When you’re training your staff, you have an obligation to yourself and your company to provide them with the tools they need to be successful in their jobs. The better you train your employees, contractors, and other team members, the better they’ll be able to perform in their positions – and the more your company will benefit.
But when it comes to training, you’re not just obligated to yourself, your company, or even the people you’re training – you’re also obligated to the law. There are certain legal obligations you must adhere to when training staff. If you don’t adhere to these obligations, you could find yourself facing steep penalties, fines, or negative repercussions for your business.
Legal obligations for training vary from state to state, but as a general rule, here are a few important things to keep in mind.
The first legal obligation you want to keep in mind, regardless of which state you’re operating in, is proper record keeping. It’s incredibly important to make sure you have all the proper training paperwork for every employee and contractor you have working for you.
Proper records are part of compliance; you need to have documentation to show that you’ve trained your team on things like proper safety measures, incident reporting, and your policies and procedures. Keeping proper records not only ensures you fulfil your legal obligation, but it can also protect you in future disputes if an employee or contractor claims they didn’t receive proper training.
Another legal obligation you need to consider when training your employees and contractors is disclosure. If your team is going to be exposed to certain hazards while on the job, you may be legally obligated to disclose that information to them during the training period and before they start working on site.
For example, let’s say you own a construction business. During training, you would want to share any potential hazards that could cause harm to the trainee, like excessive noise or exposure to chemicals, before they started work. That way, they’re aware of the potential hazards before being exposed to them and can make an informed decision about whether they want to take the job.
Certain roles require licensure or accreditation. If you staff these types of roles, you’re legally obligated to collect and verify those licenses and accreditations to ensure the people you hire are registered. Having unlicensed or unaccredited employees in a role that requires a license or accreditation can cause a major legal headache for your business.