As an employee there will be occasions where you will have to interact with the company’s Human Resource (“HR”) personnel. It is unavoidable. But if you have to deal with HR on matters that go beyond simple questions about your benefit plans or company policy regarding vacations and sick leave you should keep in mind the following few points:
- Provide only as much information as is necessary, particularly when you believe you may be the subject of an investigation or a claim of poor performance.
- Make sure you make a written record of the conversation. Email is best.
- If you are seeking information about how a particular plan works ask them to direct you to the specific provisions in the plan documents that support the company’s position.
- Do not expect HR personnel to keep what you are saying confidential even if you ask them to.
I make these points not to scare you away from dealing with HR but to make you aware of the potential pitfalls associated with such interaction.