Hostile Work Environment -- Why Human Resources Doesn't Care About You

The H.R. Department Is NOT Where to Turn for Help With a Hostile Work Environment

In the course of the last year I have counseled hundreds of employees over the phone and via email who are suffering at their jobs, dreading the act of going into work each day, and full of panic that they may soon be fired. Usually a supervisor, and often a new supervisor, has turned the employee's otherwise likeable job into a series of run-in's, each one more humiliating and degrading than the last. When the employee reaches their absolute wit's end, they muster up their courage, write out their thoughts on a yellow pad, and sneak off to the Human Resources Department "to file a formal complaint." When the distressed employee arrives he or she doesn't know their legal rights or have a grasp of what actions a supervisor can legally take at work. So the employee sits down in an office with a smiling H.R. Rep on the other side of the desk. It's so nice to have someone to talk to, someone to finally listen, that the employee spills out all their throughts and frustrations that have been building up inside. The H.R. Rep smiles and nods and writes down some notes. The employee is comforted by the smiling and nodding, and so the employee keeps talking, telling H.R. every unfair or hurtful thing the boss has said or done.

The H.R. Rep Will Smile and Nod While You Talk About Your Boss
The H.R. Rep Will Smile and Nod While You Talk About Your Boss

When The Meeting With H.R. is Over

After meeting with H.R. most employees feel better about their situation. They feel "heard"; they feel like the company is taking their concerns seriously. The employee is confident that it will not be long until their bullying boss gets what is coming to them.

H.R. typically says "We will thoroughly look into the important issues you've raised," and "We'll get back to you next week." The week goes slowly, but it does seem like the boss is treating the employee better that week. The employee wonders if H.R. already interviewed the boss, who now understands that his or her bullying ways had better change, or they could lose their job.

Human Resources Will Conduct an Investigation
Human Resources Will Conduct an Investigation

The Post-Investigation Meeting With H.R.

The employee who "filed a formal complaint" with Human Resources feels better for the week in between meetings with H.R. The employee then hears from the H.R. Rep, who says that the investigation is complete.  The H.R. Rep would like the employee to "come meet with me to go over it." The employee imagines reading through the pages of an investigation report that confirms the boss is a serial harasser and employee abuser. The employee imagines the boss being demoted or suspended, and possibly even fired.

It's with these thoughts in mind that the employee goes to the Human Resources Department for the follow up meeting. The H.R. Rep greets the employee at the entrance to the department -- the Rep is still smiling and seems genuinely happy to see the employee.  The employee smiles back.

The H.R. Rep guides the employee past the office where they talked before, and gestures instead to a confernence room. The employee steps inside, and as the H.R. Rep shuts the door behind them the employee receives the shock of her life.

Have You Ever Put Your Trust in Human Resources?
Have You Ever Put Your Trust in Human Resources?

The Tables are Turned

The employee walks into the conference room and looks at who is sitting at the table. Seated across it is the scowling VP of H.R. and the employee's own boss.  The employee's boss is grinning. 

What happens next is the workplace version of a bloodbath. The H.R. Rep sits down next to the employee (and the H.R. Rep is still smiling) and says "We thoroughly investigated your complaint and we were unable to substantiate any of the issues you mentioned. Because there is no illegal discrimination here, your complaint is now closed."

"However," says the VP of HR with a furrowed brow, "your own job performance, or lack there of, is very concerning." As the VP of H.R. says this he opens a thick file, and passes around copies of a five page document titled "Employee Mid-Year Performance Review." The bully supervisor continues to sit there in silence, nodding and smirking.

The employee is so shocked and distraught that he or she has difficulty remembering the details of what was said for the rest of the meeting. An hour later the employee leaves the conference room in stunned silence. The employee leaves carrying a two page document titled "Final Employee Written Warning>"  The employee does not go back to working for the rest of the day, but instead drives home and goes to bed. The next day the employee calls in sick, and is thinking that resigning may be the only option.

"What happened?" The employee keeps asking, over and over. "How did that happen?"

Who Does H.R. Work For?

If you put your trust in H.R. to help you fight back against your bully boss, this is what will happen to you, too. Not to say that you should never go to H.R., but don't count on them to fix anything for you. In fact, you should expect them to attack and undermine your complaint.

Why? Because this is what H.R. is paid to do. Human Resources' purpose is to save the company money by defending the company against claims by employees. H.R. is paid to be on the other side. HR is the other side.

HR Makes Sure Employees Go Quietly


More by this Author


Dutch Lady 7 years ago

Eye-opening and scary stuff everyone should know!

Undercover Lawyer profile image

Undercover Lawyer 7 years ago from The Beautiful Northwest, USA Author

Thanks for visiting, Dutch Lady.

seagirl 7 years ago

So true! This is almost exactly what I experienced when a co-worker bullied me. I used your website to arm myself with the right words and behavior to save my job. Words like complaint, harassment, and retaliation, when the bullying continued after the HR meeting. I have now requested the offender not speak to me, unless necessary for work. Took the wind out of his sails, and since I knew I could not count on HR to protect me from his unreasonable actions, I am protecting myself. To think if I had done nothing I would still be throwing up almost every day!

Undercover Lawyer profile image

Undercover Lawyer 7 years ago from The Beautiful Northwest, USA Author

SeaGirl, So sad to hear that work made you that sick, but as you've seen you aren't alone. Good for you in fighting back and learning how you can be the one to protect yourself (and not relying on HR).

2precious2 7 years ago

how to fight back - hire an investigator. Serial bullies - usually have histories of harassment. The two jerks that I work with do. My case is this: age discrimination, same gender harassment, slander, humiliation, embarassment, and because it continues - has now turned into repeated sexual harassment. HR is for companies - but not when THEY know THEY made the wrong choices for not standing behind their value added employee ( s). Enough is enough. Jobs are important - livelihood - work with your HR to resolve issues and get bullies into couseling.

Undercover Lawyer profile image

Undercover Lawyer 7 years ago from The Beautiful Northwest, USA Author

2precious2, Thanks for sharing your own story and inspiring others to also fight back against bullies at work. My best to you in your fight!

luvritz 7 years ago


my experience with HRs very well translated. amazing group of voltures on unknowing victims. let's spread the words of wisdom

viking 7 years ago

I like that picture, the outstretched hand and the knife behind the back, only it wasn't just H.R. that stuck me when I had 2 grievance hearings. My union, from what I can piece together, may also be looking out for the company as well.

I had a "reasonable expectation" that the union would continue to pressure the company to investigate my claims, which they never did. I also had the reasonable expectation that, upon the completion or lack thereof, of any investigation, that I would be informed of the outcome and given a choice of course of action. Boy, was I mistaken.

Not only did I get the runaround for month after month, but was subjected to more and more of the "illegal" actions and eventually being placed in a department that increased my disability and NOBODY CARED! I eventually quit, which was the expected outcome since I couldn't be fired.

Like I mentioned in another posting, I have been in contact with EEOC and they are examining ALL the documents related to my disability. Being part of a "protected class" has made a difference and your information has led me to understand what my rights are.

I'd love to discuss my entire case as well as the situation my wife has found herself in. I think it would make great reading and would fit many of the categories and situations you help people with.

Keep up the good work and all the help you've been to people like me.

Shirley Anderson profile image

Shirley Anderson 7 years ago from Ontario, Canada

Hi, Undercover Lawyer. Your hub has been nominated as a Wannabe HubNugget. We notify our hubbers via email to let them know all the exciting news about the contest but yours is disabled.

If you'd like to see where your hub is listed, go to

Best of luck in the contest!

Jane@CM profile image

Jane@CM 7 years ago

WOW!  This article is well written & so RIGHT!  I worked for a company with a boss from hell BUT he was part of the "good ole boys" network, so no one did anything.  I quit, after my doctor told me I was under too much stress &  pregnant. I had lost so much weight from the stress and was sick all the time, it didn't even occur to me that I was pregnant!

emohealer profile image

emohealer 7 years ago from South Carolina

How incredible to read hard working good employees stories written out so plain to see, Your picture description is so accurate it is uncanny. Congratulations on your nomination, well earned.

Of course I echo everyone else who has seen and had this experience.

ripplemaker profile image

ripplemaker 7 years ago from Cebu, Philippines

I was really distraught reading this hub Undercover Lawyer.  It is a distressing thing. I thought HR was there to help the employees.  I'm naive in this area.  As Shirley said, your hub has been nominated for the Hubnuggets!  Go check it out: 

Do participate and vote and ask your family and friends to vote for you too! 

RGraf profile image

RGraf 7 years ago from Wisconsin

This is so true! I took matters into my own hands once and contacted the government about my rights. When my boss tried to strongarm me, I quoted the law and let them know that I was aware of everything. I was treated so differently after that. But why do we have to go that far?

HuckR profile image

HuckR 7 years ago from Fredericksburg, VA.

I would like to say this shocks me, but after working for large companies like Border's etc, I'm really not.

lrohner profile image

lrohner 7 years ago from USA

After spending some 20 years or so in Corporate America, none of this surprises me at all. I've seen some stuff that would shock the average person -- sexual assaults swept under the rug and paid off, accounts rigged to make it look like someone was embezzling, etc. And all by arrogant, highly paid senior management. Makes me think twice every time I purchase something from a large manufacturer, that's for sure. BTW, great hub!

Tey 7 years ago

This senario is exactly what occurred in my work experience. I trusted the HR department and the bottom line is it probably made the situation worse. I had documentation and employees who witnessed the situation and supported me. It was to no avail. Unfortunately or fortunately, I quit the job and was able to at least receive a severance package. This situation was a nightmare and this website is a valuable service.

Undercover Lawyer profile image

Undercover Lawyer 7 years ago from The Beautiful Northwest, USA Author

Thanks for the nomination to HubNuggets, and for letting me know about it Shirley. I'm honored.

Thank you all for visiting and leaving your feedback and sharing your stories. I think one of the best things someone can do for other jilted employees is just to let them know that they are not alone, that other people have experienced this and sympathize with them.



Little LuLu 7 years ago

Undercover Lawyer, I think you wrote this article just for me since it is EXACTLY what happened to me at work. Anyone that reads this article TRULY needs to check out the UndercoverLawyer website. I found it just over a year ago and it REALLY changed my life.

Workforce profile image

Workforce 7 years ago

This hub will help a lot of people. Thanks!

msreck41 7 years ago

I think this article was written about me. the same thing happened to me except we did not have an HR dept. My complain was handled by their attorney. i was fired and am now filing charges with eeoc and a lawsuit. It amazes me that so many people across this country are suffering this same wrath. why have laws if employers are not abiding by them? Many thanks to undercover web site for the valuable information. It has prepared me for the fight of my life, even my attorney is amazed how knowledgeable I am concerning employment law and my rights. Keep fighting and hopefully we can change this behavior!!!!

Undercover Lawyer profile image

Undercover Lawyer 7 years ago from The Beautiful Northwest, USA Author

Lulu, Workforce & MsReck41: Thanks for the good word, and I'm pleased that this hub accurately reflects your experiences (NOT because I want you to go through this!). I've tried to listen carefully to a lot of people in need, and this piece is drawn from everything they tell me, AND my experiences as a defense lawyer working for "the dark side" ;-). I appreciate your time in coming by and commenting!

Ashley Joy profile image

Ashley Joy 7 years ago

My grandfather did not have many jobs when he was working. He stayed with the few he had for years. People back then were more out to see the company succeed and not so much themselves. Of course the company took great care of its employees in return to everyone was happy.

Now everyone is looking out for themselves and jobs as well as employees seem to be disposable. It is a shame that it has come to this.

Darrell Roberts profile image

Darrell Roberts 7 years ago

It makes sense, the people in H.R hired your boss to get a particular job done. If you go to H.R. the burden of proof of wrong doing is on you.

My method is to be nice to my boss. This person is a person, encourage them to be a better person and explain to them you are there to help them achieve company goals. This way you, the boss, and H.R. should all be on the same page.

This is my method and I have gotten two promotions in five years.

MindField profile image

MindField 7 years ago from Portland, Oregon

Distressing but great hub. Went through exactly what you describe just over a year ago. Came out the loser because I thought the HR person, who had been exceedingly friendly to me, was on my side. Wish I'd had your insights then - but glad to have them now! (Oh, and you've got my vote in the HubNuggets election.)

Undercover Lawyer profile image

Undercover Lawyer 7 years ago from The Beautiful Northwest, USA Author

Minefield, thanks for the encouraging words. Sorry to hear what happened to you before, but glad you feel empowered to deal with it now should it happen again. Keep up the good fight. -Curt

Ghost32 7 years ago

I'm smiling...but trust me, it's with you, not at you. I never trusted HR that far but did see them in mini-scale action one time. This was an insurance office in the San Diego area. Every year for Valentine's Day, HR hosted a supposedly "secret" rose giving. That is, if you admired someone and just wanted that person to get a lift, you could hand HR a buck and they would give that individual a single rose on Valentine's Day while KEEPING YOUR CONFIDENTIALITY.

Yeah. Right. I bought it, and yes, I was old enough to know better at the time. There was a young lady who had once been my first mentor in a new job, although on this job I had reclaimed my status as a Senior Underwriter and outranked her. She was having it rough, she'd helped me out before, I liked her, and I did the rose thingie.

AFTER Valentine's Day, it became rather obvious that she AND the rest of the office knew "whodunit". Nothing too blatant, but all quite clear.

I could deal with it, and did, but about two years later, she was working in my department when her work ethic hit the toilet. I got the task of building a case against her (frequent tardiness plus ever sloppier work) and then personally firing her.

Can you imagine the tangle of emotions SHE must have experienced? "He gave me a rose, and now he canned my pretty a**!!)

Undercover Lawyer profile image

Undercover Lawyer 7 years ago from The Beautiful Northwest, USA Author

Ghost32, Thanks for sharing your own H.R. experience -- and what an unexpected twist at the end! Wow. -Curt

Mighty Mom profile image

Mighty Mom 7 years ago from Where Left is Right, CA

Hello Undercover Lawyer. This hub provides vital information for anyone working in a company -- whether protected by a union or not! Thank you for sharing your wisdom with us. Looking forward to reading much more from you!

BTW, the closest story I can think of from my own experience is when I worked for a law firm. Their employment law attorneys, of course, represented the "employers" not "employees." My own experience occurred with the head of HR for the law firm. NOt a lawyer, but an administrator. Anyway, at the law firm's Christmas party I was feeling rosy and happy and went and linked my arm in his. Apparently his wife was NOT amused. She marched into his office and his boss (also my boss)and demanded that I be reprimanded for sexual harassment or something. Well, my boss, the firm's head administrator, was a wise old man who had seen it all. He dragged his feet on hauling me in. Finally he was cornered and had to call me in and explain the complaint to me. By this time it was like April and I honestly had like no recollection of having been too forward or even linking arms with the HR dude at the party.

Having performed his duty, my boss then provided me with the backstory. Turns out Mr. HR dude had been notorious himself for sexual harassment! He had had complaints filed against him by women employees. And there was at least one inter-office affair involving him. Hearing that, it made the HR dude's wife's seeming "overreaction" to me more understandable. But I still thought the whole thing was bizarre -- most especially occurring so far after the fact.

And that, I'm proud to say, was the last time I had any official contact with HR dude. And I now work for MYSELF! MM

Still, what a

Laura Berwick profile image

Laura Berwick 7 years ago from Seoul, Korea

I have never had a run in with HR or with any of my bosses thankfully, but this is good information to know in the unfortunate event that I or anyone else does need it. Thanks for posting this hub and making some valuable connections that I don't think I would have otherwise seen.

hglick profile image

hglick 7 years ago from Ronkonkoma, NY


Excellent hub, you hit the nail on the head. I've seen these circumstances happen to two people I worked with and HR was definitely not working for them.

The best advice is to make sure you do your homework, and have backup proof for your claim against any boss. HR will stick up for the company only up to a point.

fcornelius 7 years ago

So true - depends on who you are and who you are up against.

Undercover Lawyer profile image

Undercover Lawyer 7 years ago from The Beautiful Northwest, USA Author

Mighty Mom, Thanks for telling us your own story about dealing with HR -- and the time lag on yours made it near impossible for the company to come down very hard on you at all.

Laura, Glad to hear this hasn't happened to you, but thanks for the nod and encouraging words.

Hglick, I appreciate that you took the time to vouch for my observations by letting everyone know you've seen it happen to two others.

fcornelius, Thanks for chiming in.

winuinc profile image

winuinc 7 years ago

I wished I knew this 9 years ago when I experienced this for the first time in my career. I refused to resign because I believed in the mission of the company. I tried to transfer to other groups to no avail to remove myself from the hostile environment.

Skydweller profile image

Skydweller 7 years ago from Kathmandu

Undercover Lawyer, I think you wrote this article just for me It is very useful and thanks for the article.

Undercover Lawyer profile image

Undercover Lawyer 7 years ago from The Beautiful Northwest, USA Author

Skydweller, Sorry to hear that you need this article, but glad to hear that you can use it to improve your situation. Thanks for commenting and keep us posted! -Curt

anadiana 7 years ago

Great article and sad but so true. Hope you win!!

suziecat7 profile image

suziecat7 7 years ago from Asheville, NC

Great Hub and so true - thanks for writing it.

Robertbloggert profile image

Robertbloggert 7 years ago from Oklahoma

Great Hub. This just goes along with some of a hub I posted which basically explains how we have few to no rights in the workplace.

Luvritz 7 years ago

Excellent Hub! To think I weny to my HR with the hopes of support and most ironic a womman who smiled and pretend to listen with one sided opinion to get my story over with and get me out of that stuffy room! Now everytime she see me she had the nerve to ask me how i'm doing,looking at me straight in the eye with a fake smile on her face. I always reply in a sarcastic way that I am hanging in there but I have no plans on tying the rope around my neck and give up. A million thanks to you Curt!

dinaliu 7 years ago


jerry  7 years ago


Your advise really helped me with some issues I had at work,My wife went through the H.R. nightmare at her job because she wouldn't take your advise until she realized she was back stabbed by that smiling H.R. person .The union wasn't much better,

but things have changed after she learned a few key phrases,

like sexual harrassment,hostile work enviroment, retailiation and protected class and EEOC. I'll do a post on your forum and let you know what happens.

Thanks for the great hub !!

laurasf 7 years ago

I am going through this right now except that it is the company EEO person. She encouraged me to go to the EEOC, which I did. She was chosen as the investigator and told my boss that I had no claim. I have been moved off of the unit I work on until "further notice". A coworker, a friend of the boss says it is until this is over. My boss has been extemely hostile and I am being blamed for the hostile work environment.

Undercover Lawyer profile image

Undercover Lawyer 7 years ago from The Beautiful Northwest, USA Author

Anadiana, SuzyCat7, RobertBloggert, Luvritz, and Dinaliu: You are all very welcome. I'm glad to help, and thank you for letting me know that you find this information helpful. Jerry, I'm glad to hear that your wife decided to learn the law and get things turned around for herself at work; I'll watch for your updates. Laurasf, it's so sad that you are going through this now, and that they are actually trying to blame *you* for it. I hope this Hub and my others can help you turns things around.

iamqweenbee 7 years ago

I had an instance on the job with an adverse/hostile work environment.

I beat it by documenting everything because I did not know who I could trust. Any sign of stress, I went to my doctor, thus, documenting it in my medical records.

I always communicated with the higher ups via email, so as to keep it in writing and even following up with email after verbal conversations.

They gave me a HARD time! Needless to say, I WON. They were so arrogant that they didn't take time to respond to my emails accusing them of all sorts of things that they actually did. That is what made the court rule in my favor

Uninvited Writer profile image

Uninvited Writer 7 years ago from Kitchener, Ontario

That is so true, I would not trust our HR person in any way...

dabeaner profile image

dabeaner 7 years ago from Nibiru

There is no cure for "hostile workplace" problems because corporatism (corporate-government alliance) implementation of every politically correct p.o.s. idea creates a hostile workplace for the MAJORITY of employees.

Working for a living has always been marginal at best. Now, the change from "personnel departments" to "human resource" departments has bumped up the suckiness to a new level. Working for any company large enough to have a human resource department is death to the spirit.

Remember, a "resource" is something you use until it wears out, then you sh**can it.

MindField profile image

MindField 7 years ago from Portland, Oregon

dabeaner - You are so right. I knew the first time I heard that ugly term 'Human Resources' that we were in for a world of hurt. And your solution is the right one - don't work for any company (large or small) that employs anyone in an HR capacity.

Patnet profile image

Patnet 7 years ago from San Diego Area

I work for a family that operates two offices on the same lot. The father is a low level shady con and his son is a "work nazi" as I call him. The father brought beer into the office and tells the employees about his sick immoral personal life. They have shady business practices and don't know how to run a business. They're afraid to bring in a professional office manager because the new manager will disagree with and probably report what's going on there. As a result, everyone in that office is under tremendous stress and is very resentful and angry. Just last week two women quit. They have the attitude that all their employees are idiots. It's a mega-dysfunctional pit of hell!

My advice-develop multiple streams of income so you're not dependent on any one job or employer. Develop your talents and start your own side business. Drop the losers!

Denny Lyon profile image

Denny Lyon 7 years ago from Baton Rouge, Louisiana, USA

Well done hub, congrats! I'm amazed people are so naïve as to so easily trust those in power over them. "Honey, if you don't own the company, you ain't got no rights!"

Besides, the "tell" is that the bullying boss did not alter his/her behavior the entire time they work there. Generally, corporate ALWAYS chooses management over rank and file employees.

What to do? Keep a file and document every true grievance that is beyond just personality clashes. Make sure you note any personal relationships that don't look right to you. If you see an ugly trend developing of like-minded bullies and their usually butt-attached snitches hanging out a lot, then it's time to move on to another job because the place has gone downhill.

If you are an easy person for them to control and will cower under their thumb, then stay. If you are independent, competent and popular then it's time to move on down the road because they are determined to destroy your career at that place. You have to watch those bad references that can follow you, often blacklisting you to future employers.

The corporate world is an easy place for bullies to get established. What's a bully? Someone who loves to wield power capriously and is usually lazy and incompetent. That's why they clash with those who do good work. To them a good worker is making them "look bad."

Keep your eyes and ears open to determine a change in your environment, always network so you can move on easily to a better environment, be flexible to try new fields where your skills will be appreciated. Sooner or later you find a good home of like-minded quality people!

Tigermadstanley profile image

Tigermadstanley 7 years ago from Canterbury, Kent, UK

What a brilliant hub. THANK YOU! I can't go into details or say anything here at the moment but it is so good to know that others out there know what is really happening in the workplace and how employees are being left to hang out to dry. I'm off to check out your other hubs and join your fan club. Thank you again.

Pink Mingos profile image

Pink Mingos 7 years ago from Mars

Interesting. I've always felt it's because the smaller guy is easier to replace than the one sitting on a limb higher up in the tree.

pgrundy 7 years ago

Wow, so true. Thanks for telling it like it is. I had an abusive boss who started pestering me about "why am I not happy?" I was working in one of two corporate call centers for a multinational insurance corporation. She wouldn't let it drop. My performance was excellent--I was ranked #10 out of almost 300 employees but it wasn't about performance. I never filed a formal complaint with HR, but I did tell my supervisor's superior that I felt harassed and believed that I was there to meet their performance goals, not have my mood judged on a biweekly basis. I ended up in no less than SIX high level meetings with my boss beside me about my alleged lack of 'happiness'.

I was exactly as happy or unhappy at that job as almost every other person working there, no more, no less, and I said so and explained the reasons for the widespread bad feeling at the place (we were operating under rapidly increasing performance requirements for no additional pay and the job itself was incredibly stressful, but I was doing it well). In the end I just left, which I'm sure was what they wanted me to do. They didn't just want people who would accept abuse, the wanted people who would accept abuse while smiling and never saying obvious things out loud, such as, "I'm going to go to the bathroom so I don't pee in my cubicle. Mark me down if you must, but I warn you, I pee at will, not on command."

It's funny but really it isn't funny. I'll never take a corporate job again unless we are starving and it's the only way out--which, the way things are going, could happen.

deeannafc profile image

deeannafc 7 years ago from U.S.

I learned [the hard way] a long time ago that HR is on the side of the company. Once I took my grievances regarding a supervisor to a sympathetic HR person [he actually acted as mediator, and maybe since the supv. was so new, and HR didn't want anymore trouble, the HR rep actaully set her straight], but most of the time HR is not on the side of the upset employee, regardless of seniority.

I wonder how much more money would be saved and how many law suits averted if HR acted as a neutral party and truly mediated disputes.

In one Silicon Valley firm, the president hated lawyers and lawsuits, and I happen to date one of his best friends. The pres. would let it be known to new execs that if he/she is accused of sexual harassment, he/she should consider themselves fired. The company would not defend sr. management in lawsuits like that. It did seem to put the fear in people and worked pretty well.

Kosmo profile image

Kosmo 7 years ago from California

As the referee tells the boxers before a match: "Protect yourselves at all times." I don't blame you for generalizing about HR departments, but I suspect many are worse than others. Be that as it may, having a union on one's side is the best option but, of course, most companies don't allow those. Few places are more unfair than the workplace. Good hub. Later!

horselady 7 years ago

I am so greatful for this site. Your comments and advice have been very helpful to me. I work for a major store chain. It is the worse job I have ever had. We have a Union. What a joke. What goes on here is against our so called Union hand bood. I have called HR, it helped to a point, but the manager did not like it.

robertsloan2 profile image

robertsloan2 7 years ago from San Francisco, CA

Excellent Hub. Thank you for pointing out that common sense observation -- H. R. is responsible for making sure the company doesn't get sued and doesn't wind up losing any money over it. Of course they don't care about your complaint. They're just looking for how to wiggle out of it if it happened to break some laws.

I think I understood this from the gut the first time I worked for a company that had a Human Resources department. As a writer, I listen to the words -- and the phrase itself was a shock to me in the 80s because it wasn't "employment" or "complaints department" or anything to do with what they said it was.

Resources are something that companies exploit. Human resources are the human beings they can exploit easiest, get the most profit from while paying them as little as possible in benefits and pay. Human Resources is about people being used.

I wised up and switched over to only working for companies where I met the owner in person and got along with the owner. Small businesses don't run that way. Some can be rough, but a bad employer in a small business doesn't keep decent employees long. A good one will become warm and trusted, it's like any small group you're a member of.

It might be the owner or it might be someone else in the shop, but in a small business there is usually at least one sociable "glue man" or "glue woman" whose warm personality keeps everyone connected. It's much more personal.

I distrust impersonal business practices because "impersonal" is usually just a facade for the sort of backhanded office politics that involve vicious competition and frequent sabotage just to keep anyone from getting too comfortable or happy. There are some businesses that actually prefer to have a hostile work atmosphere and keep everyone on the seat of terror, it blackmails them into doing a lot more unpaid work and makes them easy to push around.

This is what your grade school bullies grew up to do if they could read and learn how to pass tests.

snowflakes 7 years ago

Wow I am not alone in this universe. I was a victim of a hostile environment. I actually never bothered to complain especially when I realized the Super and Hr hung out regurlarly over coffee or on Fridays at 3:45 pm smiling and giggling about week-end plans. There was just no chance. You look at this and realize your days are numbered and you're a sitting duck. At least if you stick it out and not quit you can get severence pay. I just gracefully kept my cool so at least they wouldn't have to involve the cops or security. FYI this is a large reputalbe company employing about 5000 people at the branch I worked at. I think I have enough material to become a great poet.** Oh by the way I loved the job but I was bullied out of it. I was sad. I cried for about 10 minutes and now I'm ok. Peace and Love. God help us all.

pgrundy 7 years ago

Getting bullied out of my job was the best thing that ever happened to me. What a hole. That place was literally killing me.

Marisa Wright profile image

Marisa Wright 7 years ago from Sydney

Excellent Hub, and so true. People must remember that it's the boss who pays HR,not the employee. Human Resources was invented to make employees feel 'looked after', so they'd think unions were no longer necessary.

I can remember the days when even office workers would have a union rep they could go to, if they had a problem. The union would stand by them and fight for their rights. Most people have abandoned unions and don't see the point - until they need someone in their corner.

Chris Fletcher profile image

Chris Fletcher 7 years ago

Wow, this is eye-opening. Thanks for sharing the scoop.

uwgirl profile image

uwgirl 7 years ago from Wisconsin

This is a very interesting and eye-opening article. I am a manager and I guess I'm in a rare company where HR really is impartial. When employees have complaints, they listen and get all parties together to try to work it out.

Rainbow777 profile image

Rainbow777 7 years ago from Florida

Read your article, very true. However it even gets more interesting working on "tribal land". HR is not your friend and neither is the tribal police, they will set you up to get rid of you, run quick!!!

Undercover Lawyer profile image

Undercover Lawyer 7 years ago from The Beautiful Northwest, USA Author

Thanks for all those who commented and voted in the "Hub Nugget" contest where this article was nominated (and because of you all, won). I'm enheartened and humbled by the honor, and will work hard to make my other hubs even better than this one. -Curt

John 7 years ago

Wow this article is very well written .....

keep up the good work ....

god bless u ....

Undercover Lawyer profile image

Undercover Lawyer 7 years ago from The Beautiful Northwest, USA Author

Thanks John. I appreciate the encouragement. -Curt

Paula 7 years ago

This is the exact same situation I too have had, just on May 19th. Although this director was previously brought up on sexual Harassment charges in 2007 but a fellow co-worker. I was a witness to the so-called investigation and advised them then things he was doing and saying to me. They told us it wasn't SH. It wasn't until I got the courage to go to HR and the CEO again and then I was demoted with slanderous lies about me. I called the EEOC and filed a complaint. In their rebuttal statement, they ar trying to say I can't file the claim on things that happened in 2007 (although these things never stopped). He kept on going with his comments and in the past year started making sexual comments about my staff.

Thank you for writing this story, it has been a very hard and lonely path to take. But I have to take a stand or he will continue to do this to other women.

Undercover Lawyer profile image

Undercover Lawyer 7 years ago from The Beautiful Northwest, USA Author

You are welcome, Paula. Please know there are many more people like you in the UCL community. They are good about givi g lots of advice and encouragement.

ambcm 7 years ago

The human resources department where i work feels worse, the lady doesn't even care enough to listen to any concern. unless it is a huge concern to her, she will not listen. she sat there and rolled her eyes at me as i told her i was upset and needed to speak with her in regards to a situation i had encountered with my manager. she had previously asked me to speak with my manager and take down all information and comments and date the paper and then to let her know how it went. well my meeting did not go well and so i thought she wanted to hear my story but instead, she shrugged her shoulders at me, rolled her eyes, said to move forward because my cause for concern was petty and not retaliation... this company has made me sick and hurt many times other than this one. i just feel lost. there is no one to listen to my concerns. i can't even go to human resources with a complaint against another colleague, the last time i did that, they forced me to sit face to face with the other person and that was awkward and it made for an awkward work environment. there are many more stories to tell unfortunately. I have thought of leaving but in this economy that's hard to do.

prepared 7 years ago

Wow! I finally had the nerve to complain about my supervisor and manager I didn't go to HR I went to their direct manager and explained everything. I had a statement prepared, emails sent, notes I've kept over the past 6 months. He seemed very concerned, agreed with my statement apologized I for what I was going through and said he would investigate and get back to me. That was Tuesday and tomorrow is Friday and I have'nt heard anything. But everyone appears to have backed off some. Now I am waiting for a bombshell to drop. This article gave me a heads up and now I know they are gathering evidence against me! Wow I don't understand. But what's done is done and I have to stand the course. So I will continue to pray on it. Undercover lawyer, what can I do if this turns out negatively?

Undercover Lawyer profile image

Undercover Lawyer 7 years ago from The Beautiful Northwest, USA Author

ambcm, Unfortunately many people feel just the same as you in this economy -- trapped at hostile workplaces. You can find very encouraging and smart communities of people online who will listen to you. I can't really push my own site, but you can find a good forum there if you look for it.

Prepared, I'm glad you didn't rely on H.R. If this goes negatively, you need to position yourself as part of a protected class, and considering filing a complaint outside of your workplace.

JustClaude 7 years ago

Great in-put from all of you hubber's. Wow I never even expected such a wealth of response from a place where you think you are all alone, and nobody could possibly be going through this hitch in life that ruin's live's. And is designed to do so, turn the table people it's time to slap H.R. and exspose this Co. Back Gate.

Undercover Lawyer profile image

Undercover Lawyer 7 years ago from The Beautiful Northwest, USA Author

JustClaude, I agree with you! I was surprised by how many people have commented on this Hub, usually saying that they have experienced the same thing. But as you can see people can learn a lot and get a lot of support by banding together.

frogyfish profile image

frogyfish 7 years ago from Central United States of America

What a fantastic helpful hub! My daughter works in such a corporate environment, and she is really run down from it. She did face her supervisor once with a complaint and that helped momentarily, but the managers(all female) are still bullies, pack together at lunch and parties. They don't want to fire her because she does her work and more - while others clock in, go home three hours early, and someone else clocks them out. (etc.) WOW! THANK YOU for your advice!

Undercover Lawyer profile image

Undercover Lawyer 7 years ago from The Beautiful Northwest, USA Author

Frogyfish, I hope your daughter can be helped by this and my other hubs. Thanks for your comment. It's nice to get positive feedback from such an esteemed hubber as yourself!

Amazed2010 6 years ago

Thank you for making a hub that will give us worthy advice. I had a job for ten yrs without ever having been written up, but all the while I had a micro-manager type boss. Like many of you I attended school at night. Once my company realized that I wasn't going into their particular field my boss became hostile and requesting things from me that were impossible and ultimately got me fired and concluded that it was my fault and unemployment WILL NOT pay if it was concluded that you lost your job on your own accord well after all that I went to work for a staffing agency. Well, I worked for this company for two yrs, this was supposed to be a one yr. assignment that turned into two yrs. I initially took the assignment because it had a sign on bonus attached; they came through with the first portion of the bonus but the company let me go just two weeks before ending the assignment and now they will not pay the remaining bonus of $1200.00 - I am still trying to figure out what to do if anything since I still am still employed by the staffing agency and have another assignment(another cover your butt tactic). Either way the company got out of paying the remaining bonus by saying production wasn't sufficient. I am still amazed that they are quick to release you from an assignment because their clients "feel you weren't right for the job". In other words, they used any ***sh** excuse they could conger up so I didn't get my bonus. I completed their project and like so many of you my "project supervisor" did everything she could to create a hostile environment and then blamed it on me, saying I was coming in late and leaving early, lack of productivity etc. I am amazed that HR really believes these people and won't give the common man a fighting chance. Truly people need to understand that until we stand together against these animals we will never win and our jobs will never be secure nor will the after math of some jobs be our pavement toward the next decent job. Bad bosses need to be stopped and bad HR practices need to be refined. After all there is more of us and less of them!! What should we do? Ideas?? Anyone??

Environment 6 years ago

Business practices, principles and Ethics take a back seat in the real world. What we read in management schools or HR courses takes a back seat while dealing with situations in the real scenario. The only thing that matters to the management is profit and cash flow by hook or crook; thats the only principle that works fine in the Corporate world. HR truly is an important function of management and most of the times the Big Brother so next time while talking to the HR guy with that smile beware; because the smile is his and the ears are that of the management and he being paid for keeping that smile on his face.

Fresh_Flower profile image

Fresh_Flower 6 years ago from London

my brother is an H. R. Executive.. I bet this hub will make him think differently about his job... at least I will show it to him

Charlie  6 years ago

I am really interested to read all your comments after finding this website. I am an HR Advisor and am questioning why I work in the profession, after studying so hard to reach a my career goal its a real shame. I went into HR with the view that I wanted to help improve employee relations and get some job satisfaction and in most cases I find myself working to keep employees happy as their managers seem to fail to manage and communicate effectively with them. Although I agree HR are in place to protect the business I do believe that there are HR professionals who also want the people to be looked after, unfortunately the corporate world we live in doesn't always put the interests of people first and HR are, in some cases victims of poor management from the top. I would love to work in a job where I could help the employees as I feel this is where my heart is. I am really fed up with all the corporate bull that we have to accept and then it is HR that has to deliver the bad news!

Keep up the good work as I hope that if employees are receiving good advice maybe these companies will learn to do things in a fair and reasonable way rather than bullying their employees out of the business when they are really unhappy with the treatment they are receiving.

Deb 6 years ago

Hi Curt, and fellow UCL followers, I am so, so glad to have come across this site. My experience is similar to many, and I feel it is a blessing to have this type of information, Curt, his website, and the thousand of comments, and testimonies. It's a God send. As Curt said knowledge is power. Once you have the knowledge, you have the power to arm yourself against this devastating crime. What I would like to see in Curts material, blogs, and from his many dedicated followers is more stats, more networking agencies that can help with the pschycological aspect of being bullied, information on law reform, and more successful examples of people winning and surviving their ordeals. I thought that I was the only one that really, really appreciated Curt and his efforts to make us aware and help us win in this area. How naïve. I was so overwhelmed with with people responses and testimonies, that I just wanted to cry. But these were tears of gladness. We owe it ourselves, our friends, our family, our co-workers everyone to eradicate this type of behavior not only in the workplace but everywhere, period. Accountability, strong laws, compensation, and help for the victom/target are just some of things that I would love to see. I am so happy to be a part of this movement, and look forward to doing my part to help stop this deplorable treatment. Lastly as a target or victom, nobody knows like we know, because we are the people in the line of fire, we are the ones being victimized, and for people who can't, won't or try to act like they don't understand, or belittles this experience. I pray that you never go through this experience, I wouldn't wish it on my worse enemy. God bless you all, you are in my prayers. And remember this, Curt is the founder of UCL site, but he can't do it alone, so let's join the resistance !!!!!

Noni 6 years ago

Thanks for the information and i have same experience, but in this case I got fired because my fellows made up things to get me out of work and HR did an investigation only hearing who they and what they wanted to.

IPMGLLC profile image

IPMGLLC 6 years ago

Wow! As a 10-year human resources professional, I have to say that the issues expressed in this hub were the very reasons why I decided to become self-employed. I love my profession but I wanted to use it to help others. I left corporate america because I decided I no longer wanted to hurt people, but help people instead.

HR professionals wear several hats that we should be able to switch as required by the situation. We are supposed to work for the good of both the organization AND the employee as dictated by the situation, hence switching hats. Unfortunately, HR professionals often find ourselves working for the organization and their "managers" or "senior manager".

Basically, the tone of the organization is set by the senior management team or executives. HR needs the support of the senior executives especially when the best decision for the situation is NOT in favor of management. If there is no support from the organizational heads, well the HR team is just there to do what they are told versus what is ethical.

Roger Chestnut 6 years ago

It's disgusting that corporate American tolerates bullying and other unprofessional behavior in pursuit of profits. If you are facing this situation or any negative situation at work remember to document everything and keep your docs away from your workspace (at home preferably).

plumtart 6 years ago

i never liked the madness and the games that people play and the lies that get told. i have never seen a genuine and decent HR person and it comes no surprise to me that the hurt they induce on people cause some of them coming back to the workplace and shoot people dead.

new job101 6 years ago

Again, this is almost exactly what happened to me! SO TRUE- The only recourse I have is that I documented everything and my lawyer says I sought help several times and got no assistance.

izettl profile image

izettl 6 years ago from The Great Northwest

i worked in HR for a few years and can testify to all that you've wrote about.

Jackie 6 years ago

I am an experienced HR Manager and I have to admit, this article is right on target. HR is there to protect the Company. Period.

Lilbittybetty profile image

Lilbittybetty 6 years ago

This hub is the truth and the light unto a dark tunnel. I have complained to HR about several incidences where the co-workers are harrassing me. The HR representative is now turning the tables on me and saying that I am the "problem" and that there is nothing that HR could do because they want "hard" facts to take to the people that are causing the harrassing. I really feel alone and now I feel that the HR representative is scolding me on behalf of those accused. Where is my help in all of this. I have left so many jobs because people wants to pick on me or do something to me that is inappropriate. Half of the complaints that I included in my report to HR is the very same thing that they are against. My company makes all of the employee complete the Work Ethics training....they state that they have "zero tolerance" for childishness and harrassment. But, I think that it is all bullshit in a handbasket. I might have to consort a lawyer to light a fire under somebody's ass to let them know that this is a serious matter.

GET THIS: The HR representative asked me...(gasp)..."Are you acting?" Just so horrible.

388823 6 years ago

Thank you for making a hub that will give us worthy advice. I've been with the same company for 10 years and been through 3 mergers with them. It is not easy to adopt to different company culture and personnel changes after one merger to another but I still stayed with the company simply because of its people. However, things start changing and about 6 months ago I was put under a 3 months(PIP) Performance Improvement Plan. All because my independent and competent has become a threat to my boss and her work gang who need wield power capriciously.but incompetent of their job.

To make the story short, I been through great depression because of wrongfully being accused of things or words I've never done or said. But because of my faith, I had overcome my emotions and deal with it in a professional way. So

everything seemed to work out during the 3 months PIP period and my boss and her gang seemed to back off my case significantly. However, there was no final review meeting which was required as conclusion of the PIP process with HR, my boss and me to evaluate how my "performance" go. Then, it was until last week - 4 months later, that I was suddenly asked to talk to my boss's supervisor, who warned me that I need to stopped discussing my thoughts toward work or my colleague in my department, otherwise, I will be in violation of my PIP?!!

Coincidentally, during last 2 months a colleague who is in her mid 50', was put on PIP after reported my boss's work pal treated her inappropriately. And recently got approved to go on medical leave due to mental distress from working in such hostile work environment. And because this colleague has brought up the word "Age discrimination", I suspect the company's action to collect her emails and instant messaging activities was to prepare for a lawsuit. And with me - a loyal employee expressing my feelings about the situation in these conversations was a total surprise, or may be a threat to them in the up-coming case?!

To make this even more interesting. I also found out another colleague who was under the threat of being fired, has left few months ago, is now undergoing EECO claims against the company. With this much going on, I truly believe that HR and management are trying to shut me off by giving me "warnings", so I will act quietly like I did before so they have one

less headache to deal with.

Since I had lost faith in management, I'm determine to leave the company after I reach the vesting requirement of the pension plan next year. I'm just wishing everyday will go smoothly and counting off my time until then. Wish me luck!

Angie MT 6 years ago

Like Janet, my boss of 2 years is buddies with a co-worker, taking vacations, etc. but the other co-worker and I are belittled very loudly in public by her repeatedly. Other's not in my department come to me and ask why the boss is yelling. I am being micro-managed and second guessed as if I were a new employee and not one of 9 years and perfect work performance. She had no comment to me when I was out on FMLA because my husband was dying in the hospital other than to ask 'so, do you know when you'll be back?' She had me written up for what she called was 'yelling' with a warning that 'any other complaint will be grounds for termination' even though the company guidelines outlining disapline was not followed. She spends all her time when her boss is out on personal phone calls but my one or two calls home to speak to my sick child were met with 'well that's what you get for having kids' remarks. Thanks for the warning about HR - now I KNOW I can't go to them. I am currently looking for stress relievers. I have spoken to HR in Feb. I have spoked to her boss in May. Her boss, my boss and I met finally in June, and the honeymoon has lost it's glow now in July. I feel like I'm being penalized for having a dying husband and sick toddler even though I still always do an awesome job - last review again confirmed it. But I'm always looking over my shoulder waiting for the other shoe to drop or the knife in my back.

ncosby profile image

ncosby 6 years ago

Very helpful and insightful! This really reminds me to 'pick my battles' at work and to always handle work issues professionally and without H.R.! 6 years ago

I have just been fired fron a job,due to my poor attendance and poor job quality.Only there for 5 months.Not given my 90 day review.I was given two weeks off due to mental distress,with a doctors excuse.Talked to HR about this person who bulls everyone,the letter about being terminated was typed and sent that same day.What recource do I have for workmans comp.It was a county job,good ole boys....Susan IN Indiana

Annie 6 years ago

This article is disturbing to me as an HR professional. I am sure SOME organizations are like this but I don't know that it is the majority. This article really gives HR a bad name. As the HR Manager for my company, I am here as an advocate for both employees and managers, as well as the company (in legal cases). All complaints are taken seriously and investigated professionally. The problem in this story is that the HR rep (and VP and Supervisor) mixed two problems together when they were really separate issues. It could be very possible that the employee was having some performance issues but those should have been discussed at a separate meeting.

HR really is here to help, so please do not be intimidated to use the HR services available to you.

SunSine 6 years ago

Good Old labor relations AKA pre-legal department!

Most Labor relations are either law students OR liscensed

Attorneys. Cjeck with your State Bar association prior to any conversations. I went to a mediation hearing that said Quote, NO legal assistance OR attorneys allowd. I can top that too, the quote mediator who was supposed to be from the Federal Mediation Concilation Service did not exist. The entire meeting was a scam.

Check Check and recheck everyone you are dealing with.

Public records are free, you can do state searches for free.

Not all attorneys are a member of the bar so call your Attorney Generals Office, I believe in some states they

can be verified from the State Supreme Court.

Slimmy little buggers arent they???

Hey, I love your site 5 Star's all the way.

Keep up the good work

Stephen Alexander Davis 5 years ago

I had a co-worker file a complaint against me accusing me of being violent and creating a hostile work environment. During my HR investigation interview, the HR rep was very odd and I wanted to get some feedback on some of my questions that are not being addressed.

1. The HR rep set up an appointment for me to call her at her office for the interview. I called and she was not in at the appointed time so I left a message. I immediately received an e-mail telling me to call her at a different number with a completely different area code. Is that normal or is that peculiar?

2. During the investigation interview is the HR Rep supposed to be fact gathering and be impartial or are they supposed to give their opinion on the matters that are being filed?

3. Do I have any rights as the person being accused? If I don’t feel the interview was conducted professionally can I request another investigator?

Thanks for the insight.

Nicnac 5 years ago

Funny! Just today, a coworker met with HR to complain that her boss constantly harasses her to the point of tears, and then after that asks if she will 'quit now'.

HR listened, made several non-committal sounds and then declared "well, there really is nothing I can do".

Our HR rep is much more concerned with scoring brownie point with executive management than helping employees.

duped 5 years ago

Thank you so much for this site-wow i was blind sided

Renay 5 years ago

Annie, can I work for you??? Believe me, most HR Depts are *exactly* as described in this article. I worked for 2 Fortune 500's folks, 10 yrs at IBM and 20 at HP, and HP completely discriminated against me while protecting younger and favored employees, handing jobs under the table to some folks who did nothing but play on Facebook! I fought and fought when in 2008, my Perf Review, submitted by a mgr who didn't even know me, was dropped to basically a "D". And the comments this person made about my perfomance were embarrassingly ridiculous. There was *nothing* bad to say about my perf, but they had to make it so to get rid of me because of my age (late 50's).

My performance has never been anything less than excellent and I have the written feedback to prove it. I am a person who looked forward to Monday, not Friday. I loved my job and was a content, devoted, knowledgeable professional who was called upon from organizations all over the company for direction and help, not just because I knew the answers, but because I was approachable and they knew I would exhaust every avenue to help them.

When I saw that piece of junk evaluation, I felt like someone had dropped a brick on my head. My mgr and another one in my organization admitted HP was trying to get rid of older employees.

I did all I could to defend myself but the decision had been made. I would not be saved and I would be laid off when the call center in Conway, AK was ready. I went to Employee Relations and my experience was exactly as described in this article, except the meeting with ER after the investigation was over the phone with the same ER rep I had spoken to initially. I could hear her smiling over the phone as she gaily told me I was wrong and my mgrs were correct per her investigation.

It was a nightmare.

I got a job right away after I was laid off. In fact, it was before my final termination date! And I was so excited and happy. It was the worst, most horrendous situation I have ever endured. From the armchair, I would say my mgr was not only a frenetic bully, but a sociopathic narcissist. I dreaded going to work each day and even looking at her made me physically sick.

In doing a little research, I found out there was a parade of about 4 people who left before me. I spoke to 2 of them and they both said the boss was impossible and they were unable to work with her.

Now I have another job, 12k cut in pay, but a peaceful environment with a real professional in charge and I am really looking forward to it.

Jane 5 years ago

The same thing is happening to me at the moment. No one is more dedicated to their job than me but I mentioned to a colleague that I felt victimised by someone. It got to my boss and she has triggered this dreadful process that you talk about and I have become the problem. I have a 'review' meeting next week and I feel anxious, afraid, threatened and sick. I have no idea what I should say but your advice has given me valuable knowledge and insight. I am of course desparately looking for a new job. I have worked there (it is the NHS) for 18 years. Good luck to everyone in this dreadful situation.

Jorge Ramos 5 years ago

I work for a small restaurant franchise group, I am in middle management and I am in charge of a small number of restaurants. I worked for the company since I was a teenager and the culture has always been aggressive from upper management towards the lower managers.

Fortunately I had a good relationship with the Manager that directs the whole company and I didn't have a problem with upper management. However for many years I saw this guy in particular come to the restaurants yell, throw stuff around, kick and punch the walls, when "disciplining" the managers, or just when he felt in a "bad mood". This never happened to me until last week.

He fired me as he walked in and then when I asked what were the reasons, and to do it in from of other employees he backed off firing me. Then he threw the traditional fit I felt intimidated since I thought he might hit me. He did in front of a number of employees as he has done in the past.

The company doesn't have have HR since it is small but I called the owner, she listened for a couple of minutes and then she attacked my performance over the past months. Which happens to be the only time during my 10 years with the company my sales have been down.

I am filing a formal complaint with the Fair employment office in my area and plan to talk to a lawyer this week. There are other managers that have told me that they would come and tell the truth about what they have felt in the past. He is a serial harasser and employee abuser.

What is your opinion? what else can I do? I don't plan to do like other managers in the past that quit and left things like that.

Darlene 5 years ago

I wish I would have read this before I filed my grievance because everything you wrote happened to me.

And I was then told we have promoted you faster then anyone else and I was reprimanded for 45 minutes when I started out being the victim and I ended up being victimized again. I come they get away with this?

Rose 5 years ago

This article is 100% right. I went to HR almost 1 yr ago and things have gone EXACTLY as stated here. In fact, things have gotten worse in my office. They are now just trying to create so much pressure hoping I will cave and quit. I have seen them do it to others. We have 3 managers in our office and 14 employees, not one of the 14 is happy, at least 3 have made complaints to HR and there has been a mass exodus to transfer to other branches and they continue to ignore the problem...the manager. Why wouldn't they want to get rid of me, Im 43 with 14yrs there, they could fire me and hire a 20yr old at half the pay.

KoisKreations 5 years ago

OMG....I work fro a French Company & My Coworker & I needed help. SO were got a new employee. I was part of the Interview process. We interviewed 5 Candidates & I had to let HR know their Ranking. HR....then told me the person i ranked in last place was her friend & she would get the job. HR then told her friend I didn't like her & told her don't worry she is like our friend such & such. So now this new hire thinks I dont like her..WHEN I don't know her. And she also has a vision of who i HR has complared me to a friend of theirs in her personal life. TOO MANY STRIKES RIGHT THERE...HR is NOT supposed to divulge inside information to the new hire. The new hite then BLOWS up on me the 2nd week of me training her. She confronts me & starts screaming for me to GO TO HR & TELL THEM TO LET HER GO!! SHE THEN STATES HSE DOESN"T KNOW IF ITS BECAUSE I DONT LIKE HER>>>IF I DONT MOVE FAST ENOUGH & BLAH>>BLAHH>>>BLAH.....Mind you her WHOLE BODY WAS SHAKING. I didn't know what to do..I was in AWE. HR has swept my formal complaint under the rug. The new hire sat right @ her desk in the common area complaining about me & the company that just hired her. She doesn't want to work. she sits on ehr computer looking for jobs, spends alot of time on personal calls. She keeps making smart comments to me for no reason & I have complained to my New VP & HRs Friend the New Hire IS STILL OWRKING HERE. So unfair & i think MANY RULES have been broken on HRs part. So I plan to leave the company

LU09EB 5 years ago

I have been out of work...not on med leave...just using time...and have missed quite a bit in the past month due to a head injury. I came into work this week and was fired due to "serious concerns about me as an employee." The firing manager told me to leave asap and advised she did not care that I just lost my DL due to frequent seizures. I called the HR manager and she politely told me to get a taxi...uh, we don't have taxis round here. They made me so upset and I was so blindsided, my husband literally bout had to carry me out of there. I mean, my work had sent me flowers at the hospital and called to check on me. They had also stated I needed a note from my doc allowing me to return to work. I did turn in my keys to a girl in the parking lot, but didn't think about the other stuff at all. I was sobbing and wanted to just get outta there.

I had to go back to the hospital today because I had a bad fall due to another seizure, and while I was at the hospital, an officer tried to arrest me for having files from my employer. I had emailed my former supervisor before the seizure and told them I would have them to her Friday but couldn't nail down a time...was going to email later when I identified a way to get a ride. The officer was awesome and very kind. But I did check myself out of the hospital to go get the stuff for him. My car was at home and so was some of the stuff, still at my home office. I was just fired 2 days ago and got sick again immediately this happening? Please help me. I feel lost and I am stupid now. Really, can't remember anything. I've hit my head too many times.

jimmylesaint profile image

jimmylesaint 5 years ago from Metropolis of Life

Awesome hubs, i just wish there were relevant laws to use in the UK.

Whilst there is no law against bullying, i believe the "retaliation" is the same as suffering a detriment fro making a previous complaint? Also in UK one has to sue the bully individually and the company for harrassment. as well as employment tribunals. It gets messy but it is less stressful than being bullied i'm sure.

unhappy worker 5 years ago


Sadly I found this out the hard way, I've been bullied at work in the UK, went to HR and explained my issues, raised a grievance about them, saw the company hide / cover up everything, the witnesses disappeared, all the bullying remarks were made out as other things like jokes or office humor.

I am very disappointed at how HR have treated me and do not think this case will go any further as I do not think I will have the strength to go through this and feel my only option might be to leave.

I wish I had read up more on this before but before you actually go through bullying you don't think as you are feeling stressed, ill and when you do then you see that its too late as they have already found ways to hide everything from you and cover their backsides like crazy.

from my experience I know this for future:

Don't rely on anyone! and don't trust anyone to help!

simple answer 5 years ago

Simple answer for everyone:-

1) Yes dont trust HR

2) Never goto HR unless its to hand your notice in

3) Dont think of anyone in HR as a friend

4) HR work for the company they are there to help the company and defend the company from any issues that could arise.

5) Never think HR will help you

6) Be very careful of what HR say to you.

7) Don't expect witnesses to back you up

8) Assume the company will find any way to discredit you and quash your grievance as quickly as possible.

9) Dont trust anyone but your family!

10) If you ever go through this sort of experience you will realise how people are and that they all lie to save their own skin.

Kitty Dooga 5 years ago

A long, long time ago, I was helped with an employee-supervisor issue by an HR rep. he was genuinely a nice guy. However, I later experienced at another company something very similar to what the HR video here discusses. This other HR person was definitely NOT on my side and they fired me after much nonsense was said about me. I will always be wary of them now.

Sergio Rent 5 years ago

I am surprised this info is out there, I appreciate the info. This exact problem is happening to me. I am Jumped to EEOC and now I have a case. Thank you

melissa 4 years ago

thats why i want to get into business for myself i want to have to answer to no one but myself because ive had bosses and co workers like that in the past

Ali 4 years ago

This happened to me =( I went to HR naively thinking they could help me with a nasty harassment issue where my boss was actually encouraging the behavior. HR made things worse for me - a lot worse. Thankfully, the whole situation ended up on a positive note - I went back to school part-time for accounting. My job was a dead-end one anyhow where I was learning no marketable skills. I had to keep working there because it pays the bills and for school but now I have hope for a better future.

Next time I will know better than to trust HR!!! I should have gone directly to my union rep or to the EEO.

Also, all my friends that have gone into business for themselves have ended up incredibly happy so that is a really positive goal! Cheers, Ali.

Disgusted with Tracy Alves 4 years ago

I wish I had read this two days ago. I work for Cumberland Farms in New England I am a woman, and a male coworker threatened me if I ever accuse him of making a mistake again. He was 1/2" from my face and his finger was in my face. I went to HR in a panic. I was told by Tracy Alves the HR manager that I was being ridiculous since the man is only a couple of inches taller than me. I told them I wanted to file a harrassment protection order. They told me if I did that, don't bother coming back to work. Instead I am getting pepper spray

john000 profile image

john000 4 years ago from Superior, Arizona

You speak the truth in this hub. H.R. is a department funded by management, guided by management, set-up by management and is not the place to go when one has a problem with a boss. Having seen and/or experienced much of what you describe above, I think the best thing to try to do is get a transfer. If that option isn't available, going to a lawyer for an initial visit is well worth the money. If you have grounds for a complaint, the lawyer becomes your human resource.

Missy 4 years ago

While you offer good advice in some areas, I find it difficult to put full faith in someone who is offering legal advice in an article full of spelling and grammatical errors. I was interested in receiving your information until I realized that you don't know the pepper usage of "your" and "you're".

john000 profile image

john000 4 years ago from Superior, Arizona


It is funny how someone can read an article with a simple error in proof reading and come to the conclusion that there is nothing of value in it. I had an English teacher once who if finding a mistake with a contraction would slice and dice a paper with her red pen ignoring any of the thought that went into it. And finally, (stick this in your pipe) I knows my proper pepper! Nanny nanny foo foo.

Vanessa 4 years ago

So glad i found this. I am dealing with my second harassment complain against same coworker: 1st time nothing happened other than everything turn agains ME, I never understood why me If i was and still am the victim! I have also requested a restraining order against this same person , this outside work. Well I'm now been asked to "provide" this documentation to HR so they can " consider " . I mean, really? What does this has to do with my complain at work? Is not relevant' maybe so they have more chances to stub me better?

desouza 4 years ago

i got suspended without reason after i place a complain to the HR about race discrimination and unfair treatment..its very clear i shouldn't trust the HR

Frustrated 4 years ago

I manage a staff of three and they complained about improper language and demeaning comments made by our boss during a business dinner. Do I file a complain in their behalf? My boss has not opened channels of communication. The staff is afraid of retaliation.

Same boat 4 years ago

This is exactly what happens at my job....if someone complains about anything to HR, the tables are turned; whether it is a bullying boss, preferential treatment for certain employees, harrassment by bosses and co-workers---doesn't matter what is going on, the person who has the audacity to complain becomes the person in trouble---thanks to the HR Dept.

Angie 4 years ago

Reading this is comforting, knowing I am not the only one having problems. My supervisor is actually my first cousin and when one of my children supposedly said something about her, all heck broke loose at work.After 3 years of perfect evaluations and never a complaint against me, I was written up twice in one week and given several written warnings and it hasn't ended yet. It also does not help that she (my supervisor/cousin)worked with HR for 7 years and is the best of friends with all of them. She keeps turning me in to HR for every little thing. I actually got in trouble for checking my work email while on FMLA/Short term disability after my hysterectomy. So as of Monday, when my short term is over I am going to hand in my resignation letter.

A resignation letter due to a hostile work enviroment.

redneckssuck 4 years ago

I was bullied by a female manager for a year before I managed to move out from under her. Later I was listening in the hallway to an HR rep talking to somebody else and my former female manager's name came up. The HR rep said, "I know X, she's a great girl!" Yeah right! HR is in bed with all the corrupt managers. I knew then I would never have a chance with HR.

Harrassed 4 years ago

I was under a horrible bullying supervisor for almost 2 years. I had to constantly walk on egg-shells and try to dot my I's and cross my t's, just waiting to be stabbed in the back. She micro-managed me, belittled me, and yelled at me in front of others. She constantly tried to show I was doing things wrong or incorrectly, even when I was doing everything right. I was always able to show that I was doing things correctly and prove her wrong, until I wasn't. I was taken out of that environment, brought up on charges of insubordination and not doing good work. The manager cows to the supervisor and since the supervisor doesn't want me there, the manager wrote letters and sent them up the chain basically saying that I do nothing right and they have given me remedial training many times and I am unfit for any job within the unit. My job is under a union, so I have only dealt with the union rep and not HR. When I was removed from my regular environment, I was moved to HR/employee benefits to just file and shuffle papers pending the results of an investigation and a hearing, but the HR manager has left me alone. I have documentation to back up that I was doing things correctly and had proven the supervisor wrong and to show that she discriminates against me and treats me completely differently from a guy hired at the same time as me to do the same job. I have coworkers who are willing to testify on my defense and they have talked to my union rep, but it still seems that all the cards are stacked against me. One of those coworkers even filed a grievance against the supervisor and manager for harassment and hostile workplace [she has ~10 years worth of documentation and only filed anything to help me].

The union rep has told me that the hearing administrator has recently found someone else guilty when they had done nothing wrong, nothing could be proven, and that person had a perfect record for the last 25 years, but now had a boss who didn't like him.

jennifer 4 years ago

The article is so true. This is exactly what happened to me. It came down to my performance when I complained & all the bosses higher up my manager took his side. My advice is if you want to go to HR make sure you have strong support of other team members or the bosses higher up like you or you are 110% good in your work else it won't work.

HR Professional 4 years ago

I'm an HR manager and am pretty disgusted that this employee was treated in this manner. I get the point of the article but listen I've been an HR professional for 15 years and have been through many complaints from employees about their supervisor. I've seen cases from where we found evidence that the supervisor was acting inappropriately and was counseled or disciplined. In other cases I found that the employee knew that they were at the end of their rope and so thought that lodging frivolous complaints would protect them. In this case it doesn't sound like the company had a very good HR team. A good HR investigation would have concentrated on the complaint at hand by the employee, not on turning it around on her. My advise is to trust in your HR department first but in cases with harassment, try and have witnesses available to help your case.

Anon 4 years ago

Listen HR manager, I worked for a F 500 for 20 years. My mantra since I started working at age 17 was to give it all I've got. It's the way I was brought up and the way I'm wired. I watched people over the years do exactly nothing and some of them are still working at this company while I watched my job go to a low cost center and I was dumped (age discrim, not a suckup, mgr with many favorites and pets). I went all out in and effort to keep the job I so lovingly nurtured and put before basically all else in my life, including many times, my husband, child, other family members and friends. I missed many good times to work. I'm not complaining. It was MY choice to do so. However, my management kept people safe who sat on FB all day, yakked and fooled around over keeping me. I was set up with a perf eval that was just pathetically untrue and even written poorly. It was completely disrespectful in all aspects. I felt like I was in a nightmare.

I went to HR and ER hoping to find someone who would help me out. I saw myself not as myself but as an employee who deserved to keep her job especially in today's rotten economic environment where jobs are so hard to get.

I knew the HR guy and he was as helpless as a salted slug. I was disgusted with this old platitudes and bs from his list of things to say.

ER was worse. I worked so hard to send the woman I was assigned endorsements of my work ethic from truly quality people I had busted butt for over 20 yrs time.

She was worthless and basically said she spoke to management and they were right. Sorry.

It's funny, after the horrible perf eval, I did such a good job on a huge project, upper management was forced to award me during a dept meeting. My manager, who was such a scared rabbit, and *always* atteneded every dept meeting, bothering us all day to be sure and be there, so as to make him look good, did not come to the meeting. In fact, I watched that pathetic loser walk to his car. I was shocked that he would go to a dental appt. I figure something was up. When the time came for my award, of which I was totally unaware, I received a standing ovation!!! I could not believe how incredible I felt but the overwhelming feeling was that that inadequate person, that walking basket case was allowed to dump me off and hide his favorites in their homes, living the good life, making scrapbooks, playing on FB and continuing to get a paycheck for life while I'm scrambling, working a stupid, low-paying job and not young enough to build up a reputation like I had there.

There is no forgiveness coming for me. I hope those responsible for my nightmare get what's coming to them. Young people today who have experienced these situations with their parents hate the corporate world. They want no part of it.

Nicki Jones 4 years ago

As an HR professional, this is stomach turning and upsetting that all HR professionals are being categorized by a relatively small sample of, more than likely, twisted and biased experiences. Shame on you.

Mr P 4 years ago

Undercover lawyer,

Im so glad I found this site.

Im happy that im not alone. Im glad I didn't go buy a 12pack to forget about my shit life working around pure scum.

Great write up.

ps. HR employees, dont take it personally.. unless you deserve it, then the worst is yet to come :)

A Boss 4 years ago

What a sad article. Just about as sad as the employee who calls in sick repeatedly and when they do come to work, won't do their job. And how dare the boss talk to the employee about the poor performance or excessive absenteeism. That is harassment! Let's complain and get the boss fired. And then continue taking their paid sick days and not do their job. Guess what low life abusers - you're going to get caught.

Richard 4 years ago

Being bullied out of your job when you are 71 years old and still have plenty of life and skill left, is not an easy or fun thing. That is what's happening to me. I was just given a reprimand letter, which is based on comment that I didn't make, and I am working on a rebuttal letter. Any advice will be helpful!

plumnut 4 years ago

I am also saddened to read all the negative experiences people have had with HR professionals. As an Employee Relations consultant who is responsible for receiving and handling complaints, I can tell you that not ALL of us are uncaring and protect the company. If my director told me I had to conduct myself in that way I would quit! I'm viewed as very "pro-employee" in my organization and have built many trusting relationships with employees in my organization. But I am fair enough to also have respect from supervisors. And by the way, when someone is sharing a stressful concern with me, I do not smile because it seems insensitive to do so. We take immediate and meaningful action as soon as we learn that an employee is being harassed, including moving the employee to a different location when possible and having the employee report to a different person. (We are large enough to have those options, fortunately.)Bullying is difficult to deal with since it often involves just people being "mean" to each other without relating to any of the federally protected classes. Unless your organization has a specific anti-bullying policy (which I hope will be the trend in the near future) your HR rep might not have a defined process to follow and might not know what to tell you. There is a great website for people who are being bullied - Check it out. When I hear about a bullying situation I try to give the bullied person resources to manage the bully in a respectful and positive way, so as not to escalate the situation. If I hear mutliple complaints about a bully I do some fact-finding and submit a report to a high-level official. My organization takes this very seriously. For the gentleman above, Richard, if you are 71 you certainly are protected against age discrimination if your employer has more than 15 employees. If they have made any derogatory comments to you that relate to your age you should document them and consider filing a complaint with the EEOC if you do not trust your HR office to handle your complaint appropriately. Good luck and hang in there!

malissa 4 years ago

i endured 2 years of hell at my job and now i no longer have the job. i need to get some type of advice for what they did to me, because i was fired in retaliation because i spoke up for myself.

Zalmay 4 years ago


i am an HR

in this case you should have informed your line manager and top management of your organization.

La Renard 4 years ago

I'd recommend contacting your union they should be well versed in employment law and should be able to assist you in dealing with this, not alone.

Antares1 4 years ago

This article is dead on. Do not trust H.R. assistance for harassment and especially if you are experiencing a hostile work environment. This very article has been my story 3 times. Its funny what time does to you. With my story time forgave and then you forget,( but your file remains dont forget) and then the need for H.R. comes around again and you think, ok, I have got it under control this time, because now your H.R. experienced and you wont let anything happen like the last visit. You prepare, get all your docs in order, and wham, another write up. Talk to a labor attorney and in the mean time, Document Document Document everything. Day, time,send emails carefully (best document proof ever) With my boss, I have been harassed, bullied, lied to, manipulated, deceived, threatened, and the list goes on and on.My job pays so well and I cant afford to give it up. Another write up and I am gone. I will never go to H.R. again no matter how bad. So now I spend hours researching and keeping up to date with the law as best as I can with what is available to me. I am so glad I found this site and the undercover lawyer. Any information is gold in today's time.

To HR Professional --- 'witnesses available to help your case"?? are you serious? no one is going to help you when your job is on the line. Would you testify to a horrible misdoing if it meant loosing your job? house? car? unable to feed your family? I think not. There is no bonus for this. hello?

Virtuoso 4 years ago

First of all HR takes care of these kinds of issue with sensivity, if your boss is harrasing you and HR assistant is doing nothing, in this case you should have a kind of proof while your boss is harrasing you such ( record his speech or something like this) and still if it was not possible write to HR and CC Top management or directly top management should be contacted

sometimes HR is helpless, because HR doesn't have the authoridy to take action too.... so better is labor low of your country and complete knowledge of it is required

Virtuoso 4 years ago


can you please, share your email id.

KittyBooCat profile image

KittyBooCat 4 years ago from Mid-Atlantic

I'm really surprised by many of the comments here. This article was dead-on in my situation, which is why I've consulted with a lawyer. HR did nothing to help me in everything I went through, and many others are still going through. There reaches a point where you can't just "suck it up," like Jackblack seems to think is possible. I'm very thick skinned, but the two women in our situation have hurt numerous people, and HR does nothing about any of the complaints they've received.

I need to take this further, but I'm not sure of the best next steps, and would love some advice here. I have lots of documentation, and have been told I should have a good case, I just don't know the best route to take next. Advice would be welcome.

Busymum of 2boys 4 years ago

I read through your post and cringe!!

I am a HR Manager in a large company, not univeristy trained spent a long time being a Manager and I have really found it extremely hard to take the Employee outta the girl. I listen to all the staffs issues when they come and see me, I try and put things right where I am able. I have realised that his role is very frustrating as you get the view from CEO, Owners that you have to dupe, sneak, backstab, and undermine people to do your job and this goes completely against my ethos. Perhaps why I won't last long in this sort of job.... I care too much. Like I said can't take the employee outta the girl.

gyanibaba 4 years ago

Hi Undercover Lawyer,

This was a very nice and educational forum.

I have an issue raised with the HR of my company and after reading all the comments here I am not sure if I have done the right thing by going to the HR.

My story goes like this, I am employed in a company with a designation "XYZ" at a particular band level say 1.2 and now the company is taken over by another company and there was a title change done for everyone and my new designation is "ABC" but the band level is now decreased to 1.1. When I took this matter up the HR team says that I was always at band 1.1 and not 1.2. But I have a document that proves that my band was 1.1. If someone can guide me how take this further it will be of great help.

Thank you.

beentheredonethat 4 years ago

I agree with so many of the posters here. I had a very similar situation with a Supervisor about 2 years ago. HR acted sympathetic towards me, but did nothing about the Supervisor in question. The Supervisor created a very hostile work environment for me and when I mentioned to the HR Superintendent (in confidence) that I felt like quitting because of it. She must have been chomping at the bit for a way to get rid of me because she actually emailed me a job posting from an industry similar to mine! At the time I thought she was being nice, but now I realize she was trying to get me out to avoid legal action on my part.

abusedemployee 4 years ago

What can I do if the HR department and all the upper management are in it together? The problems include unequal treatment of employees, harassment, verbal abuse, bullying, the list goes on. It isn't only myself being treated poorly, either. My coworker and I have both gone to HR to try to resolve these issues, it only made things worse. They've turned it all around on us and made things more difficult. We have no support from any of the management staff. Please help.

yellowninja 4 years ago

Hello Undercover Lawyer,

I need your assistance with a battle I am fighting with my previous employer over discrimination and then retaliation. How can I contact you on a more personal basis?

ressan 4 years ago

That was a great blog and should be assigned reading for every employee.

But Damn! Damn! Damn! I wish I had read this before.

Oh man, this is right on the spot. My experience was even worse. Without going through long details, short of it was that after contacting HR about my Manager's LIES and deliberate undermining my work; a meeting was arranged between an HR Rep, my manager and myself.

Before the meetings I wrote down my thoughts and key points, and documented evidence that what my boss had written about me were wrong and lies. Thinking that, after this meeting my Manager will think twice before...

At any rate, in the meetin HR person pulled out a some papers, and set the agenda. What was that agenda? That agenda was list of things that I had to do/change to meet the required job standard.

She (HR person) did not even pretend to be mediating or addressing my concern. In fact I was not to discuss or dispute any thing about my boss's behavior and write ups. Instead I was put on a program to improve my job performance and was to be reviewed by HR and my Manager every 30 days. I was stunned.

Needles to say I started to look for another job and found one soon after.

Sweetest part was that I found and accepted the new job offer juts a few days before I had to have my 30 day review with HR and my Manager. Went to the meeting and told the HR lady that this time I will set the agenda, and the agenda is whether or not what my manager wrote were false accusations and is he willing to back them up.

She started to ...but I cut her off and told her, we can settle it here, or I can get a lawyer! She threatened that it would cost me my job, and I told her, so be it.

Boy did her demeanor change! Which made me dislike them even more.

Moral of the story, DO NOT TRUST THE HR! Don't buy into company BS about getting help from HR or other such outfits.

Vegas Elias profile image

Vegas Elias 4 years ago from Mumbai

A very realistic situation. Very true, employees must realize that H.R. is being paid by the management and should be expected to favor them instead of favoring disgruntled employees.

jimmylesaint profile image

jimmylesaint 4 years ago from Metropolis of Life

HR are there to help you with anything outside of work, an injury, a bereavement or with inanimate objects such as the ergonomics of your chair etc. When you start complaining about your colleagues, especially SENIOR colleagues then beware--make sure you have evidence whether it is a diary of events, other colleagues statements or even, my favourite;) camera and mic.

Senora Melva 4 years ago

Excellent and so true! Unions also work hand-in-hand with the company so there is no remedy to a worker's situation unless s/he quits.

Temogrealge 3 years ago

I know this if off topic but I'm looking into starting my own weblog and was wondering what all is needed to get setup? I'm assuming having a blog like yours would cost a pretty penny? I'm not very web smart so I'm not 100% sure. Any tips or advice would be greatly appreciated. Appreciate it make your pc run like new

blek 3 years ago

I have lived this situation already few times in my career. The last time I brought a lawyer into the room to my employer and HR dogs great surprise.

Unfortunately for them, I was one of the highest performers in the company. They had nothing to bully me with. They simply backed off, and paid the fees of my lawyer.

I knew they wanted revenge and they saved not idea to make my life a nightmare at work. Harassment, bullying, using my own colleagues to try to isolate me and put me down with the help of HR and payroll ! Yes, they tried to cheat on my salaries but again my lawyer came in and they backed off.

HR, besides belonging to the most incompetent workers in the corporate world are not representing employees, they serve their master.

Never, ever trust a recruiter or an HR rep...

Johne19 2 years ago

I was just seeking this info for some time. After six hours of continuous Googleing, at last I got it in your web site. I wonder what is the lack of Google strategy that don't rank this kind of informative websites in top of the list. Generally the top sites are full of garbage. ekbgeedddeae

Aleathia 2 years ago

I like the statement in the video, "Please don't speak to me that way. I'm professional and cordial to you and I expect the same in return." That would have saved me being transferred due to my become negative due to the "Golden Girl and her cronie's tactics in the workplace. Guess I got played. Anyway, that is a great statement to use when someone attempts to undermine and belittle you.

Jordyn 2 years ago

On October 4th, a coworker threatened my life. I immediately filed a report with HR the following Monday (the incident occurred on a Saturday) and this is the sad conclusion, after being reassured, smiled at, told their investigation was going very well and thoroughly, etc.:

After a year at S*****s, my duties have come to a close. HR called in and I was called into the office with my GM present to talk to the HR rep. What happened next can only be described as an ambush. They undermined everything I had ever said anywhere. It was a beautifully orchestrated, thought out character assassination. That lady deserves a raise. Truly going above and beyond in terms of protecting S*****s' interests. She stopped just short of directly calling me a liar, carefully wording everything to as to avoid slander while making me feel like I was the person in the wrong. I confronted her with this character assassination and she replied, "What is it that I'm saying that is untrue? I'm only speaking facts." Which was true. She let me come to the conclusions about what she was saying on her own. Bravo. Well done. You win. I quit.

Also, something I feared would happen, my manager altered his statement after I submitted mine (I submitted mine during the weekend, when the report was to be filed with HR on Monday, which in retrospect was a dumb move) to make me look as if I was presenting the situation in some other light. In his statement that I saw before I submitted mine, he said he saw the other employee become visibly upset and then he pulled him aside. The HR rep said he said that the employee became "visibly confused," and then used that detail to undermine my entire statement. Again, bravo, ladies and gents. You really did your jobs well. Long live capitalism.

Dressage Husband profile image

Dressage Husband 17 months ago from Pine Grove, Nova Scotia, Canada

Staples allows its managers to use zero tolerance procedures and staff can not find out who filed the complaint. I was fired by them in Bridgewater Nova Scotia for touching staff. I was not allowed to know who filed the complaints and so could not defend myself.

The local lawyer confirmed that this type of incident is common place. The truth is as an IT graduate I was better qualified to be the stores technology supervisor than the guy who was given the job. It turns out that the store Manager was sleeping with the person she gave the job to.

The brother of that person also worked for the store in the same department. Both of these things were sack able offenses by the Manager. We found out later about this when the technology supervisor was boasting to my wife and I about his affair.

You are right HT will not help you in these cases. Staples did fire the Manager however on the same day! as they fired me. It turns out one of the female employees complained about the Manager to HR using an anonymous reporting the company has. In this case she got what she deserved.

HR did reveal to me that I had been reported by both sexes. The Manager and boyfriend spring to my mind. The reason? If she were fired I was likely to be in line to manage the store. If this happened I would get access to all of her files and the true picture of all her misdeeds including why she appointed him and not me to the supervisors job. I applied for and had been given the job of third key (effectively being third in line after the Manager and her deputy).

I have a hub on work place bullying too so I wish you well in the work you are doing. Thank God there are people like you trying to correct these issues. 16 months ago

I was recently "let go", for reasons that they say i violated the attendance policy. If that was the case, i would have been let go a lot sooner. My fear at my job was i knew my cell lead and some senior employees were jealous because i sprang quikly from their hold and started to train in another area. Therefore, a week and a half after my successful review supervisor(who just left to a different position), I was let go. Wish i had known how to protect myself.

Lynn 11 months ago

Boy this is my story. Going back and forth about HR.... Quitting, waiting. I will file a grievance to the EEOC. I was advised by a lawyer to do this. But where are the lawyers that can help? Your article is perfect.

Gene Green 5 months ago

Hey Undercover lawyer, I like the article. I've been in a situation before like many describe here where good old boys club was mandatory for our department which was very detailed work.

But the thing that was scary about it was that we had to work as a team and if the rest of the people there wanted to turn their back on you just because they didn't like you, they could and no one would hold them accountable. This had happened to someone that I worked with when the work wasn't coming together correctly. A person that my coworker had to rely on for the work to be finished, would fire back saying that the work wasn't right and would make himself unavailable after each issue was corrected. After my coworker left the company that person turned their habits to me. I would get blamed for the other person stalling the process even when there was clear documentation that they were preventing the work from getting out. My boss would do nothing and even blame me for not confronting the guy. I wasn't management, so it wasn't up to me to get the guy to do his job. I hear someone say once, that if you get mad at work, it's no one else's fault you're mad but yourself. Doesn't matter if the person you're mad at is always late, or you don't like something else about them,

Kitty 5 months ago

So what is the solution? I've been going though this with my HR for the past 2 years nothing has changed my work environment is still the same hostile! I've saved emails and documents I case the fired me I will have proof the file a lawsuit but I'm doubt they will fire me cause they know I will sue. I'm thinking about taking a stress leave since I'm not having panick attacks and the doctor put me on anti anxiety meds - please let me know what advice you can give me

whatisgoingon 5 months ago

Hi Kitty,

Before, i starting my story. People with mental illness, they get security guards and try to put you a crazy person situation and let you go that way. and let you go and claim you did something serious.

I have the same situation. My manager put so many rules specifically for me. I reported my disability along with complaining about my manager. Next day i went work and I did not see any replies. I was surprised. And couple seconds, the page was blocked. It was saying no access, it was huge red circle and saying i was blocked. I asked other employees of my company, they had no issue. Working at client site as an employee of a contractor company.

I knew the manager would walk soon to fire me. I went to the other building. I wrote couple lines saying i was blocked from the page and when i sent out emails from my personal email, i got blocked message back. The fax is the same story.

There was a guy standing by and i asked his help and he scanned my note and sent to my manager, who would fire me through the client. The client is department of something. I went back to my desk couple minutes i was shaking, then tried again and i was unblocked. and the manager who turned to Zombie walked by she was super nice and talking affectionately to a crazy person, me. because of my mental illness. She did not get to fire me because of gov agency.

The other manager came and talked to me and he was nice. I told him i did not pure complain about my manager. I explained him my disease and i told him i was not comfortable to telling that to the other manager. i told him all i needed, was little flexibility.

He started to say maybe i did not have the skills on my resume maybe they need to check. He said maybe department of ... is not a place to work for me.

i came home and took medical leave. My friend told me took as much medical leave as possible because they would fire me. I did not listen.

That happened to me. They made people go to a meeting but made me come early. There was a taxi waiting and they told me i should go home because i did not look ok, which is bullshit. When i stepped into the office I saw the security guys. I wanted to my dr because i was scared. They asked my keycard and employee id.

I escaped to the other building. My manager was yelling catch her, catch her. anyway, they took my id and keycard, but department of whatever guy heard my voice and came. The security guy started to yell, "ma'm do not touch me." I was not touching him. Anyway someone came and i explained him that after i mentioned about sick leave , they were firing me. but i was scared of what they did. I gave my key and id and left security guys behind and took that taxi home.

Next day, they contacted me and said they will give me sick leave. A day after, i got a letter saying i had 2 days to apply for short term disability and my employment was ending by the end of the week which is end of the pay period. I called short term disability benefit they say, the HR will contact them and they will get paper filled out from my side. I do not know what they can do not give me the short term disability.

Their reason to fire me is i did not perform well on the job and i showed up before i was healthy enough.

Needing Help 5 months ago

The scary thing about all of this is when you work in HR. I work in HR with a genuine desire to help people. I thought I was coming on to a good organization. I wasn't even LOOKING for a job, but they aggressively recruited me and made me an offer I couldn't refuse. My prior employer tried to get me to stay, even offering a salary increase and a stay bonus.

I was stupid. My new boss has been awful to work for. She's unresponsive, I haven't been able to get ANY direction on areas she wanted me to do work in where I had no prior experience. Goals are supposed to be set within the first month. My termination date is next month and I will have been here 8 months with no goals.

Her reason for my termination is attendance (I had a family emergency combined with illness that had me out a week in Feb, a house fire in early April that left me homeless for a night until the insurance could put me in a hotel, and 3 days after that, the grandmother that raised me died - it's now mid-May). She also cited that our communication styles don't work and I am not meeting her expectations. It's hard to meet expectations when I don't have any set for me and I can't get responses or direction.

There were several other instances where things were just bad. During a breakout, she asked plainly, "What's wrong with your face?" Another incident involved her deciding to have a conversation with me after hours that turned to racial issues and she told me that white people don't understand the struggle of being black in America. I'm white and she's black, which I was never concerned about, but talk about inappropriate??

During all of my struggles, I told my boss about my Major Depressive Disorder and Generalized Anxiety Disorder, for which I've been hospitalized in the past. My reasoning was to take a day to seek help because I told her I was on the verge of ending up back in the hospital.

I've been given 30 days to focus on a job search and documenting my procedures and I'm not sure what to do. I wrote a long letter to a Partner of the Firm explaining all of the things that have been going on and how I've been commended for my work and asked for severance and to not owe for vacation - I don't even want my job. They can have that. I also pointed out that the Major Depressive Disorder and Generalized Anxiety Disorder are now covered by the ADA, which I doubt she knows because she doesn't stay up to date on changes.

What else can I do??

Debra 3 months ago

Mine is a little bit different in that it was a supervisor offer a training class. I'm a new hire. I went to her asking to be put in another class because the Dynamics in the classroom had gotten so out of hand I couldn't concentrate and couldn't learn. She insisted on knowing who's the names of the people were. I didn't want to tell her cause I knew that would not end well. She pushed it so reluctantly I gave her the names. She then said she was going to call each of them into her office and talk to them about it. I asked her not to more than once. She ignored me and it definitely went from bad to worse to the point that they said it was offensive for me to test my blood sugar which I don't even do every day. And also make me not asking me questions after I have to leave the room but yet they're asking that I get a room reserved so that I can test my blood sugar so basically if I have her have to test I have to leave the room and cannot get myself caught up when I return. It's total retaliation and it could have been avoided. So it makes me wonder if she did it on purpose and ignored me knowing that would happen so that it would be so distasteful that I would resign on my own. It really ruined my entire weekend and that was another thing she said she had to see me in front of the class and with the people she pulled in she sent him an email. And a few other things but I think the point has been made you just buy that one event and there's been more than one in our interactions. If she does just enough things right or seemingly nice that it's mixed up enough that I can't call her on it with her manager and HR.

mckenzie 2 months ago


punkman71 2 months ago

I am on the flip side of this and I hope HR does the right thing. I have been wrongfully accused of harassment/bullying. The guy who turned me in has made comments in the past about how I'm "fire-proof" and how he would like to see me fired. I am not in management, but am a grunt just like him. I don't understand why he is doing this. I hope that HR makes the right determination. I have21 years of service and have never been in trouble before. I am so stressed about this. With my level of education and in my work field, I couldn't find another job that even comes close to what this job pays. I understand the need for policies against workplace harassment, but I fear for my livelihood.

John Wilsdon 2 months ago

Here is the classic problem with the Naziesque HR department. Anybody who claims discrimination is believed. We are a nation of whiners. Complaints mirror a bell-shaped curve. We are at the far right of the curve. When enough are hurt without merit, the whiners will be vacated. Sorry, but it is just a matter of time. Hang on unfortunate soul.

john000 profile image

john000 2 months ago from Superior, Arizona

Be of good cheer. It is hard for the world not to notice what you are trying to express. Working people are trying to get your experience in the public domain. I do understand from personal tragedy.

john000 profile image

john000 2 months ago from Superior, Arizona

My second try at a comment.

Jim 2 months ago

Same happened to me

2 months ago

Yep. Don't trust HR. Thank you for this article.

Kelly 2 months ago

I am in need of help. I am an HR department of one for a small company. I recently learned a team member has inappropriate feelings for me that he has expressed to multiple members of the company. He asked one team member if she would "do me" and went on to accuse her of being in a sexual relationship with me. Even though I am happily married he has reportedly asked several team members what his chances (relationship) are with me. I have never given any indication that I am remotely interested in him. In addition, he reportedly knew where I used to live and would drive past my house to see if I was home/out. He disclosed this fact to other team members. After learning of these facts, I took the information to the owner, told him I am uncomfortable and because I am personally involved I cannot be part of any investigation and asked that he follow up with the team members that have heard these comments or are aware of the actions. He spoke to one person (the women that was asked if she would "do me") and then did no additional follow up other employees. He passed it off to the director of operations. The director of operations did not interview any team members. He decided to offer a last chance agreement to the employee in question. The employee asked who made the allegations (which was not disclosed) and then refused to sign the agreement. He still works there and the director of operations is actually wanting to promote him. I feel as though the company now looks at me as a troublemaker for bringing this to their attention. In addition, the co-worker that brought all of this to my attention is extremely nervous to come to work and has to interact with this worker on a regular basis. We are both concerned for our safety and extremely disappointed in the lack of response from ownership. I have no idea what to do next. Any advice is appreciated. Thank you.

jason 2 months ago

the HR director just told me the verbal abuse i received from a supervisor was obviously made up and did not happen after letting my talk about it for 5 minutes

Jenna 7 weeks ago

I filed a sexual harassment and the dept sexual discrimination, its been almost a month and still no decision has been made and the president has gone on vacation to Italy for 2 week and says he will deal with it when he gets back. The boss is still working and is bully us and can't focus worse yet it affecting my health. what do I do? I have a seizure disorder.

Kathy 6 weeks ago

I was forced to quit my ODSP job after 12 years of employment at a multicultural workplace. I tried to say no to a job that I was pushed to take on. I didn't want to take the job because she already had an assistant, I didn't think it was fair to offer me the work, when this person already had help. Instead of realizing this, I was offered paid work and stupidly took the assignment. It was easy enough, entering surveys on line, when it came time to be paid, she didn't want to pay me. She screamed at me the day before christmas eve for asking a question. I was a disabled employee, who was told the other department would be paying me, so went to the other department for that. I should of realized this wasn't true. I really believed in this organization and after this, lost faith in them altogether. I was badly treated after being paid and other people that were her partners there began to intimidate me when I was at work. When I spoke to human resources, she said that the person I did the assignment for 'wouldn't do that to me' after she watched it happen. I was in shock. Shortly after human resources told me that 'things wouldn't be the same for me anymore' and the executive director called me back and discouraged me from coming back to work. This after 12 years of employment, I was fired for asking to be paid for the paid work I was promised, in a workplace where 'everyone matters'. Still shocked by this and it had been some time since I left. I was able to write to the minister of labour and he visited this workplace. They don't follow their own policies, and tend to operate on the principle of giving permanent staff privileges.

hil1121 6 weeks ago

So I am struggling with this same thing and I am finding out that I am not the only person that this has happened to. What can I do to make this stop. Is there anything I can do the beat them at this game. I want to be the one that stands up to the bully.

pb 4 weeks ago

There are people on the flip side of this too who are falsly accused. Yes - there are some bad HR departments, but there are also some crap employees.

Ana 3 weeks ago

Oh my God!!!!it is so true!!!this just happened to me...I reached out to H.R. thinking they were there for me..the employee!!!but they turned everything around and fired me for letting them know my concerns..

Martha Widra profile image

Martha Widra 3 weeks ago

This happened to my son, who works at the same place that I do, but in a different department. His boss is known to be a bully, and his rants to employees are even audible in the hallway outside the shop. The HR person was sweet and smiling, but he walked out of the joint meeting thinking he was going to be fired at any moment. Sending him a link to this article helped him understand what happened and feel better about himself. Keep posting advice for people who have toxic bosses.

Jan 3 weeks ago

I really regret contacting H.R. now. I wish I never did. I was bullied by my boss and they did nothing but try to throw me under the bus with lies that boss has invented along the way. Trust me H.R. doesn't care about their employees.

Sarah 2 weeks ago

HELP!!!!! I have a lawsuit against a billion dollar global company because of my direct boss, head of Global HR. May we talk a bit more in detail?

The link is to case in Riverside, CA. My email is

Thank you in advance.

nat 12 days ago

this thing happened to me yesterday. last month i had to report 2 guys from my team who treated me like i don't know a thing. i have acquired a masters degree in technology. after reporting this to my hr and my other superiors, they put me with those guys in the same team.later, i wanted a few days off because my grandmother expired but they made me to join back earlier. after this the company threw a party, eating at the party made me sick. and it took me around 3 weeks to recover. after this the same thing happened to me which you people have described here. now no one want to work with me .i am just a trainee who joined this company 4 months ago. after joining this company they made me to relocate myself nearer to the office. as a consequence i got sick because of the water supplied in that area and wanted leaves. now i have come back to my place and travel for 5 hrs a day (to & fro). i have discussed this situation with the superiors, they still keep asking me to relocate myself. now i want to leave it but they made me sign a bond at the time of joining that if i leave before the said term i will have to pay about 2 years of my salary but if they terminate me they won't be paying me back. i don't have the bond's copy, also they didn't submit my original documents. can u suggest me something... i have got totally numb.

nat 11 days ago

please suggest me something..... now they have assigned me the segregation job in which i have to segregate the specific files and paste them in one folder....please tell me if there is any loophole asap!!!

IssueAtWork 10 days ago

If HR dosen't back people up, who would I go to? I just started a new job. I've only been working there 2 days, with today being my second day.

Today my boss instructed me that she has two "pet peeves". One of the pet peeves, she said, is "To go over my head to corporate for any complaints" and to "Keep that in mind". This is only my second day and I feel threatened. should I be worried? she's also not giving us our breaks, and I had one other employee tell me that we don't get breaks there. I work at a gas station. What is your advice?

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