I work for a small company that is part of a closely-related group of small companies that are owned by the same handful of people. Between these 3-4 companies, there are maybe a total of 20-30 people. We all work in the same building (although that wasn't always the case), and most within the same suite of that building.
I am one of about 5 employees who recently moved from a different office to this primary one, and there is some behavior here that I find to be at least unprofessional, and potentially grounds for legal action. There is specifically one person who is the worst offender, but when that person starts acting in this manner, others (including superiors) may chime in and condone, if not support, the comments and behavior.
As a small company, we have no real Human Resources department, or even a single HR employee. We have a part-time accountant that handles payroll, benefits, and things like that, but this person's role is not handling workplace issues such as this.
Because I feel that some of these offensive attitudes and culture make their way up into management (although admittedly at a smaller level than with the one primary offender), I am not necessarily comfortable expressing my feelings with them, for fear of it reflecting negatively on me.
Am I right to be somewhat bothered by the fact that a company of 20-30 people (despite the multiple company names) does not have a Human Resources employee who's job it would be to handle situations like this? Or is that really just part of working somewhere with fewer than, say, 100 employees? When does it go from being an optional, nice-to-have position to an absolute necessity? (obviously I know there isn't some hard-and-fast rule or specific number).
I've worked for this company for a few years now, generally enjoy it and get along well with most of my co-workers, but this recent experience in the new office has kind of soured me on the whole situation. I am not looking for answers that suggest that I leave because management seems to accept this behavior. I, myself, am/was not so offended that I feel the need to leave. However, I certainly see how someone else could be, and it sparked my curiosity as to the acceptability of not having anyone in a Human Resources role.