Everything You Should Know Before Talking To H-R About A Problem At Work

You may have heard you should “never trust Human Resources (HR)”– but why?

First of all, you should know that HR covers a huge range of things: benefits, compensation, personnel policy, legal compliance, investigations, hiring assistance, employee relations, and much more. So should you trust them?

Generally, yes– Vice writes, “Good HR people do care about what’s fair and right… but keep in mind that their job is to assess issues through the lens of what makes sense for the company.”

Other things you should know: HR employees are not required to keep anything you tell them confidential (they’re obliged to judge what needs to be shared); You shouldn’t bring a co-worker conflict to HR (you’ll generally be expected to try to solve the problem on your own unless it is an issue like sexual harassment or discrimination); You likely shouldn’t go to HR about a bad boss (unless they’re doing something abusive, unsafe, or illegal); and finally, if your job doesn’t have an HR department you might be stuck talking to your boss about issues that one would normally bring to HR (whether you go over their head is up to you, but you definitely should if you’re being illegally harassed or discriminated against, or if your manager is doing something illegal or seriously shady.)