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My daughter works in Georgia, USA at a small company and is having some problems with the only HR person at her workplace.

Apparently, this is how things have went down:

  1. daughter applied for a job
  2. HR person social media checked daughter and discovered she was dating the HR person's ex-boyfriend
  3. HR person goes around blocked phone numbers to contact ex-boyfriend to see if he would have a problem with interviewing/hiring daughter
  4. Daughter interviews and takes the job (I was unaware of 2 and 3 or I would have advised against taking job)

The HR person is not her boss, but still has authority over her. So, she's only been on the job now for a few weeks and has already had multiple write ups which lacked factual validity; this is not her first job and she's never had problems like this in past jobs. She's getting written up for things that were never told her and others are not doing these things without getting written up. She's also been called to come in just to be told that HR would like her to work the next day (obviously something that could be a phone call). Additionally, the HR person is making up lies about her unfriendliness per coworkers; she's on friendly enough terms and have talked to coworkers and they are shocked about this accusation.

She's getting very stressed out about this situation and it is starting to affect her relationship with her boyfriend.

The fact the HR person was blocked from ex-boyfriend, and then went around the block to contact him, and now is giving his girlfriend (my daughter) a hard time tells me that the HR person is being spiteful and trying to hurt my daughter and her boyfriend. My advise has been to document everything and talk to her boss (company owner) as I feel the HR person is targeting her.

Is this good advice and what other advice could I give?

Edit 20181004: Update, she ended up talking to her boss who did believe her and talked to the HR person on better coaching/staff practices. It was better for a few days, but went back to the way it was. She ended up leaving shortly there after to work someplace else.

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    Practical advice : urgently look for another job. – PM 77-1 Aug 29 '18 at 11:26
  • @JoeStrazzere she informed me after she took the job. And she’s thinking about taking another job already because of this problem – UnhandledExcepSean Aug 29 '18 at 11:26
  • Could we get the daughter's POV instead of the parent's? – shoover Aug 29 '18 at 16:50
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    @shoover I fail to see how that affects the question and the possible responses. – UnhandledExcepSean Aug 29 '18 at 17:00
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    I'm requesting because both the site tour and the help on asking describe a good question as one that is about a situation that you face (emphasis added). No matter how close you are to your daughter, it's still she who is facing the problem, she who can best articulate it, and she who has to interact with the other people in her workplace. – shoover Aug 29 '18 at 17:30
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My advise has been to document everything and talk to her boss (company owner) as I feel the HR person is targeting her.

In this situation I doubt it will change a thing. She is going to start a she said she said thing that will most likely only result in more harassment. Even if this incident is resolved, most likely the HR person won't be fired and they will still have an axe to grind.

Is this good advice and what other advice could I give?

The owner of the company is not likely to take the word of a new employee over the HR person who has been there for awhile. Sadly her best bet is to move on as soon as she finds another job. I would also suggest serving the notice period too.

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    She should NOT have to put up with this BS. Get a lawyer, then speak to the owner, then start recording EVERYTHING. Every conversation both written and verbal gets captured. Then let the Lawyer do his/her thing. That said, she is done with this job, so she needs to start looking. – Bill Leeper Aug 29 '18 at 13:55
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    @BillLeeper I agree with you but is the end result worth it? Even if she were to win the suite then what? In a perfect world justice would prevail. GA is a right to work state and she can just be let go at any time for any reason. Her best bet like it or not is to cut bait and bail. – Mister Positive Aug 29 '18 at 14:02
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    @MisterPositive isn't that the rub, the offender in this case gets to keep her job and 'win'. So I guess it depends the individuals sense of social justice. For too long employees have just taken this crap, including the whole 'right for your boss to screw you' aka. 'right to work' laws. – Bill Leeper Aug 29 '18 at 14:06
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    @BillLeeper it is the rub, and it happens more than it should. – Mister Positive Aug 29 '18 at 14:22
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Harassment is harassment, no matter who is doing it to whom.

Your daughter can fight her way through it with the right evidence and testimonials, but I'm afraid the work environment will suffer. It takes always two to fight, so her reputation might suffer just as much as that of the HR person.

If she's already stressed after a few weeks, she might not have it in her to win this fight, keep her job and be happy with it. The harassment will most likely not end as long as both of them work for the same company, only be tuned down to levels that no longer warrant official complains.

In the end, it comes down to "either you or me, but there is not enough space for both of us", so I suggest she start looking for another job now. She should not accept unwarranted complains, lies and write ups, as these might influence her boss and consequently her recommendations and background checks.

  • I don't see what this adds over the answer already provided... – Mister Positive Aug 29 '18 at 12:27
  • @MisterPositive it offers a second course of action (actually fight instead of giving up) and examines the possible outcome of it – Elmy Aug 29 '18 at 12:34
  • I don't get why the HR person hired her in the first place. – Bill Leeper Aug 29 '18 at 13:56
  • @BillLeeper Odds are the manager she works for made the decision, and HR just "does the paperwork". HR likely didn't check with her ex-boyfriend with company approval, and is likely not acting within company guidelines in the current harassment. – Edwin Buck Aug 29 '18 at 15:22
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Since the usual place to go to (HR) isn't available, I think she should go to someone in the company who is senior enough to talk to HR. Could be the boss, could be some long time employee in a trusted position. Many people would be very unhappy with the HR person's behaviour and would be willing to act.

What would that person say to her? If it was me, I would ask the person quite hypothetically what would be her professional opinion what should be done if a person in HR harasses an employee who is dating the HR person's ex-boyfriend. As a HR person the only thing she can say that such a person would have to be stopped from harassing others. And then I could say that if it happened in this company, quite hypothetically, and there was evidence about it, there would be trouble.

Most people in most companies don't like harassment at all. Harassment performed by HR is totally unacceptable, so with the right help there's a good chance your daughter will succeed. Someone in HR can be fired like everyone else, and in a situation like this it can happen quite easily.

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