McNamee Hosea News & Press


Best Practices Training May Minimize Risk of Employment Disputes

On-the job training programs can be expensive. Some professions require individuals to bear this expense privately, such as continuing education requirements for lawyers.

In many professions, learning is a lifelong endeavor. Obtaining a license or certification may just be the first step on a long road of improvement and growth. Not surprisingly, many professions impose continuing education requirements at regular intervals as a condition of license renewal.

Although professional education programs may be privately borne, an employment attorney might recommend that employers finance other on-the-job training programs. Doing so may ultimately save employers money in the long run, and potentially insulate them from liability in an employment lawsuit.

Data from the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission certainly suggests a cost-benefit advantage to offering sexual harassment trainings, in particular. According to the EEOC’s data, 11,300 sexual harassment charges were brought in 2011, and around 1,400 of them were settled for a collective total of $52 million.

Surprisingly, Virginia state law does not require employers to offer regular sexual harassment trainings to their employees. Yet for an average training cost of $50 or less per employee, employers might offer online harassment trainings throughout their company. Compared with the damage awards in several recent, high profile sexual harassment lawsuits, that training cost might be characterized as miniscule.

An employer might further protect both itself and its employees from employment discrimination lawsuits by codifying best practices of professional behavior in its employee handbooks. Behavior that is unprofessional or that violates federal or state employment laws might also be listed as grounds for termination in employment contracts.

Source:, “The High Cost of Sexual Harassment,” Beth Braverman