Have you heard of a woman who was fired or denied a work opportunity because she was pregnant? Or the male who was offered a promotion because of his gender instead of the promotion going to a more qualified female? These are just a few examples of situations that could put an organization at risk of a lawsuit. Human resource professionals have the responsibility to know all the laws governing the rights of employees. They should also take care of their employers obligations.
Though workplace laws have been changing over time, these five basic HR laws are common across the board and should be observed. The letters HR stand for Human Resources.
The equal employment opportunity laws protect people from any discrimination be it race, gender, age, pregnancy, or religion. Such laws include the Disability Act, Age Discrimination in Employment Act, and the Equal Pay Act. These laws are enforceable even before the employee is part for the organization. You can get sued for discriminating against a pregnant woman or a young person during shortlisting.
Workplace Safety Laws
These laws focus on the working environment of employees and their compensation in case of a work-related injury. The Occupational Safety and Health Act govern various safety laws in the workplace and also protect the right of the disabled where safety is concerned. According to Gerber & Holder Attorneys at Law, the company will be ready with a lawyer in case of an accident so the employee should have one as well. Having a lawyer on your side ensures you are well-advised and prepared for a lawsuit.
Wages and Work Hours
If you work more than 40 hours a week, you are due for overtime compensation. This is according to the Fair Labor Standards Act that dictates the minimum wage in a 40-hour workweek. Some companies have included overtime in the employee’s salary package. Employees are expected to work overtime when it’s necessary.
Family and Medical Leave Act of 1993 also falls in this category. The law states that says an employee gets up to 12 hours unpaid or paid leave days to care for themselves or a loved one.
Employee Benefits law
Everything related to employee’s benefits falls here. They include Affordable Care Act or Obama care, Employee Retirement Income Security Act, Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act, among others. Eligible employees are entitled to medical cover, insurance, and retirement benefits.
According to the Immigration and Nationality Act, an employer should only hire people who are eligible to work in that state. This includes citizens and non-citizens with a work permit. However, it’s crucial to remember discrimination laws when shortlisting. This is especially true when people from other nationalities have applied for the job or promotion and are qualified for the position.
Being aware of the major HR laws is essential for any professional. Besides ensuring your rights are not suppressed, you will know what to do when dealing with cases. You should also know how to apply these laws critically in your organizations to avoid putting your companies in jeopardy.