Lack of Training Exposes the Organization
Most companies have required training for their ethics and adherence to company policies. The policy isn't by accident. It's covered under the law, or it minimizes liability:
· Supreme Court has ruled that an employer can be held liable for sexual harassment by a supervisor if the company failed to exercise reasonable care to prevent and promptly correct any such behavior in the workplace.
Sources: Faragher and Ellerth (1998); Kolstad (1999)
· Federal Circuit Courts ruled: “[L]eaving managers with hiring authority in ignorance of the basic features of discrimination laws is an extraordinary mistake for a company to make, and a jury can find that such an extraordinary mistake amounts to reckless indifference.”
Sources: Mathis v. Phillips Chevrolet, Inc., 269 F.3d 771 (7th Cir. 2001)
· Federal Sentencing Guidelines (FSG) includes a requirement that employers demonstrate that it has an effective compliance and ethics program. Companies with a comprehensive code of conduct training may avoid up to 95% of fines and penalties that can be assessed for violations of federal law.
Source: U.S. Sentencing Guidelines, §8A.1.1, Commentary
· Federal Acquisition Regulation (FAR) requires any company doing business with the federal government to provide a code of conduct training. It was based on FSG rules.
· Occupational Safety and Health Act (OSHA) has many standards that the employer is required to train its employees, as well as to communicate or warn regarding safety practices.
· Sarbanes-Oxley Act (SOX) requires “Publicly traded companies must disclose if they have a Code of Conduct for a senior leader, or explain why not.”
Compliance training within an organization refers to the process of educating employees on laws, regulations and company policies that apply to their jobs and are covered in the organization's Code of Conduct. An organization can protect and improve itself by including training that:
· Adds business value, such as professional licenses
· Creates a competitive advantage, such as meeting an international standard
· Develops a respectful and ethical workplace that will also protect the organization from legal liability
· Improves safety practices which can protect human life, property, and liability
· Improves security practices, which can protect the organization financially and legally
· Avoids violations by employees that could lead to legal liability for the organization
· Prepares the foundation for a defense should an employee violate the rules outlined in the organization's training
For a curious trainer, it helps to have your own buy-in for compliance training. Now how will you make it interesting?
Written by Susan Wines, Digital eLearning Specialist