Legal Issues of a HR Professional


LegalIssues of a HR Professional



Itis important to note that for companies to succeed globally, theymust have leaders who view things in a global way. The businessshould take the initiative of introducing the managers to competitiveenvironments and activities in order to get a broader understandingof the business practices (Business&amp Legal Reports 2011).They should be introduced to development and training programs thatmake them aware of the global cultures and markets. There arenumerous environmental factors that influence the operation of acompany. They include legal issue, relationship between the businessand community in order to develop better training programs and makingjobs available locally (Noe,2010).The aim of this paper is to discuss the legal issues that a HumanResource Professional should be familiar with in relation to trainingpractices.


Thereare certain training activities that can make HR professionalsvulnerable to legal actions if not handled in the right manner.First, the training cost is catered for in the Internal Revenue codeand hence it should be deducted as a company expense (Noe,2010).There is a certain amount that the employer is required to pay theemployee per year in order to cater for educational expenses. Theemployer should deduct the amount in case any training is advanced toemployee and the outstanding balance added to the employee`s end yearsalary (Business&amp Legal Reports 2011).

TheAmericans with Disabilities Act was established to protect peoplewith disabilities from being discriminated at their workplaces. Itprohibits any form of discrimination on disability during hiring,compensation, firing and training activities. Companies are requiredby law to provide reasonable accommodation in relation to training.It means that training facilities should be readily accessible toindividuals with disabilities as well as easy to use. The Americanwith Disabilities influences the training activities in situationswhere adventure learning is needed. The physical fitness requireddoes not favor the disabled and hence the ADA demands for analternative program that will offer the same fitness to thehandicapped (Business&amp Legal Reports 2011).

Theother legal issue that a HR professional should be aware of whendesigning training is that he should treat all the employees equally.He should provide an enabling learning environment and opportunitiesfor role playing and practice among others. The HR professionalshould not force employees to watch programs that they consideroffensive (Business&amp Legal Reports 2011).The law further protects women, minorities and older people frombeing deprived their rights to employment. Another legal issue isthat worker`s compensation laws make employers liable for any injuryduring employment related activity. HR professionals should ensurethat employees have the required skills before operating anyequipment. The law provides that the company will be liable for anydamages caused due to poorly trained employee (Noe,2010).Further, using copyrighted materials in training without permissionis a crime and the employer is liable for any breach claims raised.

Aculture refers to a sum of customs and beliefs that differentiatesone group from the other. A company has numerous cultures that affectthe effectiveness of management styles and behaviors. Some employeesprefer certain kinds of management style because they are friendlywhile others keep distance and respect their employers. The leadersof companies in Germany must demonstrate technical skills in order toachieve their status. Indians also have a different culture. Shakinghands shows respect while avoiding eye contact is a sign of deference(Noe,2010).Hofstede identified five dimensions of national culture namelyindividualism-collectivism, uncertainty avoidance, power distance,and masculinity-femininity and time orientation. Understanding thesedimensions helps individuals integrate with other cultures and canget useful information while working with them (Business&amp Legal Reports 2011).

Individualism-collectivismrefers to the degree to which people behave as individuals ratherthan people belonging to a particular cultural dimension. Thedimension demonstrates that employees expect to be employed andrewarded based on their merit. In America, the relationship betweenemployer and employee provides an enabling learning environment. Onthe other hand, the interaction could also violate the norms of asuccessful training program (Business&amp Legal Reports 2011).The implication of individualism-collectivism expects participationin the company to be determined by those with status. Uncertaintyavoidance demand formal instruction environments and does nottolerate improper practices in the company. Further, masculinitycultural dimension emphasizes on a need for a close relationshipbetween colleagues at work. Power distance requires workers to beexperts who carry out their duties in an authoritarian way (Noe,2010).Finally, time orientation argues that the company will only haveworkers who are ready to develop. The development is as a result oftraining and accepting responsibilities.


Itis the duty of employers to identify any situation in the workplacethat violates the rules and regulations established. They includesafety issues, sexual harassment of employees and customer complainsamong others. Companies are challenged to expand globally and thisenables employees to work in foreign countries (Noe,2010).Workers also get a chance to interact with colleagues from othernations. The company`s internal environment is an important elementto consider in order to succeed (Business&amp Legal Reports 2011).There is need to educate managers and giving employees opportunitiesto develop. Motivating workers is crucial whereby they are encouragedto learn through skill based pay systems, management and successiontraining programs. In United States, the interaction between anemployer and employee provides a good learning environment. However,the interaction could also violate the norms of a successful trainingprogram.


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Business&amp Legal Reports. (2011). Managingan HR department of one.Old Say brook, CT: Business &amp Legal Reports.

Noe,R. A. (2010). Employeetraining and development.(5th ed.). New York, NY: McGraw- Hill/Irwin.

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