Many companies have human resources departments. These departments may not get very much respect. Some workers believe that HR is useless. In reality, HR plays a crucial role to ensure that employers remain compliant with regulations that govern the workplace.
If you own or manage a business, it is important for you to recognize the important role that an HR department has in helping you to avoid risk. A well-functioning HR department might help to prevent legal actions from being filed against your business. If you are an employee, it is equally important for you to understand the obligations that your company’s HR department has to you. The attorneys at Swartz Swidler can help you to understand the role and responsibilities of human resources.
Responsibilities of HR professionals to know the laws
Human resources professionals must understand the major labor laws and regulations that govern workplaces. they must comply with hiring regulations and do everything they can to prevent federal law from being violated throughout the hiring process. To do this, they must understand Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, the Age Discrimination in Employment Act, and the Americans with Disabilities Act.
For human resources departments, this means those job postings that have discriminatory disclaimers could lead to legal liability for the company. For example, an advertisement that states that only women under age 30 can apply can form the basis of a discrimination lawsuit against the company. HR departments work to avoid discriminatory advertisements and to avoid improper questions during the application and interview process.
HR departments also must understand how to classify employees properly so that employees who are entitled to overtime pay receive it when they work overtime hours. They should understand how many hours per week or day minors are allowed to work. These types of issues are addressed in the Fair Labor Standards Act, which HR professionals must know.
HR departments are normally responsible for complaints about discrimination and for handling accommodation requests. Understanding the Occupational Safety and Health Act and the regulations that have been promulgated by the OSHA are also vital.
HR professionals must also understand the federal Family and Medical Leave Act and the responsibilities and rights of both the employee and the employer. They must ensure that the company complies with wage and benefits laws. When employees leave the company, human resources personnel must help them to file for COBRA benefits if applicable.
Consult with Swartz Swidler
Human resources professionals play an important role in preventing legal mistakes by companies. They also must have a thorough understanding of the law and the duties that they owe to employees. If you would like to learn more about the responsibilities that your HR department owes to you, schedule a free consultation with Swartz Swidler today.