Compliance is a big issue in human resources. With all of the paperwork and records required to be compliant, it can sometimes be hard to keep track of the requirements. In this article, we’ll go over different types of laws that you should understand as a human resources employee.
Why HR Professionals Need To Know About HR Laws
Chefs need to understand health codes to keep people safe. Doctors need to understand HIPAA laws to protect their patients’ information. Broadcasters need to understand FCC regulations. In the same way, the human resources industry is regulated by laws to protect both companies and employees.
Different HR positions are responsible for different tasks. Some may focus on employee development while others focus on compensation and benefits. But no matter what, each of these positions needs to understand what the law requires of them.
Basics of HR Law
There are several different areas of HR law that professionals should understand. In this article we will cover some of the main elements of HR law—including workplace discrimination, wages and work hours, employee benefits, workplace safety, and immigration laws.
If you work in human resources, an important area to be familiar with is the Equal Employment Opportunity laws. These EEO laws deal with discrimination of employees with regards to race, gender, nationality, religion, age, disability and a variety of other factors. EEO laws matter during every stage if employment, from the hiring process all the way to an employee’s last day.
EEO laws are not just important for employees, but for everyone in the company. HR professionals shouldn’t be the only ones who understand these laws. Everyone in the company should know what is required for EEO compliance. This is especially true considering it can be overwhelming to do everything necessary to comply with these nondiscrimination laws. Regular trainings and reminders to stay compliant will not only protect employees from discrimination, but will also protect the company from the actions of misguided or uninformed employees.
Wages and Work Hours
The US Department of Labor regulates wages and work hours. The most important laws to understand in regards to wages and work hours are the Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA) and the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA.) These two acts are what give employees their 40-hour work weeks and their 12 weeks of unpaid leave. But they also regulate overtime pay and child labor laws.
The Affordable Care Act, Consolidated Omnibus Budget Reconciliation Act, Employee Retirement Income Security Act, and Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act all qualify as employee benefit laws. These laws mostly deal with healthcare, retirement, and insurance. The benefit packages that companies give their employees are regulated under these laws.
Workplace safety laws deal with the physical working conditions of employees, as well as compensation in the event that an employee is injured on the job. The most important law to be familiar with is the Occupational Safety and Health Act, also known as OSHA, and is governed by the US Department of Labor. The regulations outlined by OSHA also regulate how America’s disability programs function.
Aside from Federal laws and regulations, you should be familiar with your state’s specific workplace safety laws. State laws can vary greatly from state to state and it’s important that you understand any and all extra regulations you’re required to comply with.
Workplace safety is immediately important for your company’s employees, but it is also important in the long-term for the company. Employee injuries cost money, slow down efficiency, and create a bad reputation which may make it difficult to hire top talent. Plus, providing a safe environment for your employees is simply the right thing to do.
In regards to immigration, the most important law HR professionals should understand is the Immigration and Nationality Act. The main focus of this act is to ensure employers hire employees who are legally allowed to work in the country. This includes US citizens and immigrants with work permits or residency.
Every employee needs an I-9 document on record to prove his or her residency. Immigration laws run parallel with the workplace discrimination laws discussed earlier, so it is essential to make sure you not only understand these two forms of law individually, but also how they work together.
eFileCabinet Can Keep Your HR Department Compliant with HR Law
As HR professionals, there’s a lot to learn. And, there’s a lot of documents that you’ll have to store and track to stay compliant, which can be a constant source of stress.
But HR professionals that use eFileCabinet don’t have to worry about manually tracking and storing their HR documents in order to maintain compliance. eFileCabinet lets you auto-populate forms like I-9s for every new employee. It can also let you set up permissions for who can access or manipulate documents. These features available from eFileCabinet allow you to set up compliant systems so you’ll never have to worry about compliance again. eFileCabinet will keep everything compliant for you. Download our ebook today to learn more about what eFileCabinet can do to make your HR job easier.