Here’s How To Train Your Leaders To Keep Up With Employment Laws

Emily Parkin

Employment laws can change yearly, from minimum wage increases to employee classification requirements. With these laws constantly in flux, it’s important for HR professionals to train their leadership team on keeping up.

Skirting employment laws can lead to conflicts and legal complications that could spell trouble for your company. Below, 15 members of Forbes Human Resources Council explain how you can ensure your leaders are staying on top of the latest employment laws. 

1. Create A Comprehensive Training

Educate them about current laws relevant in their country. Leaders have the right intent to follow the law, however, they don’t know their responsibilities in a labor law context. For example, how many hours can you ask your employees to work, when can you terminate their employment, how fair does your hiring process have to be. Creating training that is interesting yet comprehensive is effective. – Amee Parekh, Uber Technologies

2. Rely On Talent Development Resources

Each business should rely on its Talent Development resources to proactively introduce regular and relevant training sessions. In addition, HR professionals shall proactively assist organizational leaders through biweekly check-ins and by providing them with up-to-date resources and relevant HR best practices. – Erald Minga, S4Capital 

3. Create A Safe Line Of Communication

If leaders treat their people well, they shouldn’t have too many issues. However, ensuring an open and safe line of communication with HR and the legal team is critical, so leaders and employees are comfortable flagging questions or concerns early. Additionally, the HR and legal teams must be comfortable sharing new legal information that may affect the company’s workforce proactively. – Tracy Cote, StockX

4. Offer Annual Training

Every people leader needs to have a foundational understanding of employment law basics to be able to navigate employee situations that arise and protect the organization. Training is important for new people leaders and when an employee is promoted to a people leader. There should also be annual training as reminders and to share new employment laws. Case studies are a great tool. – Sherry Martin, Government Administration

5. Provide Weekly Updates

Our team provides weekly updates to our general counsel (from sources such as our law firm (daily newsletter), SHRM and more. He then is able to update leadership on their weekly calls if there is any new law that affects our organization and we think of ways to minimize any impacts and to proactively deal with it. Sometimes, especially in a remote setting, we are reactive due to so many states. – Erin ImHof, Circadence

6. Offer Multiple Resources

Many legal firms host annual training on upcoming laws that leaders can attend. Leaders can subscribe to these firms’ newsletters and filter the information by state, industry and categories of employment law. Having multiple resources such as reading materials and professional affiliations will keep leaders abreast of current and new employment laws. – Quyen Nguyenfa, Mckinney Trailer Rentals

7. Build An Intranet Or Sharepoint Resource

As HR becomes aware of legislative changes, it is important to have this information accessible to all people leaders in the organization. Build a section on the company intranet or SharePoint page specifically for leaders with alerts when new information is available. This, in addition to intermittent HR training sessions throughout the year, will help keep leaders up to date and well-prepared. – Sandi Wilson, FinTek Consulting

8. Assign A Designated Individual For Updates

Companies should have select individuals assigned to keep up with all current employment laws. This information can then be delivered to other company leaders via management meetings or individual check-ins with managers. Company newsletters are also a good place to provide information to employees about policy changes resulting from any new laws. – Niki Jorgensen, Insperity


Forbes Human Resources Council is an invitation-only organization for HR executives across all industries. Do I qualify?


9. Ask Leaders To Participate In Social Media Training

Ensuring that leaders participate in social media and media training workshops ensures that they operate appropriately. Additionally, briefing the organization, alongside leaders, on relevant changes to laws during monthly staff meetings and in weekly staff newsletters helps avoid conflict and legal complications. – Yvonne Cowser Yancy, Understood

10. Provide Learning Opportunities

Getting something wrong in a safe environment is very effective for learning. I would suggest taking inspiration from cybersecurity training by sending emails from real or fake employees, raising questions or concerns to a leader that require a timely response. Leaders get an automated reply assessing the appropriateness of their response (or non-response) with links to relevant training content. – Bontle Senne, Virgin Media UK

11. Give High-Level Information

This is why it’s essential that human resources staff members have a seat at the table. Having the opportunity to share critical information about the workplace and legal changes, is the basis for manager human resources development. The ability to give high-level information and allow for a Q&A is critical for organizational compliance and your HR expert standing. – Nakisha Griffin, Neustar Security Services

12. Share Real-Time Updates

Frequent touch points (biweekly) with your office of general counsel to glean real-time updates and share back with direct leaders and teams. Engaging counsel team members on “Lunch and Learns” for trending topics. – Britton Bloch, Navy Federal

13. Rely On Legal Counsel

While it is critical for leaders and HR to seek and attend external training for employment law updates, it’s challenging for them to keep up on everything. Organizations also need to rely on inside or outside attorneys to provide just-in-time counsel when situations arise. Proactive learning combined with expert resources is a strong recipe for success. – Megan Leasher, Talent Plus

14. Grow Your HR Network

No HR professional is an island. Join applicable HR associations and networks. Connect with trusted HR sources and sign-up for email alerts. Establish strong relationships with your benefit, insurance and legal partners. Insurance companies especially want to share information that keeps your company safe from litigation. – Patricia Sharkey, IMI A Global People Company

15. Stay Informed

HR leaders are required to know and understand current employment laws and as a result, implementing monthly training and leadership round tables can be more helpful than quarterly or yearly training. We are in the middle of a workplace revolution and being aware of what other industries are experiencing can also help to draw parallels to what might happen in the future. – Danny Speros, Zenefits

https://www.forbes.com/sites/forbeshumanresourcescouncil/2022/01/25/heres-how-to-train-your-leaders-to-keep-up-with-employment-laws/

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