The Increasing Dependence of HR Professionals on Legal Education

Once upon a time, all HR professionals went to business school. Nowadays, this isn’t necessarily the case.

In fact, if you were to analyze the background of a lot of those who are just starting in the HR industry, you would quickly find that an education in law is becoming increasingly common. A Masters of Jurisprudence is seen as one of the best ways to train for the field, as it provides a way of thinking that is becoming more associated with the “modern” human resources professional.

To highlight the point in-detail, here are some of the reasons why more HR professionals are turning towards an education in law to fuel their career.

The differing requirements based on location and business size

One of the big reasons why a legal background is sought so much in HR nowadays is because of how the requirements change so much. For example, if you are a HR manager working in a small business, there is every chance that you will have different obligations to one who is working as part of a larger organization.

Additionally, things change based on location. This doesn’t just have to relate to state either; cities can be affected as well. The federal standard, as we all know, is currently set at $7.25 per hour. In some cities, this is known to be higher and as a HR manager, you need to be equipped with this information. A legal education will teach you about the Fair Labor Standards Act, which will ensure that the business you work for complies with every element of pay (including overtime and other issues that can sometimes complicate a company’s expenditure).

The rise of sexual harassment cases

As we all know, there has been a lot in the press over the last couple of years about sexual harassment. While most of these high-profile headlines might relate to Hollywood, it can unfortunately occur in both small and medium businesses as well.

As a HR professional, this might be one of the most important legal aspects that you tackle as part of your job. It has come to light in the last few years that a lot of people don’t come forward and express their concerns, in fear of losing their job. This is something that needs to be considered, as well as balancing up the legal process which of course needs to be followed.

Health and safety

It’s a phrase that is often hated by all concerned at a company, and for that reason it probably won’t come as a surprise to read that health and safety has all sorts of legal strings attached to it. The Occupational Safety and Health Act covers every element of it, with a key takeaway from this law being that workers receive training in a language they understand. This is of course quite a subjective requirement, and is further evidence on why legal training can assist HR professionals in preparing such documentation.

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