So, your company got nailed by the EEOC. Well, it happens to the best of employers these days. Unfortunately, the last few years under the EEOC’s Strategic Enforcement Initiative, we’ve seen a definite increase in litigation and extraordinary training mandates in Consent Decrees. As part of the aftermath of litigation, the EEOC routinely will mandate that companies implement anti-harassment and discrimination training for their managers and employees. Usually, this involves a specific number of training hours that are devoted to the federal laws the EEOC enforces, such as Title VII of the Civil Rights Act, Americans with Disabilities Act, Pregnancy Discrimination Act, etc.
If you’re lucky, you may only need to implement the training for two, consecutive years. However, I have seen a number of situations in which the EEOC has mandated that employers provide anti-harassment and discrimination training for four, consecutive years. Yep. Four Years.
The EEOC is definitely slamming employers harder than ever before. So, what are employers to do when this happens? Well, the first thing you do is take the Consent Decree, go over it carefully with your legal counsel—and then get going on implementing what the darn Decree says you’re supposed to do. And, don’t dilly dally.
A while back we had a potential client approach us to deliver this type of required EEO training. However, this company procrastinated and waited until they had only one month until the EEOC’s deadline to start reaching out to possible vendors to come in to deliver the training. The kicker with this particular outfit was that they not only procrastinated in calling us, but they actually wanted us to deliver the training in multiple languages for both their Exempt management, and Non-exempt, hourly, workforce—and they wanted to schedule it in less than two weeks!
At RPC, we specialize in providing HR training and routinely deliver training on all the federal laws that the EEOC and the Department of Labor enforce. However, even with our expertise in being able to implement a training program pretty quickly, it’s pretty tough to put together all the logistics for a multiple-language training event—in just two weeks’ time.
So, let me give you some pointers on what to do if your company got nailed by the EEOC and you are now scrambling to figure out how to implement the needed training:
1. Identify the number of contact hours of training that you are required to provide and specifically which federal statutes you are required to focus on in your training. (E.g. Title VII of the Civil Rights Act, Americans with Disabilities Act, etc.)
2. Identify the number of managers and employees you must train and whether or not the number of contact hours is the same for both Exempt and Non-exempt employees. More than likely, the number of training hours for your Exempt managers will be much higher, so you will need to identify that.
3. Identify differences in the work people do who must all get the training. Did the Consent Decree require that ALL employees get this, or only those who must conduct investigations? Will this include your Health, Safety, and Environmental team members—or just your HR and Employee Relations folks? The mix of people involved in the training will be important, so the training can be tailored to the specific audiences.
3. Determine your timeline and logistics of when and where you will hold the training. Will some of your employees be able to attend virtually? Or, must the training be delivered with an instructor, traditional classroom style? Will you be able to host the training onsite—or will you need to secure a local conference center or hotel meeting space?
4. Who will be the primary point of contact to hire a trainer to teach the classes?
5. What is the budget?
To help you with item #5, a starting point for your budget should be a per-person average of about $800-$1000 per person if the headcount is above 25 people, for a two-day training. If you will need to train more than 25 people, the cost will go down as there is a bit of a volume discount for training more people. Keep in mind that the contact hours the EEOC mandates is what is going to drive your cost. As an example, if you will be required to provide more than 6 contact hours of training, this means that you will need to make the training a two-day program. A typical 6-contact hour training program would be a typical 8:00-5:00 program. So, any number of contact hours higher than that really needs to be at least a 1.5-day or a 2-day program. Any more than 12 hours would then turn into a 2.5-day or a 3-day program.
When we deliver this type of training, if in a traditional, instructor-led classroom format, our cost is always quoted on an all-inclusive basis, which means that the instructor’s travel to/from the venue, all workbooks, audio visuals, materials, etc. are included in the per-person price. Many training organizations don’t do all- inclusives, and often charge extra for “facilitation fees”, “travel and incidentals”, “materials fees” and other extras. Also, many training companies work with independent contractors, so you’re never quite sure who or what you’re going to get as an instructor. At RPC, we don’t work that way. All of our instructors are employees of our consulting practice and have at least 25 years of experience and extensive knowledge of HR and compliance. And, we have plenty of client testimonials to back up the knowledge and expertise of our instructors.
For guidance on how to implement training to comply with an EEOC Consent Decree, please just give us a call. We’re happy to help you put together a training plan that will fulfill your legal obligations—and reduce your stress in getting this off your to-do list!
Until next time!
Natalie Ivey, MBA, SPHR, SHRM-SCP
President & CEO
Results Performance Consulting, Inc.