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Statistics continue to show that costly discrimination and retaliation claims are on the rise. The circumstances surrounding many of such claims suggests that the actions, or inactions, of managers and supervisors can have a huge impact on whether or not a company ends up in litigation.

Employers should take time to educate supervisors and managers on their responsibilities under state and federal employment laws as the actions of these people are many times a company’s first line of defense…or can be used to bolster claims against the company. It is not sufficient that company’s owners and human resource personnel understand what employment laws exist, but managers and supervisors also need to be educated on the requirements and risks as well. This is especially true if an employer wants to avail itself of the affirmative defense created in the United States Supreme Court’s landmark decision in Faragher v. City of Boca Raton, 524 U.S. 775 (1998) which requires an employer to bear the burden of showing: 1) the employer exercised reasonable care to prevent and promptly corrected the offending behavior, and 2) the employee unreasonably failed to take advantage of preventive or corrective opportunities provided by the employer to avoid harm. Subsequent court decisions, as well as the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission’s Enforcement Guidance on Retaliation and Related Issues, recommend more than merely distributing and posting policies but also require regular supervisory training and an effective complaint procedure. Stacey DeKalb, chair of Lommen Abdo’s Employment Law Practice, recommends steps that employers should take in her article, “Consider Employment Law Training for Your Supervisors to Help Minimize Your Company’s Risk of Claims.”

Lommen Abdo conducts many types of employment training programs for our clients.  Some of the most popular sessions are those geared towards supervisory employees, who act on behalf of the employer and have responsibility for responding to the actions of others. View a list of common topics. Cost of the training varies depending on length, custom tailoring to your employer and other factors. To schedule one of these seminars or to discuss tailoring a seminar to your particular needs, contact Stacey A. DeKalb at 612.336.9310 or stacey@lommen.com.