HR Legal and Your Business...
There are many legal issues in Human Resources. Business owners need to understand why human resources compliance is so important, what laws affect HR management, and best practices for managing legal issues and lawsuits.
The role of Human Resources in the workplace has never been more important. Aside from the traditional functions of recruitment, onboarding, L&D, and payroll, HR professionals must also have a comprehensive understanding of relevant and updated HR law and its corresponding regulations.
These HR employment laws regulate hiring and firing, workplace safety, benefits and pay, and confidentiality, and serve to protect against discriminatory practices and harassment. They also provide guidance in the event of workplace conflict or complaints.
HR Legal Compliance
HR legal compliance protects both the employee and the employer and companies are duty-bound to operate within the framework that governs the workplace environment. Organizations must implement policies and procedures which align state and federal laws with the strategy and objectives of the company. Failure to keep up to date with new HR laws can result in fines, penalties and, in some cases, legal proceedings.
Non-compliance can also affect the reputation of a company so knowledge of these laws is a key requirement for any organization. This is often challenging as laws vary between different states and jurisdictions.
Businesses must monitor any legal changes and adapt company policies and procedures accordingly. These policies must also be effectively communicated to all employees so that they are aware of their rights and the company as a whole has a common shared vision.
HR Management Responsibilities
An effective HR manager has knowledge and experience of all compliance issues. These include issues relating to employee benefits and compensation, health and safety, leave entitlements, discrimination and harassment, confidentiality, and employee labor rights.
It’s crucial they have knowledge of all laws that affect human resources management. Also, they must be capable of designing and implementing internal guidelines that take these legal requirements into consideration. They must also be aware of standard practices and procedures in the event an employee, or ex-employee, files a complaint or lawsuit. Hiring the right person for this position not only ensures regulatory compliance but it also contributes to the overall success of the company.
How Does HR Law Affect Human Resource Management?
HR law affects all aspects of human resource management. HR professionals must stay informed of changes in the law. It is the duty of HR to proactively review and update internal policies to ensure workplace compliance.
Aside from the federal laws which impact HRM, each state in the US also has its own human resources laws that need to be adhered to. Although the latter varies by geographical location, there are a series of common protected employee rights. These include non-discrimination and equal employment opportunities, freedom to join and form unions, minimum standards for terms and conditions of employment, and the right to privacy.
With such a vast array of legal requirements, it can be easy to overlook the importance of staying informed and adapting workplace guidelines on a regular basis.
Some companies opt to outsource these tasks, others focus on contracting and retaining the right person for the job. Whatever your company has chosen to do, compliance must be at the forefront of all company decisions. The ramifications of failing to do so can result in penalties, civil action, damaged reputation, and lost profits.
Main Human Resources Laws: Federal Laws
Keeping up with evolving human resources laws can be challenging for business owners and the HR managers of larger companies. Each new year brings with it a new flurry of updates at a federal, state, and local level.
There are basic HR laws that govern wages, pensions, and benefits. There are occupational safety and health regulations that impact working conditions. There are tax laws that affect compensation, including employee profit sharing and stock purchase plans.
Additionally, there are HR discrimination and harassment laws that are more important than ever in the current #metoo climate.