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Is my harassment complaint a lost cause if HR ignores it?

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Is my harassment complaint a lost cause if HR ignores it?

On Behalf of | Mar 16, 2020 | Employment Law, Hostile Work Environment

A company’s human resources department is supposed to address employees’ concerns when they’re facing mistreatment. However, some end up protecting the company instead, making workers feel like they don’t have a fighting chance when filing a harassment complaint.

HR departments can face complications when dealing with these issues, especially if they involve executives or top performers in the company. This can scare some HR professionals, as they may fear retaliation from company leaders.

However, that doesn’t justify HR’s actions or discredit employee accusations. If workers feel like their concerns got tossed aside, they can take matters into their own hands.

What are my options if they don’t cooperate?

If HR mishandles or disregards your complaints, here’s what you can do next:

  • Document repeated denials for an investigation: Sadly, some HR departments don’t take the time to handle harassment claims. Even if employees follow the rules and abide by company reporting procedures. If this happens, you’ll want to build a case for yourself. Start saving emails and other documented requests that you can use as part of your defense later on.
  • Seek outside help: If HR has made it clear they don’t have your back, there are other options. You can file a harassment complaint with the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC). But if you face retaliation after making an outside complaint, you may want to contact an attorney.

It may be time to find another job

When employees face harassment and discrimination in the workplace, it can display dysfunction and unethical company practices. If you’ve done your best, but your company’s HR department still ignores you, you can take your talents elsewhere.

However, you can still sue your employer. As California’s statute of limitations for harassment cases can go up to 10 years, victims have time to decide.