#MeToo Exposed HR’s Greatest Success, Protocols to Defend Against Lawsuits

By on July 17, 2019

July 17, 2019

An essay in Atlantic takes corporate human resources department’s to task in respect to protecting employees in general, and protecting female employees from sexual harassment in particular. The author observes that ever since Anita Hill testified at Clarence Thomas’s confirmation hearings 30 years ago, HR has been almost universally accepted as the go-to mechanism to prevent, police and investigate sexual harassment, but the fact that the #MeToo movement kept turning up so many shocking stories at so many respected places of employment reflected a massive HR failure – or did it reflect success at HR’s main function, creating protocols of “compliance” to defend a company against lawsuits? By that criterion, it has been a smashing success. How do we know? asks the author. Because employers are so devoted to it; the first thing many an executive will do when a company is under scrutiny for sexual harassment is heap praise on its crackerjack HR team, and describe the accused men as outliers. The problems are traced to the origins of HR, once known as “personnel,” a place where volumes of paperwork were being shifted from inbox to outbox, and where employees could be just as bloodlessly reshuffled from “in” to “out.” Now employees like to think that the “resources” on offer are the benefits that flow to them, but in the term’s 19th-century origins, it is the workers themselves who are the resources, one more asset—along with equipment, factories, and capital—at the company’s disposal. Even Harvey Weinstein’s company had an HR department.

Read the full article at:

The Atlantic

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