Training your team about the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) laws and regulations is crucial to ensuring a fair and just workplace, protecting your employees, as well as protecting your company from risk
Here are five tips for team training.
1. Explain the law.
Discrimination is against the law. It is not to be tolerated in workplaces across the U.S. Discrimination covered by the EEOC includes any discrimination based on race, color, sex (include sexual orientation, gender identity, and pregnancy), religion, age (40 or above), national original, disability, or genetic information, such as an employee’s family medical history.
It’s a good idea to provide specific examples of prohibited conduct, to make clear to the team what they need to convey to people.
2. Link the law with company policies.
Your team needs to know and understand company policies that are linked to this law.
Company policies should be written and disseminated around the company. A company handbook or website will ensure that policies are known and that employees can refer to them if necessary.
If any policies have changed since training that participants may have had previously, be sure to explain the new policies.
3. Describe both policies and procedures.
Your team needs to understand both the policies and procedures to be followed if the policies are alleged to have been violated.
Who should an employee speak to if they have a question about policies, for example? Who should they bring a complaint to? The path should be clear to employees.
It’s also prudent to let employees know what information they may be required to provide if they are thinking about filing a complaint. Employees may be asked to describe what occurred, for instance, along with approximate dates and times. They may be asked to identify potential witnesses or provide other information or material, as relevant.
Your team needs to be taught how the company will investigate and resolve complaints of discrimination. Both sides, for instance, are brought in to be interviewed and asked open-ended questions about what occurred. Witnesses may be interviewed as well.
They will need to know, and be able to outline, potential resolutions. Examples of resolutions based on specific cases will be helpful.
4. Describe confidentiality concerns.
Employees are sometimes concerned that they will be punished for making a discrimination complaint, or for participating in an investigation or legal suit about discrimination, or even about opposing discrimination. They may fear, for instance, being demoted to a lesser position or being made the subject of a supervisor’s anger.
These concerns can make both the subjects of discriminatory behavior and eyewitnesses hesitate to bring a complaint or even to discuss the issues with human resources.
As a result, employees need to be reassured that there will not be punished. They need to be told that the company will protect their confidentiality, to the greatest extent possible.
5. Outline potential consequences.
Team members should leave training, understanding the range of potential consequences for employees who violate a company’s non-discrimination policies. These could include potential reassignment, further training, or termination.
Barracuda Consulting Provides Team Training and More
Knowing EEOC law is essential for your team. But the laws, and even knowing when they are being violated, can be complex in today’s world. Barracuda Consulting can offer team training and other help to make EEOC regulations clear.
We can customize team training to your needs. Contact us today!