Have a general question about employment law? Want to share a story? I welcome all comments and questions. I can't give legal advice here about specific situations but will be glad to discuss general issues and try to point you in the right direction. If you need legal advice, contact an employment lawyer in your state. Remember, anything you post here will be seen publicly, and I will comment publicly on it. It will not be confidential. Govern yourself accordingly. If you want to communicate with me confidentially as Donna Ballman, Florida lawyer rather than as Donna Ballman, blogger, my firm's website is here.

Monday, May 5, 2014

Who Do I Complain To About Discrimination If I'm HR?

An AOL Jobs reader asked me:
I am a minority female HR professional who has been working in the field for 18 years. I have faced race based discrimination, and sexual harassment continuously during my career. I'm often hired into a management role based on my degree, experience and my SHRM certifications, only to be hidden and given no real responsibilities. Over the years I have learned to identify quickly organizations that offer "Token" positions hoping to fill a quota. These orgs provide no training, support or valid work responsibilities in order to build a case of poor performance.

Unfortunately because I report to HR, following protocol on any harassment claim is nearly impossible. HR staff is notorious for creating the same hostile environments they are hired to protect. HR professionals rarely file complaints for fear of black listing tactics and back door references provided to other HR professionals.

As an employment lawyer have you seen any HR to HR complaints, and do you have any suggestions in regard to HR professionals protecting themselves against the crimes of their peers?

You'd be surprised how many times I have HR people come to me with employment law issues. I have to say, I love representing HR people because you know where the bodies are buried. Employers that don't treat HR professionals like gold are asking for trouble.

So, where does the HR representative go when they're the victim of illegal harassment? For the steps I'd recommend taking, read my column at AOL Jobs.


  1. You can ward off an opposing attorney’s attempts to discredit you. But first you must know the weak points your employee’s lawyer will seek to exploit regarding your working ability.
    Rick Terrana


I appreciate your comments and general questions but this isn't the place to ask confidential legal questions. If you need an employee-side employment lawyer, try http://exchange.nela.org/findalawyer to locate one in your state.