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Human Resources/Formal complaint against HR and your boss?


Could you pls advise what I can do in this case?
A few months ago, I applied for a career break in my company. My boss asked me to go through a process whereby I have to meet the HR person. It was very formal and I had to answer many questions before my request was granted.
Now I found out that another person had the same request. However, this time, my boss personally  approved without asking him to meet the HR. I found it unfair so I contacted the HR person, who replied that this person also went through the same process.
However, I have reason to believe that the HR is lying.
Can I have a formal complaint about unfair treatment?
Thank you

Hello Wayne,

Thanks for your question.  Here is my opinion.

First, the established process worked for you.  Your request was approved so I assume you are satisfied with that part of the process.

Secondly, I would not pursue a complaint for a few reasons.  (1) You were approved for your career break and that was the primary objective.  (2)HR may have had sufficient information on the other person to waive the the interview part of the process. (3) Pursuing a complaint may do more harm than good in the long run, although if the boss's/HR behavior violated labor laws you may have a basis to pursue a complaint. You might consider pursuing a complaint if the action violated existing labor laws. (4) Second guessing the behavior and findings of the boss and HR with respect to their decision process for the other person is probably non-productive.

Look at the positive side of this.  The boss and HR must support you as they approved your request.

Sorry I could not be of further assistance.

Best regards,


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Mark Eichinger


Any type of question related to domestic and international Human Resources work. My H.R. passions include Compensation design and systems in competitive markets, Health and Safety in Industrial Environments, Performance Management, Talent Management (Hiring, Selection, Employee Development, Compensation, Creating Space, etc.), Communications, Coaching, Counseling, Leadership, and Management. Questions I cannot answer: I am sure there are questions within these categories that I may not be able to answer but my experience below would suggest those would be few.


I own International Human Resources Coaching and Consulting, LLC. Previously, I successfully held corporate executive and management leadership positions from 1979 to 2007 in two $9B+ multi-national corporations. Positions included: Vice President, Human Resources for the Asia Pacific Region, Eaton Corporation; I was based in Shanghai, China. Prior to that assignment, Vice President, Human Resources International and Operations, Eaton World Headquarters, Cleveland, Ohio with global responsibility for Eaton’s Human Resources practices, international assignee management, and Regional Human Resources Directors in Asia Pacific, Europe, and Central and South America. Specifically, my experience spans work at domestic and international locations at the operating plant, division, business unit, and corporate levels and most business scenarios to include startups, closedowns, restructurings, integrations, and ongoing operations. I am an Eaton Business Excellence Assessment Examiner (Malcolm Baldrige based system). I introduced processes and process mapping into the Human Resources environment. I have extensive experience with and working in domestic and international organization matrix structures. In the Asia Pacific region, my responsibilities included, leading the regions H.R. team and processes, managing the H.R. relationship with the corporation, creating and leading the professional and general manager development programs, China’s university relations program and managing the Asia Pacific key leader’s process. I have coached managers and leaders. I am a professional listener, my style open, direct, and focused on leader accountability and employee engagement. In Summary, my career responsibility included more than 60,000 employees, 60 union and union free operations, and 45 countries. I also lived in Korea for two years while in service with the USA’s armed forces.

SCORE – Counselors to Americas Small Business; at various locations I have also belonged to Rotary, Lions, Kiwanis and the Chamber of Commerce. I have served on Boards of medical, community and institutional organizations.

Bachelor of Science in Business Administration, Youngstown State University. MBA work Youngstown State University, and University of Bridgeport. University of Tennessee, Lean Manufacturing Certified. Thunderbird School of Global Management, Management Certified.

Awards and Honors
Corporate level awards for compensation systems, communications campaigns.

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