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The New Law of Training: Part II: Will Your Training Materials Pass Legal Muster?

Common Problems in Training Materials

If a claimant wants to dispute the adequacy of an employer’s training, the training materials will be scrutinized for deficiencies. The following examples are some of the more common problems to avoid in developing training materials:

Failure to accurately state the law and include key legal elements.Failure to place a date on written or online materials so that one can readily determine what specific training materials were used during the relevant time period.Failure to include examples (of both acceptable and unacceptable conduct).Failure to incorporate the employer’s policies on discrimination and harassment as part of the training materials and ensure that those policies themselves are legally sound).Failure to adequately explain “unlawful harassment” and “unlawful discrimination,” which are fairly complex issues that frequently get oversimplified in training materials.Failure to provide supervisors with supplemental information on supervisors’ special obligations under the law and under the employer’s policies.Failure to provide easily understood tips to non-supervisory employees on steps to take to avoid being harassed.Making “admissions against interest” (statements that can come back to haunt the employer, such as categorical statements about how certain conduct constitutes “harassment” when in fact it might not be unlawful).Failure to cover the types of corrective or disciplinary action that could be imposed.Failure to include a tool that will adequately measure a participant’s knowledge of the material (such as a quiz with a sufficiently high passing score, etc.).