The first word of caution is to remember that the human resources department works for the employer’s best interests, not the best interests of the employee. While the human resources department might tell you that it will take care of you, proceed with caution.
The primary purpose of any human resources department is to make sure that the employer does everything in accordance with the current state and federal laws and avoids litigation. That is all you can legally expect from your human resources department. In a courtroom or at a legal hearing, the human resources department will always side with the employer over you.
Despite that, the employee must report any instances of discrimination, harassment, or other illegal activity to the human resource department. It is important that these issues be reported in writing and that the employee keeps a copy that is dated when the incident was reported. This will protect the employee. In court cases it is not unusual for employers to swear that they knew nothing of the discrimination and had they known they would have fixed the problem. Many employees’ cases are lost because of their lack of documentation.