Trump HR is a different kind of HR.

You may have heard the news that Donald Trump finally signed the 9/11 Victims Compensation Fund extension. Thank goodness. Those heroes deserve it. Future first-responders shouldn’t have to worry about our government’s commitment to their wellbeing.

While signing the bill, Trump also said, “I was down there also, but I’m not considering myself a first responder, but I was down there. I spent a lot of time down there with you.”

That’s a lie. We have footage of Trump doing just about everything other than sitting on the toilet, but no footage exists of him down at the pile. What we do have is a video of him saying that his building is now the tallest in New York. And even that was a lie.

Additionally, while signing the bill on Monday, Trump said, “Now I am going to sign this bill into law, and I don’t know if this stage will hold it, but if it doesn’t, we are not falling very far.”

Yeah, he said that.

I’m not here to get political on HR folks, but I am here to ask a couple of questions.

  1. What if you lied about your resume or bona fides? Would you keep your job?
  2. Could you make a joke like that at work and not be summoned into HR and put on a performance improvement plan?

No, of course not.

I’m not saying that this has anything to do with HR, but I wonder what a talent-minded HR pro will do when an employee makes up lies — and says offensive things — but denies it even though there’s evidence.

Furthermore, do we think HR is immune from what’s happening in Washington? Will there ever be a time when we accept lies as the new truth?

HR isn’t exempt from politics.

If you thought HR was interesting in 2019, wait until 2020 when historical revision kicks into high gear and someone challenges you on the facts of their performance when you’re implementing layoffs and restructuring plans. You’ve never done anything but demonstrate ethical leadership and stick to the plan in the past. What if the plan gets blown to hell by someone loud, powerful and in charge?

Trump’s world is our world. It’s gonna get worse at work before it gets better, and you’ll need to make a choice: Do you do Real HR or Trump HR? Get ready to decide.


  1. Actually Laurie, this type of HR practice has been in place for a while. Enabling and whitewashing has been the bane of the profession (one you’ve been calling out). Just read Susan Fowler’s blog about Uber. If it’s accurate (and given to 20 firings and 50 reprimands after an external investigation, I suspect it is), HR lied to people.

    As for some sociopathic manager “disrupting” plans or decorum, either they’ll get reassigned (remember the days when crap managers got put in HR?), got moved out (under a nice fat separation agreement), or would be celebrated as some “eccentric” genius. Trump is merely a symptom that we’ve embraced this type of leadership, without the sugar coating of his predecessors.

  2. Good read Laurie. Thanks for giving folks something to think about. HR likes to try to stay neutral on politics, but that time has come and gone. Trump changed the game not only in politics but in the workplace.
    I’m also thinking about it from an employee perspective. If I was an employee going to HR to report racial discrimination or sexual harassment I’d want to know if that HR Mgr was a Trump supporter, when just a few years ago I wouldn’t care one way or another. Why? As a person of color, how can I believe any HR Mgr is objective enough to recognize a hostile work environment if they support a President who basically IS a hostile work environment? They support a man that exhibits racism and misogyny almost daily and I’m supposed to expect them to help my situation? Maybe they’re not racist – but they support a racist and that’s not okay. I agree it’s going to get worse before it gets better, and it’s one of the reasons why after almost 20 years I had to walk away from HR 2 years ago to protect my mental health. The next 15 months are gonna be bumpy ride. 🙏🏽

  3. I love this read Laurie – thank you! I remember when Trump was campaigning and I kept on asking….if a candidate that was interviewing with us had all this baggage and said the things he did during his interview process, would we hire him? Hell no! But as we’ve experienced directly or indirectly, some organizations would – the old they’re a rainmaker so we put up with whatever they dish out. However, he’s not a rainmaker! So what’s that about???? Anyhow – your read is a good reminder and advocate for leading, and more than ever, be diligent with ensuring high standards and not accepting ‘alternate facts’! Hell – flip it on its head and raise the standards!

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