Peter Cassat in HR Magazine: HR Ethical Dilemmas

Culhane Meadows’ Washington, DC partner Peter Cassat was recently quoted in an article by HR Magazine about ethical dilemmas in the workplace.

Here are a few excerpts from the article:

Facing ethical or moral dilemmas can be par for the course for HR practitioners, who may also sometimes feel as though they’re squeezed between what their higher-ups want them to do and what the law requires.

When a business leader or supervisor makes a request that doesn’t sit well, Oswald recommends consulting the organization’s employee handbook.

If fulfilling the request would result in the violation of a policy in the handbook, the HR professional can point that out when sharing concerns with the person making the request.

Many organizations also have codes of conduct or codes of ethics, says Peter Cassat, a partner in the Washington, D.C., law office of Culhane Meadows PLLC. “When they are well done, they speak to what an employee should do” in difficult situations. 

Such codes also might contain an ethics hotline for employees who want to report potential ethics or conduct violations anonymously, Cassat says.

An HR professional who isn’t able to persuade a business leader to choose the right path may have a duty to alert the organization’s compliance officer or in-house counsel to the potentially unlawful behavior, Cassat says. 

He recalls a situation when a client’s chief people officer refused to grant her administrative assistant time off under the Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA) for a serious medical condition. Another HR team member reported the violation to Cassat, and he had a more senior officer approve the assistant’s request.

HR professionals also could bring their concerns to the organization’s outside counsel.

Read their entire article HERE to learn more.


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