Benefits Laws and Regulations

Guide

Federal & State Laws Governing HR Policies

There are so many state laws in the country, governing not just the human resource policies but also protecting the rights of employees as well as setting out employers’ obligations. To properly implement HR policies, HRs need to take a good survey of both state and federal employment laws that are related to concerted activity, anti-discrimination, safety, compensation and benefits. There are also local and municipal laws that govern employment practices that HRs should be aware of for full compliance. Some of these laws include:

1. Those that govern wages

There are two different federal laws that govern HR policies on wages. First is the The Fair Labor Standards Act of 1938 which contains provisions for the minimum wage, overtime pay, exempt and nonexempt employee classification as well as record keeping. According to this law, the minimum wage is $7.25 per hour, though there are so many states that have a minimum wage standard that is higher that the stated federal requirement. In cases where the federal and state minimum wage laws differ, employers are required to follow the higher of the two.

The second of the hr regulations and laws is the Act of 1963, which prohibits wage discrimination based on gender.

2. Those that govern hiring

Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 is one of the federal & state hr laws that advocate for equal employment opportunities. This law ensures that the recruitment, interviewing, hiring, training and retaining processes within organizations are done well, without discriminations.  These laws also prohibit discriminatory HR workplace policies that would deny equal employment opportunities for employees based on issues such as sex, nationality, disability and religion. Some states and municipalities forbid discrimination based on other factors including sexual orientation.

3. Those that govern safety

There is The Occupational Safety and Health Act of 1970, a federal law that requires employers to ensure that the work environment is safe for all employees. This law requires HRs to develop training on workplace safety topics including how to operate complex machinery, how to handle hazardous materials among other things. HRs should also have measures in place for tracking down workplace injuries and fatalities and ensuring proper treatment and compensation is offered.

4. Those that govern benefits

Most employee benefits such as holiday and vacation pay are given as per the willingness of the employer. However, there are laws such as Family and Medical Leave Act that advocate for unpaid leave of up to 12 weeks for eligible employees who suffer serious medical conditions of their own or family members. This is mainly a job-protected leave and so employers are required to restore an employee returning from such a leave.

There are child labor issues too, that are governed by state laws and these are meant to protect children against employment and work that could deprive them their childhood.

Labor law compliance is the mandate of every organization and HRs should make sure that they understand all the laws in place to ensure that their organizations are acting according to the requirements. Every organization should work with an hr compliance checklist just to be on the safe side.

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