If employers judged HR departments by their ability to prevent sexual harassment, most would have gotten a failing grade long ago. What HR is actually responsible for—one of the central ways the department “adds value” to a company—is serving as the first line of defense against a sexual-harassment lawsuit. These two goals are clearly aligned, but if the past year has taught us anything, it’s that you can achieve the latter without doing much of anything at all about the former.

Caitlin Flanagan on HR.

My main dealing with HR were in a previous job where I was bullied, in an organization with a known and endemic sexist bullying problem.1 It became pretty clear pretty quickly that the company was more interested in protecting itself than doing anything about my abusers—one of which had been with the company for decades—which is why I left the organization after a mere eight months…

  1. And from which, honestly, I got off lightly; some years later I spoke to another woman who’d left the same company after her bullying got some bad coworkers were showing up to her house at night to harass her. []