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Importance of Knowing Laws as an HR Manager

HR managers are tasked with maintaining a working knowledge of the laws surrounding employment, as well as communicating the meaning of these laws to employers and employees alike. As Ruth Mayhew writes for, “Labor and employment laws give structure to the workplace, define what employees and employers are responsible for and, in some cases, outline federal regulations to give both parties necessary direction for resolving workplace conflict.”

These laws exist to protect both the employee and the employer, and HR managers are responsible for making sure companies operate within these laws. As an MBA student, you will be given the opportunity to familiarize yourself with the laws and their application within a company.

Ensuring Safety and Fair Treatment of Employees

According to Jillian Peterson of, “Most human resource managers also are responsible for training other key management personnel to ensure these laws are being upheld throughout the company.” Having a detailed knowledge of the law is necessary to be able to pass on this knowledge to the other HR professionals in your department.

Peterson writes, “The most common laws that affect HR decisions and actions involve equal employment opportunities, discrimination, labor laws, and medical leaves of absence.” These laws, such as the Fair Labor Standards Act, the Civil Rights Act and the Equal Pay Act, exist to ensure the safety and fair treatment of workers.

Helping companies operate within the boundaries of these laws is one of the primary directives of HR managers. Both employers and employees depend on their HR department to understand these laws to maintain a hospitable work environment.

Maintaining Workplace Structure

Mayhew notes, “Labor and employment laws give structure to organizations and guidance to small business owners who otherwise might not be inclined to adhere to laws.” While most employers might be generally familiar with some of the larger federal labor laws, such as the Fair Labor Standards Act, there are several lesser-known laws that HR managers are required to be familiar with to ensure a company is operating legally.

“Local, state, and federal employment laws all play a role in human resources,” says, “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.” HR managers and their departments facilitate the relationship between a company and these laws, and help maintain an ethical work environment for employees.

HR Shaped Through Law

According to Inc., “The field of human resources management is greatly influenced and shaped by the state and federal laws governing employment issues. Indeed, regulations and laws govern all aspects of human resource management.” Being familiar with the law is arguably the most important requirement of effective HR managers and their teams, and being educated on these laws through a rigorous online MBA program is an important stepping stone for HR professionals looking to further their careers.

Learn more about Fitchburg State University’s online MBA in Human Resources Management program.

Sources: Importance of Labor Laws

bizfluent: What Are Various Employment Laws Which Affect HR Decisions & Actions?

Inc.: Human Resources Management and the Law Human Resources Law

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