Pitt Law Offers New Online Human Resources Law Certificate Program

Applications are now being accepted for enrollment in Human Resources Law Online, a new online graduate certificate program from the School of Law that tackles the legal issues that sometimes arise in the human resource industry. The courses, which begin in fall 2019 and will be taught over 40 weeks by Pitt Law faculty and employment law practitioners, will explore the practical applications of the law within human resources.

Students will learn key negotiating skills to help improve their ability to manage difficult workplace situations, such as employee contract negotiations, workplace accommodations requests and employee terminations.

Alan Meisel, professor of law and director of Online Legal Programs, said the curriculum is aimed at non-lawyers. “We’re trying to provide a legal education for people already working in the industry. Legal problems can arise, but people don’t realize it’s a legal problem until they need a lawyer. With the knowledge gained through these courses, one can head off serious legal problems.”

Human resources, like many areas of business, has become more complicated, added Joseph Hornack, director of the online program in human resources law. “Artificial intelligence has been playing a larger role in hiring, work evaluation, and termination decisions at some of the larger companies,” Hornack said. “The algorithms are established in ways that may contain biases.”

Core courses of Human Resources Law Online include:

  • Introduction to the Legal System of Human Resources: Hiring and Firing
  • Wages, Hours, and Benefits
  • Working Conditions
  • Anti-discrimination Law

Students must already have completed a bachelor’s degree from an accredited institution. The new certificate is ideal for those already working in HR, those moving to that field from another career, business school graduates and other professionals who want to know the legal issues related to HR.

For more information, contact Joseph Hornack at jsh18@pitt.edu.