Human resource professionals must navigate and deal with a wide range of legal and policy issues in the workplace. They must know the responsibilities and boundaries of their own role, and they must assess issues and consult appropriate legal or expert counsel.

This course will help current and aspiring HR managers and staff to establish a structured framework for systematic analysis of employee issues that may have legal implications. It focuses on the layers of employee rights, the HR role, appropriate consultation with legal counsel, and the use of a step-by-step process in the assessment of workplace issues. By the end of this course, you will develop a systematic foundation for managing employment law issues.

Human resource professionals in the United States must assess and manage workplace issues relating to discrimination, harassment, retaliation, medical and family leave, and other matters dealing with treatment of employees.

This course is designed to give you a broad understanding of US laws such as Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1963, the Age Discrimination in Employment Act of 1967, the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990, and similar laws. The course begins with a look at basic terminology and provisions relating to equal employment opportunity, affirmative action, diversity, and inclusion. The focus then moves to legal protections for certain classes of individuals before addressing issues relating to disability, religion, harassment, and retaliation.

HR professionals today must consider the legal implications of policies and practices relating to employee leave, compensation, benefits, safety, workplace agreements, electronic communication, and privacy. These often go beyond questions of discrimination or employee treatment and require a basic awareness of relevant laws and the need for appropriate consultation when issues arise.

This course provides an overview of US laws in key areas, including the Family and Medical Leave Act, the Fair Labor Standards Act, the National Labor Relations Act, the Occupational Health and Safety Act, and others. You will leave this course prepared to work with colleagues and legal experts to address legal issues within your organization.

Employment laws vary widely from one type of legal system to another, from country to country, and even from one state or province to another. Human resource professionals may be faced with a need to analyze workforce laws and regulations in places where they have little prior experience.

This course provides a bird's-eye view of how employment laws vary by country or region and the underlying reasons for that variation. Practical guidance will be provided for HR specialists who need to research relevant employment requirements and work with relevant authorities and organizations. By improving your knowledge of global employment law, you will gain a competitive perspective allowing you to employ effective strategies with all stakeholders.

Human resource professionals may need to go beyond simply gaining a knowledge of how employment laws vary in different parts of the world and in specific countries. When a company begins operations in a new country, HR staff must make changes to their current policies or establish new ones that meet local requirements.

This course examines key practices and issues relating to employment and is designed to help your organization adapt its current policies and practices to a new legal environment. Through a multi-part course project, you will have an opportunity to apply what you learn to your own personal or organizational situation.

Employee relations is an increasingly important role within the HR function. Maintaining positive employee relations helps boost morale, reduce conflict, and raise workforce productivity.

In this course, you will develop an understanding of how to best facilitate relationships between an organization and its employees, employees and their managers, and employees and other employees. You'll be introduced to the Effective Employee Relations Conversations framework, which enables HR professionals to conduct effective conversations with team members at all levels of the organization. Throughout the course, you'll have an opportunity to apply key components of this framework by working through a variety of practice activities.

Participants can choose between participating in this section of the program through a series of scheduled live online sessions outlined below or through in-person workshops delivered by the ILR School in New York City.

Dates (choose one set):

Fall 2021:

  • Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday, 9:00am – 12:30pm ET
    • October 19-21, 2021
    • November 2-4, 2021
    • November 16-18, 2021
    • November 30-December 2, 2021

Spring 2022:

  • Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday, 1:30pm – 5:00pm ET
    • March 15-17, 2022
    • March 29-31, 2022
    • April 12-14, 2022
    • April 26-28, 2022


Course 1– Advanced Effective Employee Relations

What are the responsibilities and proactive initiatives that guide employee relations (ER) professionals?

Discover techniques for conducting effective conversations, making ER decisions, and managing performance issues. You will practice coaching, counseling, progressive discipline strategies, navigating different work styles, and communication skills, including effective ways to phrase language. You'll leave with an extensive toolkit and guides to apply directly to your work.

Course 2 – Human Resources and the Law

Understanding the impact and importance of employment laws in the context of your daily work is critical to your success.

Review best practices for understanding, identifying, preventing, and managing employee-related issues that have potential legal concerns. You will gain up-to-date information on employment laws and court cases on employment practices. You'll also engage with case scenarios to apply practical implications of those laws on policies and day-to-day operations.

Course 3 – Facilitating Conflict: Collaborative Problem Solving

Conflict in the workplace is inevitable. Identifying and applying key problem-solving skills can help you make conflict more manageable for everyone.

Discover techniques, tools, processes, and skills for facilitating conflict using a collaborative problem-solving approach for resolving one-on-one conflicts. Discussions and tools focus on problem solving, listening and messaging skills, conflict styles, neutral issue statements, de-escalating emotions, developing options, and facilitating and gaining commitment.

Course 4 – Preventing Harassment

Helping to create and maintain a respectful workplace is important in every organization.

Examine current legal and policy concerns as well as best practices related to preventing harassment and retaliation. You will review approaches from the perspectives of HR, managers, and employees for responding to inappropriate behaviors. You'll practice prevention strategies for creating a respectful workplace, including providing individual feedback. You'll also review requirements for training and explore preventive training options beyond legal standards.

You will actively engage with Cornell instructors and your peers as you progress through each topic. Participation at each session is required for successful completion of the certificate program.

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