Legal, safety, and regulatory requirements are critical considerations during a human resource process. These considerations exist to standardize human resource practices that are lawful and safe to both employer and employee.
Legal requirements are part of the government’s statutes that protect potential employees from discrimination practices based on race, sex, and gender. Civil Rights Act and the Americans with Disabilities Act are examples of legal requirements that ensure human resource processes, are lawful and respect individual liberties (Burgdorf Jr, 1991). Also, legal requirements are monitored by the United States Department of Labor. This is to ensure in employers conform to legal guidelines on wages, safety, and health, as well as employee benefits. Human resource practices that violate guidelines on employee retirement, compensation, and working conditions are subject to legal actions.
Safety requirements are a provision of federal regulations. These regulations act as a guideline for employees’ health and safety in the workplace. Health and safety of the working environment is a mandatory responsibility of an employer according to the Occupational and Safety and Health Act (OSHA). OSHA and workers compensation regulations are to be observed by employers at the state and federal levels, respectively (Smitha, Kirk, Oestenstad, Brown & Lee, 2001). This means that the government’s responsibility of providing a safe working environment is transferred to the employer. Violation of these regulations is followed by legal action.
On the other hand, employers through their respective human resource managers, have the responsibility of complying with federal, state, and international laws related to employment. However, this applies to the jurisdiction of the employer’s location and industry of operation. Violation of these regulations usually costs employers hefty penalties and lengthy court cases. Sometimes, employers are jailed for violating labor laws and have their organizations banned from operations.
I agree that common sense and compassion have been diluted by litigation in the workplace. It is common to find that employers are wary of legal suits from employees and business partners. In this regard, employers through human resource managers work hard to ensure that legal actions do not occur. This trend is harmful in an organization that requires having full attention in providing a safe environment for the employees. Consequently, the employer’s responsibility in managing and motivating employees to improve their productivity results to alleviated stress levels. Perhaps, this pressure against the employer has been caused by statutory regulations that empower employees to sue their employers in case their rights are violated.
The United States Department of Labor is associated with enacting employee-related regulations that are stressful to the employer. This is because the employers have to comply with government regulations that lead to hefty penalties upon violations. For example, the Americans with Disabilities Act empower potential employees to sue an employer for discriminating against qualified disabled persons (Walsh, 2009). However, the employer’s interest is to ensure that employees’ productivity is not hindered by any form of disability. Therefore, instead of employing qualified and able persons, the employer has to abide by legal regulations that protect disabled employees as envisioned in the United States Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC).
On the other hand, employers are obliged to avoid criminal actions in the workplace according to policies of the Department of Homeland Security. Instead of preventing criminal and workplace violence as common sense dictates, such violations are now monitored through litigation and lawsuits (Walsh, 2009).
Burgdorf Jr, R. L. (1991). Americans with Disabilities Act: Analysis and Implications of a Second-Generation Civil Rights Statute, The. Harv. Cr-ClL Rev., 26, 413.
Smitha, M. W., Kirk, K. A., Oestenstad, K. R., Brown, K. C., & Lee, S. D. (2001). Effect of state workplace safety laws on occupational injury rates. Journal of Occupational and Environmental Medicine, 43(12), 1001-1010.
Walsh, J. (2009). Human resource and employment law. Boston, MA: Cengage Learning.