Although most organizations wish for rapid growth, it comes with some uncertainties. Understaffing creates an urgency to fill vacant positions, while your team also experiences stress due to the hectic pace. Your business might overlook some regulations while rushing to recruit new employees. To avoid legal penalties, hire a labor lawyer to guide you through this delicate process.
Crucial Recruitment Laws and Regulations
HR responsibilities vary from one organization to the next. While some have specific tasks such as staffing, others deal with all aspects of employment. Knowledge of the law minimizes your company’s exposure to legal risk. These regulations include:
1. Workplace Discrimination Laws
It’s crucial to understand Equal Employment Opportunity (EEO) regulations. That’s because they protect employees against discrimination based on race or color, gender, age, religion, pregnancy, and sexual orientation. The individual laws are:
- The Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA)
This regulation provides equal employment opportunities to job applicants and employees with disabilities. If your business has 15 or more workers, the law requires you to implement ADA requirements.
- Pregnancy Discrimination Act (PDA)
This law forbids prejudice during hiring, firing, training, job assignments, and every other aspect of employment. If a medical condition makes a pregnant employee temporarily unable to perform her duties, you must treat her like other temporarily disabled workers.
- Equal Pay Act (EPA)
Although women account for nearly 50% of the US workforce, they still experience pay disparity. The EPA provides guidelines for the fair remuneration of all genders if they perform similar tasks.
- Age Discrimination in Employment Act (ADEA)
It’s illegal to discriminate against employees based on their age. This law applies to organizations with 20 or more workers and protects those aged 40 and above. It outlines legal use cases for verifying age, such as routine background checks.
A competent labor lawyer will give you the best legal advice to ensure your policies align with workplace discrimination laws. For instance, at least 35 states have “Ban the box” laws. They make it illegal to ask for a job candidate’s criminal history during application.
2. Wage and Hour Protection Laws
Some state laws prohibit employers from asking for the payment history of job candidates. Some also make it illegal to use this information to determine their compensation. Variations of this law protect workers from retaliation based on payment information shared with colleagues.
The Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) has various crucial functions for your business. It issues directives on the national minimum wage, overtime pay, child labor, and the workweek.
The Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA) is another vital law for discerning HR departments. It grants up to 12 weeks of uncompensated leave to eligible workers to handle family and medical situations. During this period, they’ll still enjoy job protection and access to a healthcare plan.
3. Employee Benefits Regulations
These laws guarantee access to your benefits. They include:
- The Affordable Care Act, commonly known as Obamacare. One of its objectives is to expand Medicaid to cover lower-income employees.
- The Employment Retirement Income Security Act (ERISA). This law sets the minimum requirements for health and retirement plans in the private sector.
- The Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA). It prohibits employers and healthcare providers from misusing their employees’ or clients’ confidential medical data.
- The Consolidated Omnibus Budget Reconciliation Act (COBRA). This regulation enables staff members to keep enjoying employer-offered health plans for short periods under specific situations. They include job loss, shorter hours, divorce, and death.
4. Immigration Laws
The Immigration and Nationality Act (INA) sets guidelines on the type of employees US-based businesses should hire. Other than citizens, the provisions cover legal permanent residents, non-citizens, and recognized aliens.
The INA contains some of the most crucial immigration provisions. The law has undergone various amendments since its enactment in 1952 to conform with changing times.
The Immigration Reform and Control Act (IRCA) also outlines the legal penalties for knowingly hiring illegal immigrants. A qualified labor lawyer can advise you on performing thorough background checks without perpetuating discrimination.
5. Workplace Safety Regulations
The Occupational Safety and Health Act (OSHA) provides comprehensive guidelines for all businesses. The law breaks down these workplace safety standards by industries.
In addition to OSHA, the US Department of Labor oversees various workers’ compensation programs. The most vital ones include medical treatment, wage replacement, and vocational rehabilitation. These programs benefit federal workers, their dependents, and specific groups that suffer workplace injuries or occupational illnesses.
Final Thoughts about Recruitment Laws
There are several recruitment laws that you must be conversant with as a business owner. Understanding all of them while running day-to-day operations can be a hectic process. That’s why you need a competent labor lawyer to take this burden off your shoulders. Your company will save time, increase efficiency, and avoid costly legal consequences. The ensuing peace of mind will allow you to focus on your core business and long-term growth prospects.