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Four Reasons HR Professionals Need to Understand Employment Law

Four Reasons HR Professionals Need to Understand Employment Law

Published by Programme B

Few things are more important as an HR professional than knowing the ins and outs of employment law. That can be complicated by the fact that as an HR professional you’re also incredibly busy with a million other tasks. You need to screen candidates. You need to interview them. You need to choose who to hire, who to fire, how to resolve conflicts, and what to do to keep your company running as smoothly as possible. However, as essential as all of those things are, none of them will be possible if you don’t have a good working knowledge of employment law. With that in mind, let’s take a closer look at what HR professionals need to know about employment law and how employment lawyers can help.

  1. Why it Matters

Employment law deals with the myriad issues that can plague companies on a legal basis with respect to the legality or illegality of their business relationships with employees. Put simply, when you break employment law, it can be a big problem.

However, you may not even know that you have done so at first. Employment law is changing all the time. On the one hand, many of these changes are decades overdue as new parties gain new rights. This can include everything from added protection against workplace discrimination and harassment (described more below) to new pay and benefits for labor unions. On the other hand, it can also make for a never-ending legal minefield for companies and HR professionals.

All it takes is one mistake to transgress employment law and give your company legal headaches for months, perhaps years to come.

  1. How Employment Law Firms Can Help

You naturally don’t want that to happen, which is why you’ll want to turn to employment lawyers for help.

It is their job to understand the latest developments in the world of employment law, and they will work with you and any plaintiffs in the case to come to an understanding and an arrangement.

Even if they can’t help you avoid rubbing up against employment law issues, they can help your company navigate that legal minefield once you have entered into it without having the case blow up in your face. They understand the ins and outs of employment law and will put that understanding to work for you.

  1. Handling Different Kinds of Cases

But just what kind of cases makeup employment law cases in the first place?

The answers here can be as varied as they are serious.

For example, both sexual harassment suits and workplace discrimination cases could fall under the purview of an employment law case if they took place in relation to your business. Both of these are naturally nightmares for any company to handle. You don’t want your business to be beset with a deluge of suits, but you also don’t want to do wrong by anyone who has been harmed by sexual misconduct or discrimination. In both cases, failure to act isn’t just unethical but can get you and your company in even deeper legal trouble.

That’s why it is so important to hand such a case over to an employment law expert in Canada as soon as possible. They will be able to assess the case objectively and work to pursue the best course of justice for both parties.

The same holds true in reverse for plaintiffs. If you have been subjected to sexual harassment or discrimination at work, you do not and absolutely should not have to take it, and employment law teams can help.

In addition to these hot button, issues is the question of compensation and other workplace disputes over proper pay and benefits.

  1. Handling a Surge in Cases

As an HR specialist, you need to be able to handle the cases that come your way, employment law ones included. However, you may neither have time nor resources to give these cases the attention they require. That can be especially true if you are forced to face a flood of cases, as can be the case given the increase in claims following movements such as #MeToo.

It should be clarified that there is nothing wrong with this increase. The #MeToo movement represents a social reckoning that has been decades in the making and is thus long overdue. Women deserve to feel every bit as secure and valued in the workplace as men and no one should face sexual harassment while working or afterward.

While it’s good that more women are coming forward about past and present workplace transgressions, however, logistically-speaking, it can be hard for any HR department to handle such a sharp rise in cases. That’s why you’ll want to delegate them to a law firm that is dedicated to handling employment law cases.

Even so, however, for HR firms to be able to recognize such issues when they arise and to try and nip inappropriate behavior before it gets this far, it is essential that they have a working knowledge of employment law standards. 

Photo by Laura Tancredi from Pexels

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