Harassment, OSHA, and HIPPA
Whether workplace training is required under state law or something your company is considering to educate employees on conduct at work, workplace harassment training is an investment that can benefit employers (and employees) in multiple ways. Contact our workplace training lawyers today for more information or assistance.
In some states, workplace harassment training is not optional – it is required by law. This is true for employers who have physical offices in these states as well as those just simply doing business in the state. Currently, California and Connecticut require that employers provide workplace harassment training to supervisors, where other federal and state laws, regulations, and court decisions have made clear that employers should provide anti-harassment training to all employees in all states. Some states may not require – but encourage – employers to provide harassment prevention training, including Colorado, Florida, Massachusetts, Michigan, Oklahoma, Rhode Island, Tennessee, Utah, and Vermont.
Employers operating in these states or even just doing business in these states need to have a plan in place for training for employees compliant with state laws. The U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) has issued guidelines, which apply to employers in all states, stating that employers periodically “should provide [harassment prevention] training to all employees to ensure they understand their rights and responsibilities.” Even if you are not an employer operating or doing business in one of those states, workplace harassment training is always a good idea for an employer and should be viewed as necessary for a successful business.
Not only does harassment training educate employees about what conduct is – and is not – permitted in the workplace, but the mere step of providing harassment training to employees may provide for defenses for employers in the event of a claim of hostile work environment or harassment in the workplace. Most federal courts hold that employers who fail to train all employees on proper workplace conduct can lose the abilities to defend against punitive damages (and raise affirmative defenses) in a harassment claim/lawsuit.
Under most state and federal laws, a supervisor’s actions (or inactions) can bind the company – including for liability in a discrimination or retaliation lawsuit. Therefore, it is important that employers educate their employees about what conduct may be illegal under state and federal laws, how to identify problems in the workplace that may give rise to a claim, and what to do if they receive a complaint from an employee. Employees should understand the company’s complaint/dispute process, conduct that is illegal under the law, and what to do if they witness improper conduct in the workplace.
Contact Our Workplace Training Lawyers Today
At Scott Wagner and Associates, our workplace training lawyers use our combined fifty years of experience in employment and labor laws to provide comprehensive workplace training locally, nationally, and internationally to your employees in areas of harassment (including sexual harassment), medical leave, disability training, discrimination/anti-discrimination, equal pay practices, HIPPA compliance, OSHA safety training, and retaliation. Our training can be provided in person (on site) or via video conferencing. Contact us today for package pricing for workplace training for your employees.