Wow, HR was useless

Last week, I was outed to several of my coworkers, including some who did not know I was trans (The original post). For no justifiable reason, someone sent my entire department an email with my deadname followed by my current legal name in parentheses. Immediately afterward, I reached out to human resources to discuss and to make a complaint against the person who outed me. I spoke with them late last week, I was unimpressed.

I spoke with the HR manager for my site a few days after the email was sent. The HR department at my company was recently reshuffled and as a result, none of the HR team that assisted in my workplace transition are still there. The HR manager I spoke to was brand new, which unfortunately meant that I now had to come out to him as well. The coming-out conversation went well enough, but I was disappointed by his response to my complaint. I shared with him what happened and the email that outed me, but I don’t think he saw it as harmful. His immediate response to hearing what happened was that it “sounded like an accident” and challenged me to prove that it was intentional. I was insistent that it was likely intentional harassment, both because of how the email was framed and because I worked with his predecessor to eliminate any use of that name in company systems. This didn’t seem to convince him and the meeting ended unsatisfactorily.

At the end of the meeting, the HR manager was going to “look into it” and would give me an update in a few days. Well a few days went by and I didn’t hear anything, so I reached back out to him for an update and to further discuss the matter. I was then informed that he was on vacation and would be gone for the next 2 weeks. He literally started his vacation the day after our meeting, there was no way he was going to give me an update in a few days. He wasn’t even going to start looking into it for another 2 weeks after our conversation and by then too much time will have passed for any meaningful response. I am incredibly frustrated for both the outright lie and the seemingly complete disregard. I didn’t have high hopes for HR, to begin with, but this has somehow failed to clear even that low bar.

In response to this lackluster performance, I have decided to up the ante and go around HR. I am going to reach out to local LGBT and trans advocacy organizations to get a better understanding of my options going forward. A couple of people have also recommended I speak to or hire a lawyer. This is likely financially untenable, however, I may do so depending on what the organizations I speak to say. I feel like I have to do something, if only to prevent this from happening in the future.

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