Are You Involved?

Believe it or not, there are a lot of companies out there that have HR people, but don’t use them.  For example, I often hear stories about companies who have Operations, not HR, handle the employee complaint process.

Here’s a recent example that I encountered.  An HR friend was interviewing for a job and called to ask my opinion about it.  As she reviewed the responsibilities, I thought the job sounded OK, except for the part where they told her that she wasn’t going to be handling employee relations.  Keep in mind that she was interviewing for the company’s sole HR job.  She was smart enough to ask who handled employee complaints.  Their response – the CEO or the Controller.  My advice – run like the wind!  And interestingly, the EEOC agrees with me.

HR Morning featured the recent EEOC v. V&J Foods, Inc. case.  You can read more about the case here.  Basically, the judge in the case said that “the company was at fault for not making it clear that the first option for a victim should be to contact the company’s human resources department with the complaint, and that the company should have had such a process in place, including contact info for HR.”

With no disrespect to the CEO’s of the world, there are too many people out there who think they can “also do HR.”  And too many things get brushed under the rug and/or covered-up when HR is not involved.  Lawsuits, like the one mentioned above, will continue to be the result.  So if you’re the company’s sole HR person and they tell you that you’re only going to recruit and handle the benefits – it might be time to start asking some questions…

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