Employee Training and What is Required

Being responsible for the safety and well-being of your employees as well as your business is a big responsibility. Implementing a training program for managers and employees will help reduce mistakes, improve production, and create a healthy work environment. Here I will discuss the training that is required by law as well as training that is highly recommended.

Sexual Harassment

Several states require employers to provide sexual harassment training as a proactive way to protect both employees and your business. When done correctly, the information will safeguard against abuse and teach employees how to ask for help if they feel they have been harassed. Check your state law for specific training requirements, including who must be trained, how often and the requirements of the particular program, and recordkeeping requirements.

OSHA Training

Many of the Occupational Safety and Health Administration’s (OSHA) standards make it the employer’s responsibility to train employees in the safety and health aspects of their jobs. OSHA regulations work to limit certain job assignments to employees who have had previous training or are specifically certified or qualified to perform the job. Ergonomics training teaches employees how to properly perform their job or use equipment safely to avoid injury. Check the OSHA website for specific training required for your industry.

Emergency Action Plan

All employers are required by OSHA to have an emergency action plan and must train a sufficient number of employees to assist in a safe and orderly emergency evacuation. Knowing how to properly evacuate in case of an emergency, where the first aid kits are located, and how and when to use a fire extinguisher should all be included in the plan.

Hazard Communication

Employers with hazardous chemicals in the workplace must provide employees with adequate training at the time of their initial assignment as well as any contractors hired to work in the environment. All employees need to be trained whenever a new chemical hazard is introduced into their work area.

CPR and first aid

If there isn’t a clinic or hospital close to your workplace, then OSHA requires you to have one or more individuals certified to provide CPR and first aid. Make sure to check on the OSHA website for the requirement for your industry and the number of employees needed for required certification.

Job or Industry-Specific Training

Federal and state laws require training for employees with specific job functions. The Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA) require health care providers, to train their workers on procedures regarding protected health information. Hazardous Materials Regulations require employers to provide specific safety training to employees who directly transport hazardous materials. Make sure to check both federal and state laws requirements for specific training in your industry.

Non-Discrimination and Anti-Retaliation

It is best practice to require all employees to attend non-discrimination and anti-retaliation training for your business. The training should explain your company culture as one that does not tolerate discrimination against anyone based on the characteristics that are protected by federal or state law, and the proper way to report incidents of discrimination and harassment. Inform all employees that any adverse action taken against the person who makes a complaint or participate in an investigation is prohibited.

Supervisors should also be trained on how to properly investigate reports of harassment and discrimination, and how and when to take necessary action.

FLSA Training

Training supervisors on the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) can help employers comply with the various provisions of the law. At a minimum, the training should cover overtime requirements, the definition and prevention of off-the-clock work, and ensuring all hours of work are recorded and compensated.

Performance Management Training

All supervisors should receive adequate training on effectively conducting an employee performance review. Supervisors should know and understand the guidelines for giving objective and constructive feedback, avoiding bias, setting appropriate goals, and effectively coaching employees.

Leave of Absence Training

It is important that all supervisors receive training on all the applicable leave laws and to learn how to handle leave requests, and the job restoration requirements upon the employee’s return. Training supervisors on leave of absence procedures and EEO laws can help ensure that supervisors respond correctly to requests for leave.

Compliance and Ethics Training

Under certain circumstances, employers can be held responsible for criminal misconduct by employees. Effective training can help promote a culture of compliance with the law and ethical business practices. The training should cover the company’s policies, procedures, and efforts to prevent, detect, and address wrongdoing, as well as any laws that may apply to the company.


In conclusion, employee training programs may seem like wasted time and money if the employee decides to quit. However, the added costs of having poorly trained supervisors and the liability of not complying with federal and state laws are more valuable. Designing and implementing an effective training program for your business will ensure compliance and consistency.

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