Ask a lawyer: Can an employee sue an HR director?

Are there any circumstances under which a senior HR professional can be sued on a personal level?

Senior HR professionals only be held personally liable in certain circumstances, said Shaun Lee, supervising associate at JWS Asia Law Corporation.

"An individual would generally only be personally liable where that individual has entered into a contract in his or her personal capacity or where he or she has committed some legal wrong against another individual or entity" said Lee.
"In the course of his or her work, an HR director would generally be acting as an employee of or an officer of the company. In those circumstances, the HR director would be personally liable to the company for breaches of his or her duties as an employee or officer of the company" he said.

Lee said that HR directors should not be concerned about being held to contractual obligations on behalf of a company.
"Where an HR director signs an employment contract with a prospective employee, the HR director would be entering into that contract on behalf of the company. That HR director would not be personally liable for any obligations owed by the company to the employee" said Lee.

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