Our experienced attorneys are able to speak on any employment-related topic. The topics on which we frequently conduct training, however, include but are not limited to the following:
Employers often promote good employees and expect them to be good supervisors without giving them the tools to identify and avoid the legal pitfalls they will inevitably encounter. Indeed, so many actions that have proven costly to employers could have been avoided had supervisors been properly educated about their responsibilities and the associated dangers under the myriad of employment laws, including those relating to discrimination and harassment, retaliation, wage and hour, disability accommodation, leaves of absence, and labor relations. Supervisors' ignorance of the law is no excuse and can result in liability and costly punitive damages as evidence of an employer's reckless indifference to its obligations. A federal court has said it best — leaving supervisors in ignorance of the basic features of the laws applicable to the workplace "is an extraordinary mistake for a company to make."
Employment training is most important for supervisors. It will enable them to recognize potential problems before they occur, exercise good judgment or, at the very least, know when to get help from others who possess greater expertise. Such discretionary instincts are critical to supervisors, especially given the potential for their own individual liability and their ability to create employer liability for costly punitive damages. Nonsupervisory employees, however, should be trained as well. Nonsupervisory employees should receive harassment and diversity awareness training to ensure they understand the employer’s policies and expectations relating to these topics, and to encourage them to seek internal assistance rather than turn to less desirable external forums such as administrative agencies and courts. Such training often has the effect of improved morale and communication in the workplace. Furthermore, human resources professionals need to know the technical compliance requirements necessary for the creation and implementation of policies and procedures.
Once is not enough when it comes to employment training. Training should be conducted on an ongoing basis to emphasize the importance of the topics and to ensure participants retain and, when necessary, are able to apply the critical knowledge gained through such training. Plus, employment laws change and develop over time. Furthermore, by conducting harassment training on a regular basis, such as every year or two, employers demonstrate that they mean what their policies say and better protect themselves against liability. Such regular training will also ensure that newly hired employees are trained in a timely manner.
Whether because of time constraints or issues of expertise, many employers lack the in house capability to provide employment training. Indeed, lack of expertise can result in critical omissions that can ultimately make training ineffective or even lead to liability. Given these dangers, experienced employment counsel should conduct employment-related training to ensure inclusion of the most recent legal developments in the particular jurisdiction, as well as any adjustments due to the size, nature and special needs of any organization. Our attorneys conduct training on a regular basis and are available to review applicable principles in a credible, entertaining and practical way. Shared "war stories" and an interactive approach are part of what makes our seminars far more meaningful than a mere recitation of principles or a canned video.
Cost of training varies based on various factors including the number of classes, travel required and necessary revision of materials. Class length is based on the audience, the complexity of the material and the preference of the organization. Continuing education credits may be available. For more information on our employment training, visit us on the web or contact a member of our Labor, Employment and Employee Benefits department.