HR Laws Every Industry Professional Should Know

By hrlineup | 07.03.2022

Today, there are state and regional regulations to protect employees against rogue employers. Apart from safeguarding employees against discriminatory practices at work, these laws also cover workplace safety, medical leave, union organization, and so much more.

But given the complexities around employment laws, it’s logical that HR management will need legal counsel from time to time.

So in this article, we’ll discuss different types of employment laws that human resource departments should know.

Why HR Professionals Need to Master HR Laws

Compliance with the law is a vital responsibility of HR professionals. Therefore, making irrational, on-the-spot decisions can cause the company severe legal consequences.

But with the grasp of current employment laws, HR will not only save the company millions of dollars in legal fees but also give the employees the confidence to work in the organization.

Some HR-related Laws for HR Professionals

FLSA (Fair Labor Standard Act) of 1938

The FLSA law regulates all issues related to payments such as overtime pay, hourly wages, unpaid wages, and more. This law dictates that the $7.25 is the minimum wage per hour and establishes the 40-hour workweek. It’s also vital to note that this act also regulates child labor to protect children against working in unsafe jobs.

Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA) of 1993

Another critical statute for HR professionals is the FMLA (Family and Medical Leave Act) of 1993. The law establishes an employee’s eligibility for unpaid leave. Workers are entitled to a 12-week, job-protected, unpaid leave per year. The law also requires that the employer maintains the health benefits of the employee during that period.

The employee can get a 12-week unpaid leave per year because of these reasons:

  • Birth of a newborn child.
  • Attend to a critically ill immediate family member.
  • The employee can’t work because of critical medical reasons.

Occupational Safety and Health Act (OSHA)

OSHA is the federal law for ensuring worker’s health and safety in any given workplace. The goal is to ensure that the employer provides a safe and healthy workplace free of toxic chemicals, unsanitary conditions, excessive noise, and more. Like the others, the state DOL (Department of Labor) oversees the implementation of this law.

Equal Pay Act (EPA)

The EPA of 1963 prevents payroll providers from engaging in gender-based wage discrimination. It prohibits unequal pay based on gender or sex. Employers who violate this law may either be imprisoned for up to six months or fined up to $10,000. In the worst-case scenario, an employer faces both penalties. Now that’s a huge price to pay!


A professional HR manager should always be up to date with the current employment laws and regulations. Those who fully understand and comply with these laws will make policies and procedures that ensure a happier, safer, and healthier working environment.