HR Case II

As another exercise for those interested in HR matters, here’s a hypothetical case I have found in the guidelines of a major international company:

One of our expatriate employees has no civil rights in the host country where we are working, and has a column in a local newspaper. He is officially supporting the incumbent, and virulently criticising opposition candidates. The column is under his real name.

Anyone want to take a guess at the recommended course of action?

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13 thoughts on “HR Case II

  1. Not enough info – depends on whether the incumbent is a woke intersectional socialist or not.

    Are you sure this hypothetical case wasn’t based on you and they just changed ‘blog’ to ‘column in a local newspaper’?

  2. Ask him to declare that his opinions are not endorsed or vetted by the employer in any way, well, if they are not.

  3. At a guess, tell him to knock it on the head since it would count as political activity. He can keep the column but keep it to the innocuous.

    In practice, depends on the chances of the opposition gaining power. If they have no chance, let him earn the company brownie points. If they look credible shut him up asap.

  4. It depends. There are some jurisdictions in which that sort of behaviour would advance the company’s commercial interests…

  5. I don’t suppose the answer is an interview without coffee and a blunt one way discussion about the facts of life?

  6. What decnine says: it depends on the country. Supporting the government in Iran or Saudi Arabia? Keep up the good work! Supporting the government in Venezuela? Risky, they could be toppled at any moment, thus exposing the company to significant commercial risk.

  7. It depends. There are some jurisdictions in which that sort of behaviour would advance the company’s commercial interests…

    And you think this is spelled out in a corporate ethics guideline?

    Put your legal/HR heads on, folks!

  8. I am guessing that, although the newspaper column is under the employee’s name, it does not identify him as an employee of MegaCorp International. Presumably most of the readers are unaware of his employment situation. If the author is identified as an employee of MegaCorp Intl, then the HR situation would be much more serious.

    HR presumably has a policy instructing expatriates to avoid getting involved in local politics. Answer is to pull the author in, and give him two choices: (a) restrict his newspaper column to non-political topics; or (b) take the next flight back to his home country.

  9. If HR departments were in the business of policing the political opinions of employees, I would be making a rapid career transition right now to work in HR as it would become the largest and most powerful corporate department.

    A geo-political risk assessment of the situation would be prudent, which will be specific to the particular country we’re working in. Does it have green on the flag, for example?

    It doesn’t sound like anyone’s complained and we’re not told he’s broken any of the country’s laws or company policies.

    As you were, brave HR warriors, stand easy.

    Of course, if the corporation has taken the woke pill, all bets are off.

  10. Anyone want to take a guess at the recommended course of action?

    Assuming employer has not asked/told him to and he is not writing as “Joe Blogs, Project Manager, Doe Oil”

    Ignore

  11. HR as it would become the largest and most powerful corporate department.

    That describes the last two major multinationals I’ve worked for.

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