Re: Employment law, huh!
"Not sure maybe the UK has a nice balance."
Nope. Our employment rights have been scaled back to the point where you can't even file an unfair dismissal claim until you've worked for an employer for a minimum of two years. As for HR, I've only ever seen one HR manager fight an employee's corner - with the result that she was fired as well as the employee who had been discriminated against. In all other cases I've seen, HR is simply used to provide a convenient counterpoint to discrimination allegations.
For example, at one employer a developer was verbally abused and threatened with physical violence by an irate director after a problem with a third party software package. The developer had archived emails that described his concerns with the suitability of the software, but he'd been overruled by the IT manager. When the software failed, the IT manager blamed the developer. The developer was told to hand in his resignation or be fired, so he contacted HR. HR said they took the side of the director because ... well because he was a director. That was despite the developer having contractors willing to back up his case with personal affadavits. (The contractors ended up leaving in disgust).