Ethical vs. Legal Responsibilities for HR Professionals

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​Questions about workplace ethics have no single or simple answer. So much depends on a situation’s specifics. Even issues that seem straightforward can present numerous hidden traps—both legal and ethical—to the people trying to resolve them.To make things even more complicated in HR, practitioners have “well-defined responsibilities but also have responsibilities as a private citizen, as a workplace colleague and maybe as a friend,” said Michael Connor, editor and publisher of the online magazine Business Ethics. “Those are all very different roles.” When an ethics question arises, Connor says, HR professionals need to understand exactly what role they’re playing. “As a representative of the company, you have one set of responsibilities. As a concerned private citizen, you have other responsibilities. It’s nice when those converge, but that’s not always the case.””It’s a very tough topic,” agreed Laura Sack, a New York City-based partner and co

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