Most managers and executives, and certainly HR professionals, would agree that we need to do prevention training these days to avoid harassment, discrimination and other kinds of compliance matters, yet training may get pushed down the agenda because of lack of time or money. A look at recent case stats should wake up even the most hardened budget minder and remind you that we can't avoid these basic kinds of sessions.
Here are some recent examples of big money:
Three Toys"R"Us, Inc. stores in California reached a $4 million settlement in a wage and hour class action lawsuit brought by 39,000 current and former employees who claimed that the retailer violated state laws regarding meals, breaks, overtime and minimum wages.
G&K Services, Inc., which provides uniforms, cleaning supplies and restroom hygiene products for federal buildings, will pay more than $1.8 million because of systemic hiring and pay discrimination violations. The Office of Federal Contract Compliance Programs found that G&K discriminated against more than 400 female employees by disproportionately assigning them to lower paying jobs while filling the higher paying jobs predominately with men, even though female employees were qualified for and able to perform the higher paying jobs.
Lastly, take a look at Signal International, LLC, a Mobile, Alabama, ship building and repair company, that will pay an estimated $5 million to nearly 500 Indian guest workers to settle a race and national origin discrimination lawsuit. The EEOC alleged that Signal recruited the workers from India through the Federal H-2B guest worker program to work at its facilities in Texas and Mississippi in the aftermath of Hurricanes Katrina and Rita, but then subjected the men to egregious discrimination, including forcing the men to pay $1,050 a month to live in overcrowded, unsanitary, guarded camps. As many as 24 men were forced to live in containers the size of a double-wide trailer, while non-Indian works were not required to live in these camps.
How much does training cost? The investment is much less than the payouts in these cases!