When it comes to understanding Human Resource Law, it is important that all of management has at the very least an overview understanding of what impacts them and their employees. It is vital that the HR staff has a workable knowledge and applicable skills to set and enforce policies that are impacted by HR Law. But I would also say that in some cases particular areas should be understood by all employees.
First off, we can probably all agree that the HR staff needs to be very competent. Which means their initial training is only the beginning of their learning process. Training Managers should have overview programs in place for general understanding of laws, and most often can find these programs in their existing eLearning catalog of courses. But practical skills need expert instructions and experienced facilitators to train your HR staff. Consultants bring a lot to workshops because of their particular backgrounds, often in employment law. Sit with your HR Director and plan out annual develop plans for their staff and keep an eye out for experts to facilitate.
The reason I like eLearning courses for overview is they already are sitting in your online resources. Every employee ought to be able to self enroll. And if you happen to have a policy that requires approval, get rid of it for this kind of training. Then watch the enrollment numbers for particular courses. Are a lot of employees taking FMLA, or ADA courses? Maybe you have other problems to get in front of you didn’t know about.
Now while every HR Law has a firm place in the must know about category, today I would like to emphasis the dangers of ignorance when it comes to rightful terminations. Find an employment law attorney that does this training, and scare the wits out of all your managers so they become part of the process of avoiding wrongful termination suits.
One of my favorite companies to watch right now decided to discipline employees differently over the same issue and because even HR wasn’t watching well what was happening, they terminated some employees and gave final corrective actions to others, with no thought at all that one of these bright individuals could locate an attorney. When all the dust settles this place is going to be paying thousands to settle numerous lawsuits.
HR Law training should be an ongoing developmental practice in every company. If you are avoiding this kind of training you are in for a thrill of a ride when things go wrong. Any HR Manager will tell you that training workplace harassment doesn’t stop harassment, but it does minimize it. And the dollars to settle lost lawsuits are so much higher if on top of being found guilty of harassment you did nothing to prevent it. A double ouch!