Human resource management (HRM, or simply HR) is the management process of an organization's workforce, or human resources. It is responsible for the attraction, selection, training, assessment, and rewarding of employees, while also overseeing organizational leadership and culture and ensuring compliance with employment and labor laws. In circumstances where employees desire and are legally authorized to hold a collective bargaining agreement, HR will also serve as the company's primary liaison with the employees' representatives (usually a labor union).
HR is a product of the human relations movement of the early 20th century, when researchers began documenting ways of creating business value through the strategic management of the workforce. The function was initially dominated by transactional work, such as payroll and benefits administration, but due to globalization, company consolidation, technological advancement, and further research, HR now focuses on strategic initiatives like mergers and acquisitions, talent management, succession planning, industrial and labor relations, and diversity and inclusion.
Labour law (also labor law or employment law) mediates the relationship between workers (employees), employers, trade unions and the government. Collective labour law relates to the tripartite relationship between employee, employer and union. Second, individual labour law concerns employees' rights at work and through the contract for work. The labour movement has been instrumental in the enacting of laws protecting labour rights in the 19th and 20th centuries. Labour rights have been integral to the social and economic development since the Industrial Revolution. Employment standards are social norms (in some cases also technical standards) for the minimum socially acceptable conditions under which employees or contractors will work. Government agencies (such as the former U.S. Employment Standards Administration) enforce employment standards codified by labour law (legislative, regulatory, or judicial).
In the United States, workers are generally entitled to be paid no less than the statutory minimum wage. As of July 2009, the federal government mandates a nationwide minimum wage level of $7.25 per hour, while some states and municipalities have set minimum wage levels higher than the federal level, with the highest state minimum wage being $9.19 per hour in Washington as of 2013.
Among those paid by the hour in 2012, 1.6 million were reported as earning exactly the prevailing federal minimum wage. About 2.0 million were reported as earning wages below the minimum. Together, these 3.6 million workers with wages at or below the minimum made up 4.7 percent of all hourly-paid workers.
A minimum wage is the lowest hourly, daily or monthly remuneration that employers may legally pay to workers. Equivalently, it is the lowest wage at which workers may sell their labor. Although minimum wage laws are in effect in many jurisdictions, differences of opinion exist about the benefits and drawbacks of a minimum wage.
Supporters of the minimum wage claim it increases the standard of living of workers, reduces poverty, reduces inequality, boosts morale and forces businesses to be more efficient. Critics of the minimum wage claim it actually increases poverty, increases unemployment (particularly among low productivity workers), and is damaging to businesses.
Remuneration is the compensation that one receives in exchange for the work or services performed. Typically, this consists of monetary rewards, also referred to as wage or salary. A number of complementary benefits, however, are increasingly popular remuneration mechanisms.
Remuneration can include: