Human Resources Law


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Human Resources (HR) Law is related to Labor and Employment law and encompasses the various laws and regulations specific to HR professionals. It deals with the issues that HR professionals must contend with in the majority of their work functions, predominantly in overseeing and managing duties related to hiring, firing, employee benefits, wages, paychecks, and overtime. It may also pertain to workplace safety, privacy; and preventing discrimination and harassment. 

Local, state, and federal employment laws all play a role in human resources, and HR professionals must be familiar with a wide array of different statutory and regulatory authorities in order to effectively and lawfully deal with company personnel. Common matters of concern to HR managers include employee handbooks/manuals, establishing policies and procedures, affirmative action programs and policies, government contract and wage laws, human resources compliance audits, non-competition and confidentiality agreements, plant closing laws, substance abuse and drug testing laws, and unemployment compensation. 

For more information about HR Law, please review the materials below. Additionally, should you require legal assistance with your HR questions, you may find an attorney in your area by referring to the Law Firms page of our website

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Human Resources Law - US

  • ABA - Section of Labor and Employment Law

    The Section of Labor and Employment Law is your link to information that matters to you. Our 22,000+ members represent all perspectives of labor and employment law: employer, union, employee, public, and neutral. All are committed to a balanced discussion of employment issues in the United States and abroad.

  • Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA)

    The Fair Labor Standards Act is a federal statute of the United States. It applies to employees engaged in interstate commerce or employed by an enterprise engaged in commerce or in the production of goods for commerce, unless the employer can claim an exemption from coverage. The FLSA established a national minimum wage, guaranteed 'time-and-a-half' for overtime in certain jobs, and prohibited most employment of minors in "oppressive child labor," a term that is defined in the statute

  • Human Resources - Definition

    Human resources is a term used to describe the individuals who comprise the workforce of an organization, although it is also applied in labor economics to, for example, business sectors or even whole nations. Human resources is also the name of the function within an organization charged with the overall responsibility for implementing strategies and policies relating to the management of individuals (i.e. the human resources). This function title is often abbreviated to the initials 'HR'.

  • Labor Management Relations Act

    The National Labor Relations Act (NLRA) is sometimes called the Wagner Act, after its principal sponsor, Senator Robert Wagner of New York. The NLRA was amended in 1947 by the Taft-Hartley Act. The NLRA as amended is known as the Labor Management Relations Act (LMRA). In the United States Code, the Act begins at 29 U.S.C. §141.

  • United States Department of Labor

    Our Mission: To foster, promote, and develop the welfare of the wage earners, job seekers, and retirees of the United States; improve working conditions; advance opportunities for profitable employment; and assure work-related benefits and rights.

Organizations Related to Human Resources Law

  • EEO Compliance and Operations Divisions (EEOCO)

    The goal of the EEO Compliance and Operations Division (EEOCO) is to ensure every HHS employee/applicant for employment has equal access to EEO services, timely resolution of their complaint and equitable remedy. EEOCO consists of two components: 1) EEO Compliance Team and 2) EEO Operations Team.

  • HHS - Office of Human Resources (OHR)

    The Office of Human Resources (OHR) provides leadership to the development and assessment of the Department's human resources program and policies. In coordination with the Operating Divisions (OPDIVs), OHR designs human resource programs that support and enhance the HHS mission. It provides technical assistance to the OPDIVs in building the capacity to evaluate the effectiveness of their human resource programs and policies.

  • HR Policy Association

    HR Policy Association is the lead public policy organization of chief human resource officers from large employers. The Association consists of over 300 of the largest corporations doing business in the United States and globally. These major employers are represented in the organization by their most senior human resource executive. Collectively, their companies employ more than 18 million employees worldwide and have a combined market capitalization of more than $7.5 trillion. These senior corporate officers participate in the Association because of their passionate interest in the direction of human resource policy.

  • Industrial Workers of the World

    Workers and their employers do not have the same interests. Workers want shorter hours, higher pay, and better benefits. The easiest way to stand up for each other in our workplaces and communities and the easiest way to improve our working conditions is to join a union.

  • Institute for Research on Labor and Employment

    The Institute for Research on Labor and Employment (formerly the Institute of Industrial Relations) has fully renovated its Library. The new Library Commons mirrors the “homey” feel of IRLE's historic landmark building, while advancing a new array of digital and traditional library services.

  • National Human Resources Association (NHRA)

    Established in 1951, the National Human Resources Association (NHRA) is focused on advancing the development and leadership of human resource professionals. Through professional programs and services offered across the country, we strive to support human resource professionals throughout their career life cycle - from intern to executive - as Human Resources leads the way for change in today's businesses

  • Society for Human Resource Management (SHRM)

    The Society for Human Resource Management (SHRM) is the world’s largest association devoted to human resource management. Representing more than 250,000 members in over 140 countries, the Society serves the needs of HR professionals and advances the interests of the HR profession. Founded in 1948, SHRM has more than 575 affiliated chapters within the United States and subsidiary offices in China and India.

Publications Related to Human Resources Law

  • Human Resource Management Guide (HRM)

    Managing people, human capital and culture - Human Resource Management (HRM) is critical for business success. HRM Guide publishes articles and news releases about HR surveys, employment law, human resource research, HR books and careers that bridge the gap between theory and practice.

  • Human Resources, Training, and Labor Relations Managers and Specialists

    Every organization wants to attract, motivate, and retain the most qualified employees and match them to jobs for which they are best suited. Human resources, training, and labor relations managers and specialists provide this connection. In the past, these workers performed the administrative function of an organization, such as handling employee benefits questions or recruiting, interviewing, and hiring new staff in accordance with policies established by top management. Today's human resources workers manage these tasks, but, increasingly, they consult with top executives regarding strategic planning. They have moved from behind-the-scenes staff work to leading the company in suggesting and changing policies.

Articles on HG.org Related to Human Resources Law

  • Nailing Down Independent Contractor Status
    Although percentage-based pay may create desirable incentives from an employer’s standpoint (and eliminate the need to pay employees for down time), this strategy can result in significant potential liability, including possible exposure to class action lawsuits. This may even be turning into a nationwide trend (with salon workers pursuing similar wage and hour claims in New Jersey and New York).
  • How to Deal with Sexual Harassment in the Workplace
    Sexual harassment is usually defined by Courts and employers using the definition of sexual harassment contained in the guidelines of the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC). This language has also formed the basis for most state laws prohibiting sexual harassment. The guidelines define sexual harassment as:
  • Employer Alert: Are You Ready for 2013?
    United States employers will be faced with a number of new obligations as of January 1, 2013
  • Obesity in the Workplace
    Is being overweight a protected disability under the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1992? According to a recent decision of the Montana Supreme Court and similar decisions in the federal courts, it is, or at least can be. Whether you are an employee or employer, there is no easy or safe shortcut to managing your legal rights and liabilities without the advice of competent employment law counsel.
  • A Closer Look at Mental Issues in the Workplace
    More than six percent of adults are diagnosed with depression in any one year, and this causes employers an estimated $44 billion in lost productivity alone. There is a significant need for people with depression in the workforce to understand their condition and start receiving quality care, and employers should be taking steps to help and bolster the mental health of their employees.
  • Avoiding Liability for Unlawful Discrimination When Using Criminal Background Checks
    According to guidance issued earlier this year by the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC), 92% of employers in the U.S. now use criminal background checks for some or all of their job candidates.
  • Your New Hire’s Non-Compete Agreement
    For years you’ve admired your top competitor’s ability to design and market new products that have, much to your frustration, consistently outsold yours. Now one of the key members of your competitor’s marketing team is sitting in your office asking YOU for a job. As he describes to you how he thinks he can position your products for triple-digit sales growth, you can’t help but think to yourself, “is this too good to be true?”
  • The Perils of Not Hiring an Employment Law Attorney: Cautionary Tales
    We see you rolling your eyes. “Oh, go figure, 2 employment attorneys preaching about the ‘dangers’ of not being represented by an employment law firm. Shiver me timbers!” Okay, so that last part got a bit pirate-y, but all we ask is that you please hold your presumptions about what we’re going to say here and why, at least until you’ve finished reading this. Now, BRING ON THE PULPIT!
  • No-Fault Attendance Policies Open Potential For Fault
    Under a “no-fault” attendance policy, an employee accrues one point per absence, regardless of the reason for the absence. After an employee accumulates a pre-designated number of absences, the employee is usually subject to increasing levels of discipline (a “progressive disciplinary policy”), ending with termination.
  • 12 Divided by 4 = Option 3... What? Wait for It
    In our previous articles about the Family & Medical Leave Act, we noted that covered employers must grant eligible employees up to a total of 12 work weeks of unpaid leave during a 12-month period (the “12” in the title). There are 4 (yup, the title again) methods for determining that 12-month period. The constant, regardless of the method chosen, is that the method used must, must, must be communicated to employees.
  • All Employment Law Articles

    Articles written by attorneys and experts worldwide discussing legal aspects related to Employment and Labor including: discrimination, employee benefits, employees rights, ERISA, human resources law, labor relations, outsourcing, sexual harassment, whistleblower, workers compensation and wrongful termination.


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