The job of HR managers is not just limited to hiring competent staff, ensuring a healthy work culture, and conducting appraisals. Human resource managers must also be aware of the state’s laws and regulations to efficiently manage the department and legal issues that arise at the workplace. Knowing the laws will help them take steps against discrimination, abuse, avoid liability and handle legal issues in human resource management.
The HR must know about labor laws, rights for contractors, as well as laws regarding protection for women and LGBTQ. The state makes such laws to protect everyone, resolve conflict, and promote a healthy work environment. Sound knowledge of the laws and the ability to communicate them to the employers and the employees is part of an HR job. The HR department ensures that the company abides by the labor and employment laws and applies them.
Why Is It Necessary For HR Professionals To Know The Law?
As an HR manager, it is mandatory to acquaint yourself with the laws and regulations of the United States while preparing and training for the job profile. The human resource manager must thoroughly go through the law book to deftly manage the department.
Ensure Fair Treatment Of Employees
Human resource managers must ensure fair treatment of employees working in the company. Any complaint regarding discrimination, unfair treatment, abuse, humiliation, and sexual exploitation or harassment is usually addressed to HR. Therefore, HR must have an in-depth knowledge of the protection laws to take the necessary steps and efficiently handle fair treatment. He or she must know how to serve justice in the company and keep the work environment healthy by following the laws and taking legal steps, if necessary. Read free law information on trusted government law websites to have a fair idea of human resource management laws.
Protect Labor Rights
It is mandatory to know all the aspects of employment law for HR professionals. HR managers must be aware of the Civil Rights Act, Equal Pay Act, Fair Labor Standards Act, etc., to protect the labor rights of the employees in the company. Knowing these laws in detail ensures the safety and protection of the workers’ rights.
An HR may have to resort to the court in case of severe violations of law by one or more employees against another, involving instances of harassment and exploitation. Thus, it is of vital importance for human resource managers to educate themselves about the labor and employment laws to take action in cases, such as:-
- Severe violations of law by one or more employees against another, or by the employer against the employee/s.
- Intentional discrimination by an employer resulting in depriving an employee from promotion.
- Harassment of the employer by a supervisor resulting in low wages, termination, etc.
- Failure of the employer to take corrective measures against the unfair treatment.
- Unfair behavior towards employees based on race, sex, religion, nationality, and disability. These days, the cases may most often include those of sexual harassment at the workplace.
- The nature of the unfair act creates a hostile working environment and violates the civil rights of an individual employee or a group of employees.
It also guarantees that the companies operate within the purview of the law and do not resort to unlawful activities, even if unintentionally. The managers must be in touch with the regulatory authorities to deal with the company and ensure law enforcement. The HR department should guide the employers and the employees in the company to understand the laws and work within the boundary to maintain a lawful environment at work.
Maintain Ethical Work Structure
Understanding the labor and employment laws helps HR managers to give an ethical structure to the workings of a company. It ensures a hospitable work environment that abides by the rules and ethics and fairly treats everyone. Without the controlling and managerial actions of HR professionals, the companies may not adhere to laws or maintain ethical behavior.
HR managers employ their knowledge of the intricacies of federal and state laws to help the company function every day. They deftly manage the various departments; make them cooperate, put up upright, professional behavior to build ethical work culture in the company. The work environment plays a major role in determining the company’s reputation and affects the reviews. Thus, a lot depends on the HR to maintain a friendly work environment for a wonderful reputation.
Employees’ Health and Wages
Another crucial reason for HR managers to know about employment law is to take care of the employees’ health and wages. It helps to build a good rapport and work relations of the employees with the company. Competent HR professionals must know the relevant laws regarding the employees’ benefits to provide them everything they deserve as workers. The efficiency of the HR managers keeps the employees satisfied with the work environment and experience in a company.
The human resource department takes care of the workers’ safety and protection and must also ensure that they work in good health. There should be medical benefits and compensations, health insurance, etc., for the employees. The Employee Retirement Income Security Act also promises insurance and pension plans for employees after retirement. The HR department takes care of these benefits for the employees.
Payment of wages
The HR department must know the Fair Labor Standards Act to ensure timely payment of wages and overtime payments to workers. Providing appropriate salaries on time, raises, appraisals, compensations, and benefits to the employees fall under the HR department’s job.
The Family and Medical Leave Act ensures paid leaves for employees and protects employees during unpaid leaves due to illnesses or other emergencies. HR manager takes note of the leaves granted to employees and provides them adequate compensation.
We have nearly touched all the legal sides to an HR’s job and why law is an intrinsic part of the job profile for HR managers. Thus, being familiar with the state and federal laws regarding employment and employee rights is crucial for HR managers. MBA courses and training for HR professionals include a rigorous study of the laws to efficiently handle a company and its employees.