Is it illegal to contact and network with hiring mangers bypassing HR?

UPDATED: Oct 1, 2022

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Is it illegal to contact and network with hiring mangers bypassing HR?

Is it illegal to contact and network with hiring mangers bypassing HR? I had been trying to get into a company my wife works at for 8 months. I networked myself with hiring managers to make myself stand out. those managers have all moved on to other companies now. Since then HR told my wife it was illegal for me to contact them as it violates equal opportunity laws.

Asked on April 2, 2019 under Employment Labor Law, Wisconsin


SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 3 years ago | Contributor

It is not illegal: there is NO law against networking, direct contacts, or even nepotism.
But it may be against company policy or practice: an employer is free to bar this and require all job candidates to go through HR, and is equally free to refuse to consider anyone who does not.

IMPORTANT NOTICE: The Answer(s) provided above are for general information only. The attorney providing the answer was not serving as the attorney for the person submitting the question or in any attorney-client relationship with such person. Laws may vary from state to state, and sometimes change. Tiny variations in the facts, or a fact not set forth in a question, often can change a legal outcome or an attorney's conclusion. Although has verified the attorney was admitted to practice law in at least one jurisdiction, he or she may not be authorized to practice law in the jurisdiction referred to in the question, nor is he or she necessarily experienced in the area of the law involved. Unlike the information in the Answer(s) above, upon which you should NOT rely, for personal advice you can rely upon we suggest you retain an attorney to represent you.

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