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Filing a Complaint: When You Should & Shouldn’t Go to HR

Human Resources departments are responsible for managing the employee life cycle, such as recruiting, hiring, onboarding, training, and more. They are also responsible for administering employee benefits. Since HR departments oversee the organization and employees’ wellbeing, they should be able to step in and fix employment problems, right?

Yes and no. There are times when you should connect with your HR department for help, but there are other times when going to HR might not be your best option. Our Los Angeles employment law attorneys explain cases when you should and shouldn’t go to HR for assistance.

When Should I Go to HR?

There are specific situations when you should go to your human resources department without a doubt. We have listed some of those situations below:

  • To report discrimination or harassment: If you discovered illegal conduct occurring in your workplace, such as discrimination, you should file an official complaint with your HR department. HR is legally required to investigate illegal complaints, and if they find that your allegations are correct, they are required to act. When you file a complaint regarding illegal activity to your HR department, you should write a formal complaint via email to have tangible records of your complaint.
  • To report illegal activities: If you have discovered a safety violation or fraudulent activities in your place of work, you should document and report it to your human resources department. Many companies have anonymous hotlines for these cases.

When Shouldn’t I Go to HR?

There are other situations when you shouldn’t go to your human resources department, such as:

  • To file a complaint twice: If you’ve already gone to your human resources department for help, but they failed to investigate your case or act on your behalf, you should seek guidance elsewhere. If you have a problem related to unpaid wages, discrimination, or retaliation, you should speak to an experienced employment law attorney.
  • When you haven’t tried to solve the problem: If you are having difficulty with a coworker or supervisor, your first instinct might be to file a complaint with HR. However, it may work in your favor to try and resolve the issue with the person you are having issues with before going to HR. Demonstrating that you tried to resolve the issue on your own will display your case's level of seriousness.

Contact our employment law attorneys today at (213) 292-5444 to find out if you have a case!

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