How JustAnswer Works:
  • Ask an Expert
    Experts are full of valuable knowledge and are ready to help with any question. Credentials confirmed by a Fortune 500 verification firm.
  • Get a Professional Answer
    Via email, text message, or notification as you wait on our site.
    Ask follow up questions if you need to.
  • 100% Satisfaction Guarantee
    Rate the answer you receive.
Ask Allen M., Esq. Your Own Question
Allen M., Esq.
Allen M., Esq., Employment Lawyer
Category: Employment Law
Satisfied Customers: 18846
Experience:  Employment/Labor Law Litigation
20011183
Type Your Employment Law Question Here...
Allen M., Esq. is online now
A new question is answered every 9 seconds

Chief Operations Officer has instructed all department managers

This answer was rated:

Chief Operations Officer has instructed all department managers and supervisors that they inform all of their employees that they cannot go to HR and all problems will be handled by chief operations officer and managers or supervisors of the respective departments. The Chief Executive Officers was not aware that this had been done.

Never encountered this nor have my fellow HR colleagues I've contacted. Can a manager or supervisor legally deny an employee the right to go to HR if they have a problem or question, especially if it is the manager or supervisor who is the problem?

Thank you,

Thank you for your question today, I look forward to assisting you. I bring nearly 20 years of legal experience in various disciplines.

They can, because HR is not created by any operation of law. What I mean by that is that there is no statute or regulation that required employers to create HR.

Many people mistakenly believe that HR works for the employees. That is not actually true. Nothing told to HR is confidential simply by nature of it having been told to HR. HR is actually in the business of protecting the employer, not the employees.

So, there is nothing inherently illegal about a manager telling people to go through them rather than HR for internal matters.

Now, there are laws that make certain types of discrimination illegal. So, if the issue is one of discrimination due to race, religion, gender, age, disability or FMLA use, then reporting this issue to HR over the head of the manager isn't going to be a problem. Punishing an employee for doing that would be a violation of the laws against retaliation for making those sorts of complaints. But the protection is limited to complaints of that nature. If the complaint doesn't fit into one of those categories, it's not a protected activity.

Allen M., Esq. and other Employment Law Specialists are ready to help you