WASHINGTON — The U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) announced today that it will launch two new trainings for employers: Leading for Respect (for supervisors) and Respect in the Workplace (for all employees). Instead of traditional compliance training that solely focuses on legal definitions and standards for liability, the new program provides an exciting training alternative for harassment prevention. The trainings will be conducted by EEOC Training Institutestaff.
The training program focuses on respect, acceptable workplace conduct, and the types of behaviors that contribute to a respectful and inclusive, and therefore ultimately more profitable, workplace. The program is customizable for different types of workplaces and includes a section for reviewing employers’ own harassment prevention policies and procedures.
The training program is an outgrowth of the Report of the Co-Chairs of the EEOC’s Select Task Force on the Study of Harassment in the Workplace.
“We always said the report was just a first step,” said EEOC Acting Chair Victoria Lipnic, co-author of the report. “Implementation of the report’s recommendations is key. These trainings incorporate the report’s recommendations on compliance, workplace civility, and bystander intervention training. I believe the trainings can have a real impact on workplace culture, and I hope employers make use of them.”
EEOC Commissioner Chai Feldblum, the report’s other author, said, “A strong training program is a critical piece of a holistic harassment prevention effort. We know that workplace incivility often acts as a ‘gateway drug’ to workplace harassment. These trainings, therefore, provide employees with the specific skills they need to act respectfully and to intervene when they observe disrespectful or abusive behavior. In short, the program is designed to stop improper behavior before it ever rises to the level of illegal harassment.”
For more information on the Respectful Workplaces Training Program for private employers or state or local government agencies, go to the EEOC Training Institute website, contact your nearest Outreach and Education Coordinator, or contact Program Analyst Michelle Crew at firstname.lastname@example.org. For more information on the Respectful Workplaces Training Program for federal agencies, contact FederalTrainingandOutreach@eeoc.gov.
The trainings were designed by Fran Sepler, of Sepler and Associates, under a contract with the EEOC.