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Employment law is an extremely important part of any HR department's knowledge base. The HR department is responsible for keeping up with changes in employment and labor laws, making employees aware of their rights under these laws, and posting signs required by the laws where all employees can readily see them.
Employment law covers a wide range of topics, including minimum wage requirements, equal opportunity laws, sexual harassment, discrimination, worker's compensation, and many more. These are all the responsibility of the HR department, and it is vital that the information on them is both current and followed, as stiff penalties and lawsuits can arise with a lack of strict adherence to them.
The information on employment law subjects can be extensive, as there are both State and Federal guidelines that must be followed in many of the included laws. These guidelines can also change on a fairly consistent basis. Another important area that is covered and must be reviewed regularly is insurance and benefits. The HR department will annually review insurance and benefits packages and shop providers to allow for the best and most economically feasible package for both the company and the employees.
These laws and guidelines are regulated and enforced by several agencies that must be complied with, including the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission and the Occupational Safety and Health Administration, both of which are federal agencies. Substantial fines from these agencies can be levied against companies that are found to be in violation of their standards and rules.