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March 01, 2002  |   Comments (0)   |   Post a comment

Train Well, Reduce Liability

Screen outside trainers; test drivers after training


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To what extent will the quality of the training you provide be scrutinized in the event of a lawsuit? Paul Salvatore, an employment-law attorney at the New York City office of Proskauer Rose, explains that documentation of proper training is an employer’s best ally. “The general rule is that employers are better off and better able to insulate themselves from liability if they provide proper training in a whole variety of areas,” he says. If the training provided is not found to be proper, it becomes a negligence issue. “These are jury cases, so the jury could award damages,” says Salvatore. “The more improper or incomplete the training is determined to be, the higher the degree of the employer’s negligence.” Whether the training was provided by an outside vendor or conducted in-house, the employer will likely still be liable, since the employer selected the vendor. “It’s very important that employers are careful about the vendors they choose,” notes Salvatore, particularly when it comes to sexual harassment training. “This area is a lot more subjective and there are more sensitivities than in how you operate the clutch on your vehicle,” says Salvatore. How do you know your training is working? Give employees tests after each training session. “That way, if there’s trouble, you can say, ‘We trained them — and they passed!’” says Salvatore. Source: Workforce Week, www.workforce.com.

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