does not work for you, their job is to manage you on behalf of the company. They are not answerable to you, they report to the CEO via the HR director. Their chief job is to keep the company out of trouble. If trouble originates from you, they will eliminate you. That is what they do, they eliminate trouble. I have over 20 years in industry at several different types of companies. Believe me, I speak the truth here. Never, ever, under any circumstances, trust HR.

January 13, 2012 at 10:42 am
(7) Greg says:

HR- the first people at the company to lie to you
“This is a great resume.”
“You’ll hear from us soon.”
“I’ve never heard any complaints about…”

HR’s new tag line:
“All ye who enter, leave ethics at the door.”

May 28, 2012 at 10:12 pm
(8) HRDtrav says:

I find it sad that people have encountered the weak or spineless HR people who do exist in the working world – however, blanket statements to “never trust HR” are simply ignorant. I have been a part of terminations that have included management and even General Managers because an hourly associate spoke up and trusted me. The last person quoting statements said when a person applies for a job or visits me at a job fair…please, when you sit across the table you will spend the first 2 months trying to contact everyone before you realize that it is simply not possible especially when 70% of applicants don’t meet the qualifications, 20% meet some and 10% are valid candidates.
Get to know your HR person or team, watch who they spend their time with during the day…that will help you decide how you feel. If you saw me…you would see me spending time with everyone and that is why my associates trust me..because I know who they are and take interest in them.

June 28, 2012 at 8:27 am
(9) Mr bob says:

HR is not there to help or protect the employee, HR is almost like the mind police or soviet KGB in the sense if the sense any thing in any way that suggests a liabilty, they take the easy way out and FIRE THE EMPLOYEEE. One of the dumbest non thinking of these human resource people is a woman named xxx who called one of the employees to the higher managment an ADMITTED FELON, which was not the case. Littel does this idiot who lives in Georgia know that some big time legal matters are coming her way
What she did and what she said isn’t going to beforgotten any time soon. When you mess with people’s lives, you will pay the price.

July 31, 2012 at 2:16 pm
(10) dismayed says:

I am saddened to read these negative comments about HR which, I believe, stem from a lack of understanding about HR’s role. First, HR is not hired to represent disgruntled employees. Rather, HR provides consultation/guidance to those who have questions or complaints that are addressed in policies, procedures, and best practices. If an employee brings a legitimate complaint of policy violation, a true HR professional will immediately initiate a formal investigation, the findings of which will be used by management in deciding the final course of action. Remember — HR has no authority to do any of the other miraculous “cures” these people seem to believe are possible. HR serves as a consultant to employees to help them understand the company policies and requirements. HR also serves as a consultant to management to bring potential risk management issues to light and to make recommendations for righting wrongs that may occur in the course of doing business.
Finally, HR is responsible for ensuring that labor laws are being followed. However, again, HR’s role is that of advisor and consultant to management. HR has no role in the outcome of the company’s actions beyond the recommendation stage. However, if a company refuses to follow HR advice and commits wrongful acts, an ethical HR leader will leave the company for to stay would contradict the standards of the HR profession. I hope that those who have had negative experiences will give their HR team another chance. Most of the time, HR is in there working behind the scenes to help employees by educating managers on what is legally, ethically, and morally the right thing to do.

November 7, 2012 at 3:24 pm
(11) Mona says:

I discovered that HR is there to protect the managment. Yes they listen to you and investigate. But when managers are in the wrong they do everything they can to make it look like you are in the wrong. Never trust them, they are employed by the company not you. So they know who issues their paycheck.

December 6, 2012 at 4:37 am
(12) mandie says:

HR is there to protect the company. If you report any harassment to HR, make sure you know what the other party’s side of the story is. Case in point: I knew of a slacker who overheard a very catty conversation about herself and her performance where customers could hear. It was a convo between her supervisor and another manager. Sure, it was a big no-no for them to do that so meanly and publicly, but guess what? They got a slap on the wrist which, of course, still made them have it out for her. Next thing she knew, her performance was being investigated since upper managment was wanting to know why they would be talking about how useless she is. They beat her over the head about it until she quit.

As for sexual harassment, be careful. If you can, just ignore the offender. Often times the men stick together. Seen it myself when me and my female co-workers had to pick up the slack for a lazy male since he was one of the guys. Be aware of the boys-club mentality!

December 7, 2012 at 9:56 am
(13) Big Martydog says:

I want to go to hr but I don’t know who to trust!
In any work place, the management has there favorites. No matter how good of a job you do or how other employees feel about you or even clients, if you’re not in that “brotherhood” well…just forget it! You will lead a miserable life at work. Our schedules change the way you’re talked to and treated (not badly) but noticeable that you feel unconformable. The employees that are in the brotherhood can’t do anything wrong, management jokes around with them maybe an after work get together. But those who have been there the longest, do the best job and really care, what ever they do, they can’t get the recognition they so well deserve if you’re not in circle. This I know first hand because I was in that circle, and now I’m not so I can see what they / we are going through! We all talk about going to HR…but all the professional people I’ve talked to say “don’t do it”! I wrote an anonymous letter that kinda states what we are going through. I want to feel that without casting dispersion on anyone. But I am scared to send it. All of us want to come forward…but we don’t want to lose our jobs! So if anyone can give us suggestions we would so appreciate it. I want to believe in what dismayed says (JULY 31st. POST) because that what I believe “BUT” I can’t.

January 17, 2013 at 12:06 pm
(14) Sue says:

“First, HR is not hired to represent disgruntled employees. Rather, HR provides consultation/guidance to those who have questions or complaints that are addressed in policies, procedures, and best practices.”

Not every employee that has a problem with HR is a disgruntled employee. I have seen people that are happy with their daily lives working at a company totally violated by someone and nothing is done about it because HR knew the person before he started working there and they were great friends. There was no real investigation. Instead, the accused was put in a room with all of the accusers. As each accuser told what happened and the horrific events that occurred, the accused denied everything. Nothing was taken care of. Everything swept under the rug because of the HR friendship club.

“HR is responsible for ensuring that labor laws are being followed. However, again, HRís role is that of adviser and consultant to management.”

Labor Laws being followed by HR, PLEAAASSSEE! Labor Laws for the HR person that I work for do not exist. It’s funny that most of us mysteriously have no vacation and have been here over 5 years. If she likes you or you are part of the Boys Club you can have as much vacation and sick time as you want.

The HR employee that we have here has only been with this company for 2 years and is NEVER here in the office. She is always either out sick or on vacation. She doesn’t return phone calls nor does she take care of any paperwork, especially when people are on Maternity or Family Leave. She is not in the office enough to do so. How about hiring her son who has no experience in the line of work here. He shows up late everyday if he is here and HR manipulates his time sheet. I have seen her do so.

Please spare me with the details of how great HR is and how they are supposed to help the company. IMO, HR doesn’t help the people or the company to make decisions that will benefit the company.

February 4, 2013 at 1:12 pm
(15) HR Pro says:

I have been in HR for almost 20 years. I am an HR snob in that I went to school for business with the intent to be an HR leader and I am fastidious in all of my HR responsibilities. What I believe here is endemic of the fake HR people out there. This is why I consider myself an HR snob – because most people who are recognized as HR ended up there by floating down stream. They got a recruiting job or an office manager job, or an administrative assistant job, or even “bookkeeper” and then the miraculous happened – they simply BECOME the HR rep. Unfortunately they don’t know employment law, they don’t have a clue about best practices, they have never seen a successful HR Department in action and they just outlast everybody else who leaves (usually because of them.) I hate to say it, but true HR professionals are scarce. UNWAVERINGLY, HR professionals (snobs like myself) can be trusted to handle complaints fairly and judiciously. I will say this with an experienced tongue (or keyboard in this case):
Many employees who are jaded with HR have become so because HR doesn’t simply take their side and “fix their problems.” You have no idea how many times an employee with proven performance problems suddenly complains of being bullied or harassed. It is too often used as a form of self preservation. HR is supposed to look beyond the situation to root causes and provable evidences.
Not to mention that mean and hard driving bosses are not illegal. They may be toxic and they may hurt the company in the long run. But it would be likened to going to a police officer and accusing your neighbor of giving you dirty looks and never saying hello. It’s not good for anyone that they do that, but the cop has no power to make someone be nice to you. HR does not have the power to simply fire managers who are poor managers. We can coach and train and try to effect the company culture. But the fact that you hate coming to work doesn’t give HR the authority to remove another employee.

February 13, 2013 at 1:42 pm
(16) Jane B. says:

I learned not to trust HR the hard way…when many years ago my young naive self went to complain about harassment from an individual that had a history the company was aware of. Long story short, I was put on a performance plan and eventually was asked to resign, which I stupidly did, but believe me, if this happened to me today, I would be preparing a nice big fat lawsuit.

Here is what I learned from this experience, and I believe this is good advice to remember as it will avoid the back and forth discussions about what the role of HR is vs. is the employee just disgruntled, etc….ok wait for it…

The truth is HR CANNOT ever under any circumstance take the side of the employee, ever, ever, ever, ever, ever. It doesn’t matter how right you are, if they agree with you then they are admitting the company’s guilt and opening themselves up to a lawsuit. The only small exception would be if the company was looking to fire the person you are complaining about, then they might want to use you to further their own agenda, but basically this is very rare and the goal becomes to make the accuser look bad.

HR’s role is not to enforce labor laws, but to avoid getting sued for violating them. There is a big difference here, so be sure you understand this nuance. If you have a legit complaint, get a lawyer and have them write a letter for you. You may think this will stir up bad blood, but realize that you are pretty much out the door anyway because as soon as something illegal happens to you, the company views you as a threat. At least with a lawyer it will show them they can’t bully you into losing your mind and hopefully you can at least negotiate a severance agreement out of it.

February 23, 2013 at 10:48 pm
(17) RayJay says:

At one time HR did serve the employee but that is history. I remember an incredible HR rep who, on several occasions, admonished my manager for unethical behavior. She even showed me position rankings and associated salary ranges. Now, when I’m told my salary is capped, HR can’t even show where the numbers are. She retired when our company merged with another and things went downhill from there. She knew where everything was going and felt that she could be of no help anymore. Before the merger, I even went to my manager’s boss with a valid complaint and he set things straight. He has since retired as well.

March 2, 2013 at 11:46 pm
(18) JP says:

Considering all comments, what HRDtrav is the very, very rare exception where a manager is terminated due to an employee speaking up. It happens just extrememly rarely. What realist said is what will happen 99 out of 100 times. Going to HR is really making a gamble, and I would say that the odds of you winning the lottery are better than the incident turning out in your flavor if you go to HR. I made the mistake before, got fired, and will NEVER risk it again.

April 6, 2013 at 6:05 pm
(19) A1ABill says:

HR functions as a filter to protect the company from any potential lawsuit that an employee could bring against them. These persons have a job to keep just as the lowly employee does. Therefore, HR will do what ever their superiors tell them to do. They may deal with you in a manner making you believe they actually care about you and your position but the reality is that if you are perceived to be a threat, you just became a target for termination. Instead of trying to swim against the current, swim with it, avoiding the rocks along the way until you are able to find a safe beach to exit.

April 29, 2013 at 8:58 pm
(20) kj says:

Recently I was involved in an investigation, but am not the accuser, and my name was mentioned when the Executive Director spoke with the person being investigated – without my knowledge or consent. This is sad as it is my boss, the HR Director, who was being investigated and now she is treating me very poorly.

May 9, 2013 at 6:28 am
(21) Ted says:

Add my voice to say never to trust HR. And more than that, never trust anyone who does HR stuff for a living. Yes there are a few good HR people out there. But you won’t know if the HR person you go talk to is one of those.

All this talk about HR people and company culture is baloney. The owners of the company set the company culture. If the company owners are smart businessmen or women they will create a culture that is toxic to slackers and deadbeats and attractive to hard workers. HR is just a tool in their toolbox to create this culture.

HR has only one real job and that is to make sure that you’re paid enough money to keep you from quitting but not any more than that. Even the very name is a lie – Human Resources – it’s a con job to pretend they are offering “resources” to employees. In the olden days before all this Orwellian speech, they were called Personnel.

And one last thing I will say too, it’s one of the big secrets out there. The fact is that very few smart managers or business owners trust their own HR people either. Most of the good ones came up through the ranks and saw the same things you saw and I assure you that no HR person ever helped them to advance. When they control companies they don’t want HR running around trying to interfere, and they keep a very tight lid on them.

May 28, 2013 at 10:36 pm
(22) Wentworth says:

HR are there to do the dirty washing, i.e. the jobs that the senior “money makers” do not have the time or inclination to be bothered with.

In my experience HR attracts the very worst people and least capable graduates. People with little aptitude for anything other than filing, but who need to satisfy their egos. They want to feel important, and they like the thought that some employees are scared of them. Occasionally they do receive some power when it is delegated to them…i.e some poor sod had a falling out with their boss and they have been instructed to do what is necessary.

I find that on a personal level HR “professionals” tend to be rather “ditsy”, and frankly never the sharpest tools in the box. Sorry!

July 16, 2013 at 5:10 pm
(23) Tony says:

You want to know why people have negative experiences with HR? Do a survey of your company’s HR Department, How many of those employed in the department actually have a degree in Human Resources Management? What were those in the department doing for work before they were hired into HR? The answers to those questions will go a long way into understanding the negative experience the reader had. I’m willing to wager that the HR professional cited by the woman had no formal education in Human Resources and probably had little or no prior experience in Human Resources.
The problem with HR is that the vast majority in HR don’t know jack about HR, they’re simply moved into HR by a company because the company doesn’t know where else to put them, so they place them in HR which is the biggest mistake because on a daily basis these idiots are putting their company at legal risk due to their utter lack of knowledge of the principles and practice involved in the profession.
If America wants to put an end to bad experiences with HR, stop hiring and placing people in HR who know nothing and have no experience in HR.

July 20, 2013 at 2:40 am
(24) Inlove says:

Wish I would have read everyone’s advice before I called my HR department. I have almost 20 years of LOYALTY, honesty, hardworking with one Company. They just terminated me today, as I tried to call them over 3 weeks ago to see if I could be transferred since I have valid reasons of being treated unfairly! (mildly stated), harassed, no respect, would not get proper support to do my job by my LOW life if you’d want to call it a manager! (this person has only been my current manager for the past 3 months as it was a new hire) but LOVELY HR backfired on me (after never calling me back to discuss why I need to be transferred after I made 8 attempts either by phone or email, a week after me leaving messages that I need to speak with someone, I finally get a phone call to tell me I am terminated as of today, that someone turned in a document that I did something wrong. Yes people, they didn’t even have the respect to look at me in the face personally to tell me a bunch of lies! They did it over the phone, and would not allow me to go to HR to see the document in question. In other words I got fired for trying to be a whistle blower. I tried talking with a lawyer and he stated unless you have witness or evidence you don’t have a case. In my 20 year career, I’ve never been even written up! How can they get away with treating non managers like this. Now I can’t sleep all worried about what am I to say on job applications? Am I doomed about my career with future jobs? I am a very hard working person that doesn’t deserve this! Any advice would be appreciated!

July 22, 2013 at 10:59 am
(25) Susan Heathfield says:

As you have nothing to lose, at this point, I would go to the boss of the HR staff and I would also contact the boss of your new supervisor.

July 21, 2013 at 10:26 am
(26) J says:

Question(s):
As an employee, if a matter of potential harassment/bullying is brought to the attention of HR, do they have an obligation to investigate it?…….What if they say they will, but don’t?
At what point does it become a legal issue and does the employee have the right to get a copy of whatever HR does to investigate?

July 22, 2013 at 10:51 am
(27) Susan Heathfield says:

This is how your organization should be responding: http://humanresources.about.com/cs/workrelationships/ht/sexualharass.htm

If they are not, go to HR to inquire about progress, make sure your complaint is formal and in writing, and if nothing happens, go to HR’s boss. Recognize that they won’t be happy.

July 21, 2013 at 1:24 pm
(28) HR, PHR with Degrees says:

I am an HR person but I am not currently in an HR role thanks to the ugly tactics of my HR Leadership.

Bottomline, HR reports to the executive level of the company. Their job is to get rid of all unnecessary risk or exposure to risk. All of my masters level text books say it over and over.

HR over analyzes everything. They see threats where none exist. They will avoid hiring a qualified candidate irregardless of accomplishments if they see a gap in employment (by way of example only). They over use the excuse of “cultural fit” as the legal justification.

It doesn’t matter who you work for, HR will throw out anything that appears as a threat or risk to the integrity of the business operations no matter how great or small. Even within their own department. They cannibalize and use constructive discharge tactics.

August 5, 2013 at 9:19 pm
(29) Not all Bad says:

I have never had a bad experience with HR. Our HR department is knowledgeable and has helped resolve many peer-to-peer issues. When HR supports a company’s employees it shows in that company’s culture. Thus, those of you that have had bad HR, have worked for a bad organization. It really is as simple as that.

August 7, 2013 at 9:15 pm
(30) Andy says:

If you follow the money, you will always find where influence lies. HR is paid by the company. There should be no surprises there. Some people are mean spirited and should never be a position of power, but they are. The best thing to do is to escape without being terminated to a job that at least has potential.

August 10, 2013 at 2:00 pm
(31) Sabrina says:

Hi, I agree with you. I have had the same experience with HR. The proof was there. My supervisor threatened me not to contact HR and he even put it down on a piece of paper with his own handwriting. What happened? I contacted HR and you know what? They said that my supervisor was right and did nothing wrong. However, since then, my supervisor keeps repeating to me, “because I would never tell you not to contact HR. If you feel, you should contact HR as it is your right”. So I guess something has happened. The company I work for is a big company, however I don’t trust the HR dpt. They work for the company and not for the employees. It’s just a surface, something that is not real. When I was falsely accused by my manager and reported to HR, HR started immediately the investigation. When I reported my supervisor to HR, they started the investigation after a month with an excuse or another and in the end the resolution was, “you are wrong and your sup. is right”. Never trust HR, never. It’s all fake…

August 19, 2013 at 12:37 am
(32) GA says:

This is in response of what “inlove” wrote for number 24. I have too experienced the same situation only with a client who blew a situation way out of proportion. The fear I have is that my former manager informed the H.R. department to state certain quotes given by him to any company who I apply for who calls for reference. I have fears that even if that manager leaves under any circumstance, the H.R. goons will still state these negative comments about me indefinitely. I read a story on the net where someone applied for a job. This person was fired from a past job ten years prior. TEN YEARS PRIOR! This person had jobs in between the one he was applying for and the one he was terminated. There’s a good chance that manager who terminated him either no longer works there, transferred and/or promoted. So I am assuming the H.R. took the call, dug out his ten year old file and read verbatim what that manager told them to say, instead of just saying, “Yes, we have records he was employed here and due to the length of time he left, we have a policy not to discuss the reasons for departure.” As for that job seeker, because of that company and being H.R. I assume, he did not get that job he applied for.

August 24, 2013 at 11:25 am
(33) Edgar says:

Good article. Been there, been harassed, disrespected by upper management, HR not only did nothing, but turned it around to make it look like I was the problem. I got sweet revenge. After I left, I got word that the department I ran went down the tubes, total disarray. LOL.

This brings up an interesting question: how did HR get so powerful to begin with? It started about 100 years ago as a way of giving power to secretaries. The problem with HR is the same problem that exists with security guards — they are given authority without rhyme or reason, when they’re supposed to just do what they’re told. If management understood that, the corporate culture would be far different.

September 22, 2013 at 10:03 pm
(34) Mark Jones says:

The purpose for HR is to protect the company.

October 9, 2013 at 2:35 pm
(35) Gillian says:

I recently applied for a job for another company within the group I work for and I tried to negotiate a better wage. They came back to me saying they had asked my HR department and they told them the salary I was on. Is this allowed? I always thought this would have been confidential information?

October 9, 2013 at 5:45 pm
(36) Susan Heathfield says:

It would not be confidential within the same company to the potential new boss and HR. I don’t know how far your new company is removed from your current one though, so it’s hard to respond.

October 12, 2013 at 5:07 pm
(37) steph says:

NEVER TRUST HR. My last place of work was disgusting. Remember HR don’t see your work performance and positive feedback. To HR you are a paper file. If you say anything to HR, you watch the big target that will now permanently be on your back. If you make any wave in the work place they see you as a disease that needs to be eliminated. Everyone at my last job that complained about anything basically got bullied out of the door. Warnings would be given for anything they could find. NEVER TRUST HR OR YOUR MANAGER, because all they do is bitch about their employees to each other its discraceful. Trust me I know.

October 16, 2013 at 9:10 pm
(38) Barbara says:

What a joke! what is their job anyway? They advertise a position and then they write on the ad, “if you don’t hear from us you weren’t successful”. is it so hard to merge the non successful and send out a letter thanking them for applying and sorry you weren’t successful letter. Don’t they know how to merge? The time it takes to apply for a position, tweaking your resume to fit the position and writing a cover letter along with a 6 page selection criteria….how demoralizing. How lazy are they, what else do they do? What accounts receivable, payable, p & l’s, their whole job is just that HR then do your job HR. Reply to the non successful’s as well…one day you’ll be on the other side and see how frustrating it is….I hate em….

October 26, 2013 at 11:42 pm
(39) my2cents says:

Actually, I liked my HR rep. He was fair and kind. He was always doing research about what people “like us” were making in other companies, and suggesting raises accordingly.
1) A good HR department makes unions obsolete; and 2) HR is there to “protect the company”.
A friend of mine came to me crying, saying one of the engineers squeezed her bum, that the President of the business unit told her NOT to go to HR, and he would handle it “in the family”.
I’d been having trouble with this engineer for a very long time, having meetings with my direct manager, and him sign papers saying he’d quit rubbing on me, but he just kept doing it.
He was escalating. I went to my friend in HR, and my friend who got groped was scared and angry. I found out why. 5 years in a row, I got exemplary reviews, and then my 6th year, my review was “needs improvement”.
I got out of that division and found a corporate manager to work for. After he left I got to work for my QA manager for a while, but he was always fighting off the business unit managers who wanted me “back”. I loved my work, but I was NOT going back “under” those guys.
When I left my QA manager told me 1) All the managers had to go to sexual harassment training and it was my fault-I told him who’s fault it really WAS. I had to show him my documentation. 2) He said never use him as a reference. He’d been with the company for 35 years, and he needed his pension. NO ONE would be a reference for me in fear of retaliation.
It was very hard for me to find a job, as people left and other companies were “warned” about me. I guess it’s Ok.
In retrospect, I would not go to HR.
I’d meet the offender in the parking lot with a bat. Maybe scare him or mess up his car. I’d pay my debt to society, and you know what? I could be REHIRED. And my charge would only be a misdemeanor; not even as intense as some of the “charge” histories I have seen get hired.
BUT, I would NOT put up with for 5 minutes, what I did for 5 years.

November 13, 2013 at 8:43 am
(40) Trelayne says:

Here’s one for the books. The senior HR person claimed the accused was never interviewed because, according to the HR person, “the accused would only deny it.” Well, yes, people wrongly accused, DO, in fact, deny false accusations. A part of the “good faith” standard requires that the accused be informed of the charge and given the chance to respond.

Yet, there’s more. At hearing, the alleged victim said that the statement taken by HR, got it all wrong, a management witness claimed they were “misquoted” by the HR person and that they DID NOT lie to the investigator. One person who gave an eyewitness statement, came to the hearing with an attorney and stated that they were retracting their statement because they saw nothing. The other, without an attorney, similarly, said they saw nothing. In fact, the alleged victim, could not place themselves in the setting they originally described, and the witnesses were not at all present for the alleged event.

Not enough? The employer was obligated to produce as witnesses, people employed by the company. They claimed the investigator had left the company to care for a sick relative by the hearing date, Oh so very not true. Busted. Company moved the investigator to another state. Busted because the investigator put profile on linkedin, listing employment with the company for the entire relevant time and was clearly employed by the company when the company stated the person was no longer employed so it had no duty to produce that person.

All of the above is true. Bent, crooked, twisted and evil, but absolutely true. Mentioning trust and HR in the same sentence, is an oxymoron.
No honor, no integrity, and oh, so fascile liars.

November 13, 2013 at 7:03 pm
(41) disgusted says:

I am so fed up with HR! My subordinates complain each time I hold them accountable; from there I get called to HR so they can tell me what I should have done. They send conflicting messages, and for some STRANGE reason they are under the misconception that I work for them and what’s more, I need to answer to them and explain why I am taking the action that I am taking. I just want them to Back Off and let me do what I need to do to line things out. If I need them (which I do not) I will let them know. They never back me up…EVER.

November 25, 2013 at 5:40 pm
(42) m says:

“Human Resources” are a tool of the management they lie and are never objective and expressly unjust.

HR is useless.

December 4, 2013 at 2:18 am
(43) Danielle says:

People wonder why no one takes them seriously– after reading these idiotic responses, which were barely comprehendable, it is obvious why HR would want such illiterate, unintelligent people gone.

December 4, 2013 at 2:50 am
(44) hrhater says:

HR are pointless process monkeys with no soul or life nor do they have the organisation or project in mind.

they are academic nazis with a passion to be ‘right’ and ‘right all the time’

there is no such thing as an HR professional with the ‘wrong opinion’

for the most part, HR is the main reason employees HATE their employer

but for some reason, HR specialists get paid questionable amounts of money, to recite what they learnt in their diploma, which in effect has zero positive impact on an organisation or the growth of an organisation

personally, and professionally, having dealt with HR monkeys for the last 13 years, I have no positive way to look at these people and no one will be able to change my mind. FIND A NEW CAREER because as far as I’m concerned, HR is probably the most useless career in any industry.

December 11, 2013 at 12:03 am
(45) Duchess says:

The human resource person my auto related, California job is EXTREMELY dirty
No “show up pay”
Changing commission bonuses scale AFTER you’re hired
Taking commission away because she doesn’t feel like putting it on the next commission check
Hiring some people without a license to sell
Not paying people who show up for training
And when you ask, she says NO I won’t pay you for showing up
??? Show up pay is the law in California!
Other than filing a lawsuit or going to the labor office, how does one report the HR person? Not paying people is ILLEGAL

December 16, 2013 at 2:15 pm
(46) Susan Heathfield says:

Contact the California equivalent of the Department of Labor.

January 1, 2014 at 5:12 pm
(47) Stett says:

We have 1 person in HR. She hired her own son, then had him work for me. I tried to train him in customer service….yes sir, how may I help you, thank you Mr….. All he would say was… hey bro, yo dude, etc. Every time I corrected him, I am sure he went running home to mommy to tell her how mean I was to him. Since then, she has had it out for me. So, who do I talk to? The President of the company and she go to the same church. BTW, the son finally finished college and went on his merry way. It’s too hard to get a job, I have been with this company 14 years. Any suggestions??

January 8, 2014 at 11:45 pm
(48) Marie says:

I was hoping to read that HR not being trustworthy was something that could be argued in some way.

I, too, had a few problems with HR. After my last attempt I have never contacted them for anything.

My boss at the time was forging documents, stealing from the company, lying and manipulating employees.

I contacted HR to report my incident with her. Our company has an “open door policy” that indicates if you call anyone in upper management and state that you would like to remain anonymous under this policy that your information is supposed to be kept confidential.

I called from my personal cell number and gave my nickname. The HR representative confirmed my full name…which really freaked me out. I figured they must have caller ID but then she specified the store number and address of the store I worked at. I had already told her about my situation prior to her confirming my information. I asked, “this is still completely confidential, right? My name won’t be mentioned?” “Not at all. We value your privacy,” she told me.

That was a bold face lie

My boss approached me the next day and things went weird. Then she cut my hours and treated me worse than I thought could be possible

January 14, 2014 at 2:59 pm
(49) priscilla says:

I was a current seasonal employee for Macy’s not too long ago, about a few weeks before the new year when i was told that I wasn’t going to be given a permanent postition at Macy’s. When a few weeks prior to the my department managers (3) told me my chances were good. I work well, always on time, and very good with clients. Then, a week before Christmas, I was asked to go see the HR manager and I was then told of two emails that had been sent regarding my service claiming I had flirted with and requested a gentleman’s phone number in front of his wife. His wife being the person who sent this email which I was never shown. The 2nd email was that I had mad fun of a customer in a wheel chair while assisting a client. I was never shown any of these emails nor have I ever done what was said. I was accused and I was told it would be investigated and the customers would be called and nothing was done. Their decision on my further employment was based on emails that are false and untrue and go against my character. I currently work full time for Goya, Inc. HeadQuarters. I’ve been here for 2 years. I also work for the HR department as their receptionist. I have never been accused of such things here or at any other work place I may have been employeed for in the past 11 years. I find it unfair that they didn’t bother to be hands on with this matter and I requested to see these emails I was verbally accused of and they have been avoiding me, HR manager has not been helpful or caring to my request. I’m not only upset but disappointed that Macy’s being one of the largest companies in the world has poor leadership and bad judgement on employees without even knowing them or bothering to do anything to correct what was said … what should I do?

January 23, 2014 at 3:07 pm
(50) Mony says:

HR is not here for the employees. I am still employed with a public agency. I went through it myself because I believe that I had unresolved issues with my manager. My plan was to seek advice about how to deal with these issues in a peaceful manner. Guess what, after the HR person put on a sympathy face and heard my stories, she said that she needed to file a complaint on my behalf even though I told her that I did not want to file that complaint. She said that it was her obligation and her duty to file this complaint on my behalf. I told her that these were not complaints, I just wanted the advice.

Anyway, the complaint was filed on my behalf, interview was conducted and investigation began. All these processes were just a formality. She alerted my manager and now I am under the radar of my manager. Frequently, she indirectly harrassed and threatens me. She said if she is going down she will make sure that the other party will go down with her. I e-mailed to HR; no respond from them.

January 24, 2014 at 12:24 pm
(51) mcole says:

HR are bottom feeders for sure.

I was told by one of these people “Perception is reality” when people I worked with were lying in order to get rid of me and evil HR used a seven against one argument to justify it. So I had no choice but to resign or be fired and subsequently lost my job, then my home, and nearly my marriage.

Every interaction with HR, they start by shaking your hand, the most disingenuous people I have ever dealt with. HR is why unions still exist and offer some protection to the individual employee.

HR are wolves, trust me.

January 27, 2014 at 2:44 am
(52) Mely says:

I have been having issues with our HR department as well. Our HR manager decided to hire her husband’s friend. Even though he clearly does not have the education and experience for the upper management position she placed him in, she managed to manipulate and talk him up to the owner of the company to make it happen. After being told by the owner of the company that I would not be reporting to this new guy and not to worry, several weeks later, I was called in by HR and told I would now be reporting to him. Since then, the new guy has been very rude to me and has made some very inappropriate comments, however, I cannot go to HR for fear of being ganged up on and ultimately fired. The HR manager has commented on several occasions about how they all hang out together outside of work. To me this is completely unethical and a total conflict of interest. The worst of it is that this guy can do or say anything he wants to me and I have no one to go to for fear of losing my job. I am not sure what I can do at this point other than finding a new job. I just don’t understand how something like this can be allowed to go on in the workplace. I have been a hard worker and a loyal employee for 10 years. This HR manager has only been with the company for a few months. She has no integrity and is very manipulative. Several managers will not go to her anymore and the majority of the company employees do not like her. I have thought of taking the owner aside and talking to him about my concerns, but I don’t know if that would be the wise thing to do. It seems we employees should have some rights and there should be some laws in regards to and HR manager having a conflict of interest and conducting unethical practices. Who can I go to with these issues?

January 27, 2014 at 5:36 pm
(53) Susan Heathfield says:

Since it was the owner who assured you that you would not be reporting to this individual, I would go directly to the owner. Skip HR. Someone needs to tell the owner about employee concerns. That said, you’d also better be running a secret job search so that you can leave if things get worse. If the HR person retaliates after you go to the owner file a formal complaint with the company owner. Also contact your state department of labor. Document each incident and date and list witnesses, even now. If there are other employees who are very well thought of and that the owner doesn’t want to lose, perhaps a two or three of you can go to the owner. Your reporting situation, in this case, should be discussed separately. The owner might take the matter most seriously if several very valued people go to him.

March 6, 2014 at 10:34 pm
(54) Mr. Bob combat Veteran esq. says:

As an employee, you have the EEOC. Don’t be afraid to get them involved.

Be sure it’s legit. Not fabricated. Document everything. Setup a Go Pro camera where the touching happens. That’s powerful in court.

Men touching women’s goodies is a 911 call. That’s an assault. Believe me, they won’t do that again. That’s the legal part.

(If my Girl Friend, Wife or Daughter were getting her ass grabbed at work by a co-worker, it would be time to break some hands.) Just sayin…

March 7, 2014 at 9:44 am
(55) Kerri, PHR and HRM Degree Holder says:

While I understand several of the comments that have been left regarding trusting HR, I do believe that this can be said for any individuals within any org. There are individuals who do not have the interest of the organization and the employees as their #1 priority. I was part of an HR group that I didn’t feel was effective and wasn’t making the impact with the employees that I had hoped for so I left that org. for one that I thought better suited my values. However, I have had my experience with “bad” managers and with “bad” employees. Individuals feel that they should know the outcome. I do not believe that an employee who has any kind of disciplinary action would appreciate HR sharing this with others, nor can it be expected that an employee know everything that has occurred as the result of a complaint or investigation. Yes, there are “bad” HR people but there are plenty of “good” ones as well. I often hear, “You’re one of the good ones.” I do strive to be fair, direct and discreet at all times. I will always treat others with respect, regardless of what the situation is, and expect the same from them. This doesn’t always happen but I choose to take the high road. Not everyone will be happy with HR, but it is often because they haven’t gotten the results that they want. HR does have an obligation to, first and foremost, uphold the law, whether management and employees like it or not. Not only can an org. be held responsible for “bad” employment, but, I as an individual, can be held personally liable for them as well. I take it very seriously. Do I enjoy being liked? Of course, but it doesn’t always occur that way. I encourage everyone to look around their org. and to think about the culture. If it is one that empowers its employees and treats everyone with respect, you most likely have an awesome HR Department. If your culture is one of distrust and back stabbing, you most likely have an HR Department that is the same or you have some very frustrated HR people looking for new jobs.

March 16, 2014 at 1:55 pm
(56) Older Employee says:

I am a union worker, working for a non union gov. commission. I have been working here for 3 years, and I love my job. Before my new manager and supervisor started, I loved coming to work, now can’t sleep and I am not eating properly, because every time my shift overlaps when they are working, I get called into a meeting and am accused of not doing jobs that I am doing and doing things I’m not supposed to do, that I haven’t done. I do an excellant job that I enjoy, but I can’t seem to do anything right in their eyes, yet there has not been any complaints in the past. I have caught both of them in lies to make their cases. Our old manager and supervisor, were great and had our backs, but these new managers do not. They have brought it to HR and we are supposed to be working on a performance plan which they have not produced yet. In the meeting with HR I was told we are starting on a clean slate from this point forward. Then on my next overlapping shift rotation, once more, I was accused of doing things I didn’t do. I defended myself and my manager was set straight about a few things he did not know about my job by one of his co-workers (close friend). I am 8 years away from retirement, I cannot afford to lose this job. I asked him point blank if he was trying to get rid of me. His response, HR has procedures in place to insure fairness for everyone. Reading between the lines in other words, yes. I don’t know what else to do, except go to HR about this. I have documented everything since this is affecting my health and well being and threatening my career. I haven’t done anything to deserve this, I like and get along with my co-workers and have no idea why this is happening. I’m not the type to run away from my problems, but face them head on. I have an appointment on Monday with HR and my union rep, to file a harrassment complaint with my employer. I’m scared I’m setting myself up, but I don’t know what else I can do. I’m willing to do anything to keep this job. What do you think?

March 25, 2014 at 5:39 pm
(57) Jason says:

I’m a computer tech for a school board for almost 15 years. I am a member of a union. About 10 years ago I had a server fail and I was written up for not performing certain duties to rectify the situation. I disagreed with what I was accused of but I was not given a chance to discuss the issue before I was given a disciplinary letter.

In our contract there is no language to have disciplinary letters removed after a certain time. A grievance was put in but the union could not proceed due to the lack of a time line in our contract. The board continues to refuse to remove the letter simply because they don’t have to. It’s very fustrating and depressing that this letter is being held over my head. I don’t know what else can be done.

Jason

March 30, 2014 at 12:18 am
(58) Kate says:

HR is only there to protect the company. I have to agree that HR people are mostly incompetent in dealing with issues.

I have been working for a company whose owners avoid confrontation and bad hires are now legacy employees.

The company recently acquired another company, which had a HR person.
I have been pressing as a manager, to have the people below me dealt with.

I am now in the firing line by the HR manager and have decided to look for another job. She doesn’t want to know and the owners are cowards.

April 2, 2014 at 11:25 am
(59) Wicked With of the West says:

So if all this is true, and HR is the one causing the harassments, racial slurs, and bullying…. whom could we report this to? There has to be an ethical organization that provides help with this sort of thing out. The CEO doesn’t even care how the HR treats the employees because she already knows “too much” to get rid of her. It would be a liability to get rid of her, unless she resigns. Employees with this company are replaceable and made sure they are aware of their stand with the company. Just Horrible!

April 11, 2014 at 9:12 pm
(60) page says:

Wow, I wish I saw this before I left my job. Can’t believe that HR doesn’t see how 10 people leave one establishment in one year! Myself included after being an honest, hard worker for 13 years with never a bad evaluation. I always got a 3.5 or 4 out of 0-4 and I wasn’t alone. I had my manager that worked same place for 27 years left cause of this same food director was that difficult to work under. Amazing how disrespectful and mean this woman was…. shame shame.

April 13, 2014 at 1:37 pm
(61) Dick says:

HR is nothing but a worthless soul stealing bureaucratic system to keep an organization safe from litigation, meritorious promotions and well deserved recognition all in the face of common sense. They specialize in putting every obstacle and technicality possible in an employee’s way to enhance their careers keeping overhead costs at a minimum for the organization, especially government. Good organizations don’t need HR. Who needs a 4 page job description for hiring janitors? They request that their managers have the managerial knowledge and experience to manage rather than to use bureaucratic manipulation as a substitute. As an employee, use a union or a lawyer to get results.

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