Employee Training: What’s Required & What’s Recommended – ADP

Employee Training: What’s Required & What’s Recommended – ADP

CPA Blog, Entrepreneur Blog |

One of the most important responsibilities of an employer is ensuring employees are adequately trained. An effective training program can help employees and supervisors be more successful in their roles and help promote compliance with applicable laws, policies and procedures. Here are eight examples of training that is either required or considered a best practice.

In some states, sexual harassment training may be recommended or encouraged by case law or by state or local agencies. But even if you aren’t required or encouraged to provide sexual harassment training, it is a best practice to do so.

Non-discrimination and anti-retaliation:

Your state or local jurisdiction’s training requirements may go beyond just sexual harassment. For example, California requires that the training also addresses abusive conduct, discrimination and retaliation. In Chicago, employers must also provide bystander training (actions that an employee may take to intervene when there is a risk of sexual harassment to a co-worker or another individual). Check your state and local law for specific training requirements, including who must be trained, the frequency in which training must be provided, the required content of the program and recordkeeping requirements.

Even in the absence of a state or local requirement, it is a best practice for employers to also conduct non-discrimination and anti-retaliation trainings for all supervisors and employees. These trainings should include information and practical guidance on discrimination and retaliation and provide examples of prohibited conduct. Trainings should explain that the company won’t tolerate discrimination against applicants and employees based on any characteristic that is protected by federal, state or local law, or company policy. Employers should also train employees on how to report incidents of discrimination and retaliation.

Compliance and ethics training:

Under certain circumstances, companies may be held responsible for criminal misconduct by employees. Effective training can help promote a culture of compliance with the law and ethical business practices. The training should cover the company’s policies, procedures and efforts to prevent, detect and address wrongdoing, as well as any laws that may apply to the company, such as the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act or the Sarbanes-Oxley Act.

Safety training:

Many of the U.S. Occupational Safety and Health Administration’s (OSHA) regulations expressly require the employer to train employees in the safety and health aspects of their jobs. Four examples of OSHA’s training requirements are listed below:

Emergency action plan. Employers required by an OSHA regulation to have an emergency action plan must train a sufficient number of employees to assist in safe and orderly emergency evacuation (see 29 CFR 1910.38).

Personal protective equipment (PPE). Employers must provide training to any employee required by OSHA regulations to wear PPE. For details on PPE training requirements (see 29 CFR 1910.132 and 29 CFR 1910.134).

Hazard communication. Employers with hazardous chemicals in the workplace must provide employees with effective training at the time of their initial assignment and whenever a new chemical hazard is introduced into their work area. For detailed training requirements (see 29 CFR 1910.1200).

First aid. If an infirmary, clinic or hospital isn’t close to the workplace, the employer must ensure that one or more individuals are adequately trained to provide first aid (see 29 CFR 1910.151).

Keep in mind other OSHA standards make it the employer’s responsibility to limit certain job assignments to employees who are “certified,” “competent” or “qualified” — meaning that they have had special previous training, in or out of the workplace.

Some states have their own safety regulations that require more training than federal OSHA.  For example, some states have added specific COVID-19 training requirements. Be sure to comply with all regulations that apply to your industry, workplace and employees.

Job or industry-specific training:

Certain federal and state laws require training for employees with specific job functions. For example, the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA) requires covered entities, such as healthcare providers, to train their workforce on procedures regarding protected health information as is necessary and appropriate to their employees’ respective job functions. In addition, Hazardous Materials Regulations require employers to provide specific safety training to employees who directly affect hazardous materials transportation. Depending on your industry, your state or local jurisdiction may require you to provide training on human trafficking to employees. Check your industry requirements for more information.

Performance management training:

All supervisors should receive adequate training on effectively managing employee performance. Supervisor training should address the company’s performance review process and expectations, as well as guidelines for giving objective and constructive feedback, avoiding bias, setting appropriate goals, and effectively coaching employees.

FLSA training:

Training supervisors on the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) can help employers comply with the various provisions of the law and is considered a best practice. At a minimum, the training should cover overtime requirements, the prohibition against off-the-clock work, and ensuring all hours of work are recorded and compensated.

Leave of absence training:

Training supervisors on leave of absence procedures and laws can help ensure that supervisors respond properly to requests for leave. At a minimum, the training should provide an overview of applicable leave laws and employer policies, how supervisors should handle leave requests, and job restoration requirements upon the employee’s return. The training should also stress that job-protected leave may not count against an employee when evaluating their attendance or performance.


Employers should familiarize themselves with the training requirements that apply to their employees and their business; design and implement effective programs; and use qualified trainers. In addition, employers should thoroughly document all training activities and retain records of employee attendance at all completed trainings. Records should include the name of the employee, the date of training, the type of instruction and the training provider.

This story originally published on HR Tip of the Week – a blog providing practical information on hiring, benefits, pay, and more – by ADP®.

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Resource: Employee Training: What’s Required & What’s Recommended