HR Complaint Filed Against Me: Next Steps
Being the “person complained about” (PCA) at work is no laughing matter. This could have long-term repercussions for your career - your promotion opportunities, your reputation, and your means of living can be on the line. Nonetheless, there are always two sides to every story. So when you receive an earth-shattering call from HR, how do you respond and what can you do to present your case in the best light?
In this article, we’ll help you reclaim your professional image and provide pointers on how to address an HR complaint against you. We’ll also introduce a safer way to complain to HR with DoNotPay!
Reasons for Complaining to HR
As a PCA, you may not have the opportunity to see or read what the accuser wrote or said about you. Most employers will not reveal details of the HR complaint to you. HR professionals will conduct a workplace investigation to collect and get the necessary testimonies to properly handle a case. If someone filed a complaint against you at work, there is a probability that it was due to:
|Type of grievance||Sample situations|
|Discrimination or bullying||You may have treated someone differently or made offensive remarks about their age, gender, national origin, religion, or disability.|
|Sexual harassment||You may have made comments about someone’s gender or made unwarranted sexual advances towards a co-worker.|
|Pay and benefits grievances||If you are the company’s boss, one of your employees may have felt that they are earning less than someone who is doing a similar job.|
|Working conditions grievances||Your company may have unsanitary offices or lack first aid kits and/or fire extinguishers.|
|Workload grievances||If you are the manager, you may have increased an employee’s workload after firing other staff to reduce costs.|
What to Do if HR Is Investigating You
No matter the reason why someone filed an employee complaint against you, getting a call from an HR investigator can be scary. Whether you believe you are guilty or not, your employer is required by labor laws to conduct an investigation. Knowing what to expect and how to handle the complaint against you will be helpful. Here is a general guideline:
- Show up to the meeting with the investigating committee. Avoiding the meeting will only put you in a bad light and could be considered insubordination. If you need to cancel, you need to have a valid reason, reach out to the involved parties, and propose a different time.
- Listen closely to what you are being accused of. Pay attention to what is being said about you and make sure nothing is false.
- Get professional legal advice to salvage your reputation and help you plan your next steps.
- Offer proof and share your side of the story. Build your defending case by documenting events and gathering witness testimonies.
- If details of the complainant have been revealed to you, do not retaliate or get back at the employee in any manner.
- Conduct yourself in a professional and dignified manner at all times.
For Employers: How Do You Respond to a Complaint About the Company?
If you are the employer or the supervisor, the next stage of handling an employee incident report against you is addressing it. The HR complaint may end in an internal investigation and HR stepping in to resolve the issues. Other times, especially when something illegal has been committed, it may have to be escalated to a state or federal agency. Depending on the severity of the complaint and the details that were revealed (or not) to you, here are a few things you should remember when the time comes to respond to an HR report:
- Take action as soon as possible to avoid future issues. This includes changing company policies or ramping up their strict enforcement.
- If the complaint against the company or you were unfounded, advise the complainant on what to do next time if similar situations arise. Take this as an opportunity to teach.
- Once the issue has been resolved, don’t dwell on it any longer.
- Watch out for patterns. If the same complaint is being made or if the same person makes the complaint, there could be lingering issues that need to be addressed.
Whether you are the PCA or the complainant, you can’t always expect HR to be on your side. It becomes an even stickier situation if the PCA is an executive. In this case, the best way to file an employee complaint form is by staying anonymous. This is something that DoNotPay can help you with.
How To File an Anonymous HR Complaint With DoNotPay
DoNotPay is your trusty legal assistant in the form of an app. Our new product, Anonymous HR Complaints, lets you file a complaint against a co-worker or your boss without exposing your identity. This protects you from retaliation and prevents awkward situations at work. Filing is easy and only takes 3 steps:
1. Open the Anonymous HR Complaint product on DoNotPay.
2. Enter your employer’s name and your HR department’s mailing address.
3. Describe the issues you're experiencing and how you want them to be addressed.
DoNotPay will mail the report for you without including any of your personal information!
What Else Can DoNotPay Do?
We don’t stop at just HR complaints. In addition to employment issues, DoNotPay can also help with other day-to-day things such as:
- Catching robo callers
- Canceling any service or subscriptions
- Connecting with an inmate
- Avoiding college application fees
- Stopping email spam