Why is HR Training Important?
The greatest risk to companies comes from management-level employees who are bad actors who violate our state’s anti-discrimination and anti-retaliation laws. Companies are held liable for their managers’ actions and for their own failures to have, implement, and train on standard workplace policies.
Particularly dangerous is a manager’s deviation from standard company policies for one employee but not another, giving rise to a disparate treatment argument. For instance, a manager allows one favored employee to take leave or work from home, while refusing the opportunity to another less favored employee. If unchecked, the manager inadvertently creates a pattern of behavior that will be used to ascribe liability for their actions to the company. Keep in mind that the same New Jersey laws that protect employees also allow for individual claims against the bad actors themselves, not just the company.
Why Do I Need Proper Training In Human Resources In Place?
One of the first lines of inquiry and investigation from agencies like the New Jersey Department of Labor or the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission is likely to ask for the company handbook and for a log of the number and frequency of human resources training sessions done in the workplace. While large companies have this process implemented and well documented, smaller businesses often grow too fast to properly build out their HR processes and learn this lesson the hard way.
As a Small Business Owner, How Can I Be Prepared?
As you roll out your growth plan for the New Year, make sure to think about the following:
-Do you have an employee handbook?
-If you already have one, when was the last time it was updated?
-Are you leading periodic training sessions on the key provisions of your handbook?
-Do you administer specific training for your management employees?
-How do you handle employee discipline?
-How do you handle workplace complaints?
-Who manages your managers and supervisors?
Remember, just having a handbook in place doesn’t protect you against workplace harassment and discrimination. For further counsel, reach out to Hamilton Law Firm.