Do you have a horrible boss? If you notice these warning signs of a hostile work environment, you should complain to HR. All employees have certain rights under California and federal employment laws, and company HR representatives are required to ensure that your boss adheres to strict policies that combat illegal behaviors in the workplace.
But before you complain about abuse or mistreatment at work, it's important for employees to understand the proper ways to talk to HR about workplace discrimination, bullying and harassment.
Our latest infographic shares a quick checklist to help you prepare for your initial discussion with HR.
How to Complain to HR About an Abusive Boss: A Checklist
- Understand Your Employee Rights
Every employee has certain rights in the workplace under both federal and state laws. This includes the right to fair compensation and freedom from discrimination and harassment based on your age, gender, sexual orientation, race, national origin, religion, pregnancy or disability. If you and your boss simply don't get along, HR typically won't resolve petty issues for you. But if you are facing an abusive boss, a complaint should be filed.
- Prepare Yourself with Documentation
When you approach HR with your complaint, you want to look credible. Gather as much evidence as it relates to the abuse, discrimination or harassment you have been facing. Be as specific as you can, and try to document every incident as it occurs so you don't forget key details. Organize everything by date, and make copies for your own records.
- Stay as Calm as Possible
While it may be easier said than done, stay as calm as you can when speaking to your HR representative. While discrimination and harassment issues can be quite emotional, you must compose yourself and gather your thoughts before you enter the room. Make a checklist for yourself to stay on track, cool and collected during your meeting. Being matter-of-fact could help you prove your case. Lashing out won't help matters at all.
- Keep Things Confidential
It's important to keep your meeting with HR as low-key and private as you can. Don't ever tell your boss or co-workers that you are going to speak to HR. You don't want to come across as threatening or a workplace bully yourself! Confidentiality is key to resolving workplace issues in a timely and proper manner.
Remember: It's always important to review your employee handbook to see how written complaints should be filed with an HR representative. This is just another step you may have to take to prove your case.
Your company's HR department has a responsibility to strengthen employer-employee relationships. If your HR representative does not resolve the discrimination or harassment you are facing, or if you are not satisfied with how your company's HR department handles the issue at hand, contact one of our expert employment attorneys at Hennig Ruiz for a free consultation today.