By Anica Oaks

Human resources is an integral part of any company because it does the majority of the work of hiring and terminating employees, keeping files, making and keeping up on company policies and even handling training and promotions. With so many responsibilities, it is vital that human resources personnel understand their roles and take their work seriously. Human resources’ faux pas, such as those listed below, can cause a company great embarrassment and could even lead to disgruntled employees, lawsuits and hefty fines.

  1. Discrimination of Any Type. Virtually all HR employees understand that potential or current employees cannot be discriminated against in regards to sex, religion or age. However, according to Forbes, many lesser known forms of discrimination may be a part of a business’s practices. For example, federal laws do not allow for discrimination against those who smoke or against those who only speak English as a second language.
  2. Not Following State and Local Laws. A multitude of state and local laws exist to ensure that employees have safe and non-discriminatory working environments as well as appropriate benefits. Common mistakes that HR makes include not giving employees enough breaks, failing to provide correct medical or maternity leave and not withholding sufficient funds for taxes.
  3. Inaccurate File-keeping. It is impossible to overstate the importance of keeping complete files on every employee. These files can help with compliance or with future legal matters. Items that should be included in every file are evaluations, warnings, hiring and termination paperwork, promotion paperwork, and benefits information.
  4. Incomplete Training. HR is responsible for the initial training at most jobs. This should include providing every employee with a recently updated company policy handbook and beginning the onboarding process. HR should be responsible for creating complete training schedules that will assimilate employees into the company, making them feeling welcomed and valued. Of course, the best HR employees are those who have a degree in this area, such as in organizational development degree programs. These degrees can help them to communicate appropriately, keep detailed records and understand how to negotiate with employees and resolve conflicts.

Human resources is typically the initial introduction any potential employee has to a company. They can set the tone for the entire business and can ensure that employees are kept happy. By following state and local laws and keeping complete and accurate files, HR employees can keep a company out of legal and financial straits.

Anica is a professional content and copywriter who graduated from the University of San Francisco. She loves dogs, the ocean, and anything outdoor-related. She was raised in a big family, so she’s used to putting things to a vote. Also, cartwheels are her specialty. You can connect with Anica here.