As we reported earlier, in 2015 the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (“EEOC”) established a Select Task Force on the Study of Harassment in the Workplace. That task force issued a report in 2016 which called on Employers to change their harassment prevention efforts.
For more than a year the EEOC has been telling employers to “reboot” their harassment prevention efforts, recommending a new type of training, which did not yet exist.
Finally now the EEOC has begun to make such training available, including in South Florida. The EEOC task force went out of its way to emphasize the need for a culture of non-harassment that starts at the top of an organization, with training for middle-managers and first-line supervisors to prevent and stop harassment.
Now the EEOC has announced two new trainings for Florida employers: Leading for Respect (for supervisors) and Respect in the Workplace (for all employees).
How is this harassment training Earth-shattering and new? Instead of traditional compliance training that solely focuses on legal definitions and standards for liability, the new harassment training program provides an exciting training alternative for harassment prevention. The trainings will be conducted in Florida by EEOC Training Institute staff.
The harassment training program focuses on respect, acceptable workplace conduct, and the types of behaviors that contribute to a respectful and inclusive, and therefore ultimately more profitable, workplace. The program is customizable for different types of workplaces and includes a section for reviewing employers' own harassment prevention policies and procedures.
The EEOC has launched a new training program on harassment prevention and creating respectful workplaces. Many Florida businesses are unaware of this new harassment training.
How are the EEOC harassment trainings different from traditional trainings on harassment prevention?
Most trainings in Florida on harassment prevention focus on what employees should not do, whereas these focus on what employees should do. Moreover, while most Florida harassment prevention trainings are lecture format, these trainings are on-site, interactive and skills-based. Lastly, most harassment prevention trainings focus on the legal concepts underlying harassment law. Instead, these EEOC trainings focus on the positive behaviors that may prevent conduct from rising to the level of illegal conduct.
How is the EEOC’s new harassment training groundbreaking?
The EEOC Acting Chair Victoria Lipnic, has stated that these harassment trainings incorporate the EEOC Task Force’s 2016 recommendations on compliance, workplace civility, and bystander intervention training, “and I hope employers make use of them.”
What do the new EEOC trainings cover?
The harassment training modules – Leading for Respect (for supervisors) and Respect in the Workplace (for all employees) – go beyond traditional harassment prevention training to focus on respect, acceptable workplace conduct, and the types of behaviors that contribute to a respectful and inclusive organizational culture. The harassment training modules contain sections on the concept of respect, the spectrum of workplace behaviors (including respectful, uncivil, abusive, and illegal behaviors), Florida employer policies and procedures, fairness, bystander intervention, effective coaching, and how to provide and receive feedback.
Who will conduct the new EEOC harassment trainings in Florida?
The training will be led by EEOC’s Outreach and Education Coordinators [eeoc.gov/eeoc/outreach/coordinators] and other EEOC trainers.
How long are the training modules?
Respect in the Workplace is designed to be a three hour course, and Leading for Respect is designed to be a four hour course.
Is the EEOC harassment training free? What is the cost for the new EEOC harassment training?
The EEOC training is fee-based and a three-hour session is $1325 and a four-hour session is $1750. There is a slight reduction in fees when multiple sessions are held on the same day. The Outreach and Education Coordinator in South Florida is Elaine McArthur who can be emailed at ELAINE.MCARTHUR@EEOC.GOV.
If you are not hiring a labor and employment lawyer to train your staff, our law firm recommends that you consider looking into the EEOC’s new harassment training. Alternatively, we can refer you to a local alternative non-lawyer harassment trainer if desired.
After the news coverage of sexual harassment, many business owners in Tampa, Orlando, Miami and West Palm Beach are researching harassment training in Florida for their companies.
If you own a Florida business or if you are in a human resources position in Florida and you have questions about updating your harassment policy, you can email the Law Office of David Miklas, P.A. to arrange for a consultation or you can call us at 1-772-465-5111.
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