Wednesday, February 28, 2018

Harassment Training for Supervisors

Member Blog Post: Norris McLaughlin & Marcus, P.A.

Over the last several months, hardly a day has gone by where workplace harassment has not been in the news. High-profile harassment scandals involving individuals in the entertainment and political arenas have led to more and more employees coming forward to share their stories. The number of harassment claims reported to the United States Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (“EEOC”) has risen sharply; we do not expect this trend to change any time soon.

Given recent developments, many employers have contacted us to see what steps are needed to ensure a harassment-free workplace and protect against potential liability. The answer is simple: educating and training employees. According to a recent EEOC task force report, an employer seeking to defend against a workplace harassment claim will need to show that it regularly trained its employees on this issue. The EEOC report emphasizes that effective training is live and interactive (rather than video or Internet-based) and tailored to the realities of the workplace. It further emphasizes the need to train supervisors, who are in the best position to address unacceptable conduct before it becomes unlawful harassment. As we discussed at our “Harassment in the Workplace” seminar last week, training supervisors is also important for the employer to avoid strict liability and for the supervisor to avoid personal liability.

In light of increased demand from employers in the Lehigh Valley and beyond, we will be offering a special training event for supervisors. On March 21, 2018, we will be conducting two, half-day sessions of supervisor harassment training at the Best Western Lehigh Valley Hotel & Conference Center in Bethlehem. We are offering these sessions as an alternative to the on-site training we are hired to do for many employers. Like all of our trainings, these sessions will be classroom-style presentations with significant attendee interaction through questions, working through hypothetical situations, and role playing. These sessions will be particularly useful for a variety of employers: those with a small workforce, those with newly-hired or newly-promoted supervisors, and those whose Human Resources or management professionals want to see what is covered in our interactive training sessions

It is critical now more than ever for employers to engage and educate their supervisors so that they understand their critical role in preventing, combating, and eliminating harassment. It is our goal to do just that in our supervisor harassment training. We encourage you to register your supervisors for one of the training sessions on March 21, and we look forward to seeing you there. Please contact us at with any questions about this or other labor and employment training session.

Wednesday, January 17, 2018

New Year’s Resolution: Use Collaborative Audiovisual Solutions to Improve Your Business

Destiny Heimbecker, Vistacom Audio Video Solutions
Another new year has rolled around and many of us will use the turning of the calendar to create New Year's resolutions. These personal commitments are focused on you and your success - but what about your business? This is the time to broaden your focus from your individual goals and to take a moment to stop and consider your team goals. How are you going to build a high performing team and ensure the success of all? Audiovisual (AV) solutions have a significant impact on your business if well-implemented. The benefits these solutions provide are a great encouragement to the growth and thriving of your team and how they interact in the marketplace.
These benefits should be your New Year’s resolutions to improve your work experience and employee performance with the use of collaborative AV solutions:
  1. Create an atmosphere of better interaction – Collaborative AV solutions deliver an interactive experience where employees and customers feel involved in the process. The attention span of today’s generation is very short (Twitter!), and this interaction is crucial in keeping an individual’s attention focused and on track. Seeing and hearing are two ways memory is created, and a good audio-visual solution seeks to do precisely that – to create memories that last.
  2. Help people comprehend the message delivered – most people receive a higher level of comprehension when information is presented with an audio-visual aid. During training especially, it is vital to use technology to bring a higher level of understanding which results in a well-trained staff that is ready to implement what they have learned. This also can compress training time frames.
  3. Speaking of time frames, these methods of communication save time. Time is money in business. From the small business owner to the Fortune 500 CEO, that matters!
  4. Save your business a significant amount of money – With webex and videoconferencing, companies can skip the travel, accommodation and time expenses and concentrate on employee productivity. Using these solutions allows employees to be informed of the expectations of the project and work as they connect with other team members who may be somewhere else on the campus, in a different facility and/or work remotely.
  5. Allow easy access from anywhere in the company – The latest systems are incredibly versatile and mobile and are accessible from any part of the office (or remote office) making it crucial when decisions need to be reached upon fast. Meetings need not be delayed or disrupted due to any adverse influence, which leads to improved efficiency.
  6. Remote collaboration has additional advantages, from accessing meetings for the remote worker to safety when it comes to quickly obtaining medical expertise or inaccessible/dangerous locations.
  7. Create an impression of a growing company to potential customers – In today’s business world, a business that is using the collaborative solutions is attractive to potential customers who are willing to invest in a thriving business. These solutions can set your company apart from the competition and highlight to the potential clients of the business growth. Companies like Apple have embraced these methods.
The Collaborative Technology market is very broad and there are many integrators that claim to be a solution provider. Understanding how to evaluate one solution vs. another is critically important. Make sure you align yourself with a partner with access to a broad range of technology and a true understanding of the best use for your business. Now that is a doable resolution!