Wednesday, February 8, 2023

Laws Every Human Resource Professional Should Know

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Being a Human resource (HR) professional needs you to be prepared to face a lot of issues. Proper knowledge to handle them is critical, especially the awareness of laws and regulations. If the organization or employees violate these rights and obligations, the HR professional should be able to handle them as per the rules and regulations. If they handle things without knowing the laws the risks involve lawsuits, financial losses, reputation damage, and much more. It can affect both the employees and the company.

HR roles are not all-encompassing. Each HR professional has their own responsibilities and tasks to perform. But, regardless of the role compliance is a common topic and responsibility for all. HR professional with legal knowledge can help others to sort out the various legal issues that the company face. Apart from the deep knowledge of laws and regulations, there are certain laws and regulations that all HR professional needs to know. They are:

  1. Workplace discrimination laws
  2. Wage and hour laws
  3. Employee benefits laws
  4. Immigration laws
  5. Workplace safety laws

Let’s explore them more and understand what they are and why they are important in the corporate world.

ALSO READ: How CEOs Can Make Stress-Free Work Environment For Employees

Workplace Discrimination Law

A workplace is a venue where people work based on their qualifications and demand from work. Here what matters is how good they are at work and not their ethnicity or nationality. Corporate offices house people from all around the world. Equal Employment Opportunity (EEO) laws protect them from discrimination based on age, disability, genetic information, national origin, race/color, sex, pregnancy, or religion.

From pre-hiring to rightful termination, the workplace discrimination laws offer the employees protection from harassment and any sort of violence. A trained HR professional should determine the good and bad in case of a confrontational situation.

Wage and Hour Laws

The wage and hour laws, regulated by the U.S. Department of Labor, protect the wages and working hours of employees in a company. It helps the HR professional to dictate minimum wages, establish working hours, outline overtime pays, and direct child labor regulations. The law also helps the employees to avail medical leaves, paid leaves, healthcare coverage, and job protections.

Employee Benefits Laws

Employee benefits laws protect the benefits that an employee can access. Some of the important laws are the Affordable Care Act, Employee Retirement Income Security Act (ERISA), Consolidated Omnibus Budget Reconciliation Act (COBRA), Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA), etc. These laws cover benefits for poverty levels, pension plans, insurance capabilities, healthcare, dependants’ coverage, and much more.

Immigration Laws

Corporate offices around the world tend to migrate and allocate professionals from all over the world to new locations. Understanding the immigration laws and related international work laws is important in such cases. Laws like Immigration and Nationality Act (INA) ensure that such candidates are eligible to work in the U.S. under various conditions. MNCs need to be mindful of the immigration laws for lawsuits related to immigration can damage to the company’s reputation.

Workplace Safety Laws

HR professionals should ensure that the safety of the employees in the workplace should be guaranteed. The Occupational Safety and Health Act (OSHA) ensures this. Each individual state has its own set of workplace safety laws. Learning and understanding them thoroughly is the duty of a trained HR professional of the company.

Apart from the above-listed laws, there are a number of laws that they have to understand and learn. Having a legal advisor in the HR department can also make the follow-ups on the laws easier.


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