New HR challenges in the dynamic environment of legal compliance
This chapter examines legal developments in the areas of employment discrimination, corporate reform, and alternative dispute resolution. Guidelines will be offered to help HR respond appropriately to new legal requirements and avoid costly negative outcomes. The chapter looks at rulings related to an employer's liability for hostile work environment harassment and provides some guidelines on how organizations can protect themselves in such cases. It also looks at rulings related to the legality of using mandatory arbitration agreements and provides some guidelines on how organizations can use such agreements to their benefit. The chapter identifies portions of Sarbanes-Oxley Act (SOX) and comparable provisions of Canada's Multilateral Instrument that have the greatest effects on HR, and make recommendations regarding compliance. The chapter gives the audit committee the authority to appoint advisors to assist in carrying out its duties. Because HR is traditionally responsible for internal investigations of potential illegal activity, they are likely to be involved in the investigation of SOX complaints.