Six Lessons that Redefine Focused Compliance Training: Lesson One

by NAVEX Global
Contact

Lesson 1: Focus on the Biggest Risks

Planning for 2014 is likely pressing on your mind, or it will be in a short time. You will be faced with answering a key perennial question--how should your organization allocate it’s compliance training budget and what topics should you focus on?

Opinions about which risks are most pressing are often shaped by surveys on litigation, enforcement trends, major scandals, new legislation, and existing compliance requirements. Add in stories told by vendors about what you must be doing, and the picture can get fuzzy.

The problem is that in the heat of a media frenzy or uptick in enforcement, it’s easy to lose sight of some of the most prevalent and pressing compliance risks facing organizations today—HR and workplace respect issues.

These are risks that are common across all your employees and when left unaddressed can destroy your culture and brand reputation. Don’t believe it? Take a page out of the Paula Dean cookbook – her very public racist comments and slurs have caused some real damage to her own brand and the Food Network’s image.  The Food Network just publicly announced that it will not renew Paula Deen’s contract when it expires at the end of the month. And one of her largest sponsors, Smithfield Foodsis also calling it quits with Paula Dean.

Most Pressing Compliance Risks Are HR Related
NAVEX Global’s proprietary database of hotline reports is the largest in the world, providing the best visibility into reported misconduct in thousands of organizations across all industries and companies of all sizes. For the last five years running, by a staggering margin, the most often reported misconduct falls in the category of Human Resources, Diversity and Workplace Respect—this category includes five key areas of risk:

  1. Discrimination
  2. Harassment
  3. Retaliation
  4. Diversity
  5. Wage and Hour

So how do the numbers stack up? HR tops the list and HR issues are raised more often than all other categories combined.[1] Here is how the numbers break down:

  • 69% Human Resources, Diversity and Workplace Respect
  • 17% Business Integrity, Bribery, Corruption, Fraud
  • 7% Environment, Health and Safety
  • 6% Misuse, and Misappropriation of Corporate Assets
  • 3% Accounting, Auditing, and Financial

The frequency with which reporters cited HR issues was:

  • 4X the rate of business integrity issues like bribery, fraud, or corruption,
  • 10X the rate of environmental, health, or safety issues,
  • 10X the rate of misuse or misappropriation of assets, and
  • 20X the rate of accounting, auditing or financial reporting issues.

Making Sense of the Numbers
When it comes to HR issues, there’s a lot that employees have to say. And the reality is that employees are more likely to experience harassment, discrimination, or a wage and hour violation, than they are to be involved in a bribery and corruption scandal. It makes sense that the frequency of reported concerns would be higher for HR issues. The problem is that many organizations discount the importance of a holistic and comprehensive approach to compliance training by leaving HR training out of the compliance mix.

HR issues are not always small, insignificant matters that can be addressed quickly, or can be swept under the rug. When insufficient attention is paid to these issues, when training is not effective, policies and practices are allowed to continue despite questionable legal positioning, the compliance hit to an organization can be enormous.

A couple major indicators suggest that a focus on HR Issues is vital to a strong corporate compliance program.

  • EEOC Charge claims remain at record highs, with retaliation claims topping the charts.[2]
  • Retaliation appeared in 38.1% of all charges, followed by allegations of race(33.7%) and sex (30.5%) discrimination.
  • Workplace harassment filings represented 24% of all charges filed with the EEOC.
  • Nearly 25% of companies in the US and UK reported discrimination as the litigation area that saw the greatest increase in the past 12 months; they expect claims to grow.
  • The EEOC’s continued focus on systemic discrimination puts increased pressure on organizations to make sure that their policies and procedures are legal.
  • In 2012, 52% of companies cited being hit with Labor and Employment class actions, compared to 26% consumer, 14% securities, 10% mass tort, and 9% antitrust/competition.[3]
  • Wage and Hour class actions are the most common employment law class action and average settlements are around $4.8 million.[4]

An Integrated Approach to Compliance Training
As the compliance function continues to evolve, organizations will be pressed to incorporate a broader array of organizational risks under the compliance umbrella. Closer alignment with HR or possibly greater oversight over the most substantial HR risks is likely to be part of the compliance department of the future.

And like other pressing compliance risks, on-line training can help mitigate risks associated with harassment, discrimination, and wage and hour.

Incorporating full-length training (that complies with state laws on training and that is rigorous enough to help develop legal defenses at the state and federal level) should be augmented with short bursts of learning that periodically remind employees about your organization’s expectations. Developing a curriculum map (like the example in the graphic on this page) will help you spread the training throughout the year, and ensure proper coverage of HR issues.

Sign up to receive the next Five Lessons!

Written by:

NAVEX Global
Contact
more
less

NAVEX Global on:

Readers' Choice 2017
Reporters on Deadline

"My best business intelligence, in one easy email…"

Your first step to building a free, personalized, morning email brief covering pertinent authors and topics on JD Supra:
Sign up using*

Already signed up? Log in here

*By using the service, you signify your acceptance of JD Supra's Privacy Policy.
Custom Email Digest
Privacy Policy (Updated: October 8, 2015):
hide

JD Supra provides users with access to its legal industry publishing services (the "Service") through its website (the "Website") as well as through other sources. Our policies with regard to data collection and use of personal information of users of the Service, regardless of the manner in which users access the Service, and visitors to the Website are set forth in this statement ("Policy"). By using the Service, you signify your acceptance of this Policy.

Information Collection and Use by JD Supra

JD Supra collects users' names, companies, titles, e-mail address and industry. JD Supra also tracks the pages that users visit, logs IP addresses and aggregates non-personally identifiable user data and browser type. This data is gathered using cookies and other technologies.

The information and data collected is used to authenticate users and to send notifications relating to the Service, including email alerts to which users have subscribed; to manage the Service and Website, to improve the Service and to customize the user's experience. This information is also provided to the authors of the content to give them insight into their readership and help them to improve their content, so that it is most useful for our users.

JD Supra does not sell, rent or otherwise provide your details to third parties, other than to the authors of the content on JD Supra.

If you prefer not to enable cookies, you may change your browser settings to disable cookies; however, please note that rejecting cookies while visiting the Website may result in certain parts of the Website not operating correctly or as efficiently as if cookies were allowed.

Email Choice/Opt-out

Users who opt in to receive emails may choose to no longer receive e-mail updates and newsletters by selecting the "opt-out of future email" option in the email they receive from JD Supra or in their JD Supra account management screen.

Security

JD Supra takes reasonable precautions to insure that user information is kept private. We restrict access to user information to those individuals who reasonably need access to perform their job functions, such as our third party email service, customer service personnel and technical staff. However, please note that no method of transmitting or storing data is completely secure and we cannot guarantee the security of user information. Unauthorized entry or use, hardware or software failure, and other factors may compromise the security of user information at any time.

If you have reason to believe that your interaction with us is no longer secure, you must immediately notify us of the problem by contacting us at info@jdsupra.com. In the unlikely event that we believe that the security of your user information in our possession or control may have been compromised, we may seek to notify you of that development and, if so, will endeavor to do so as promptly as practicable under the circumstances.

Sharing and Disclosure of Information JD Supra Collects

Except as otherwise described in this privacy statement, JD Supra will not disclose personal information to any third party unless we believe that disclosure is necessary to: (1) comply with applicable laws; (2) respond to governmental inquiries or requests; (3) comply with valid legal process; (4) protect the rights, privacy, safety or property of JD Supra, users of the Service, Website visitors or the public; (5) permit us to pursue available remedies or limit the damages that we may sustain; and (6) enforce our Terms & Conditions of Use.

In the event there is a change in the corporate structure of JD Supra such as, but not limited to, merger, consolidation, sale, liquidation or transfer of substantial assets, JD Supra may, in its sole discretion, transfer, sell or assign information collected on and through the Service to one or more affiliated or unaffiliated third parties.

Links to Other Websites

This Website and the Service may contain links to other websites. The operator of such other websites may collect information about you, including through cookies or other technologies. If you are using the Service through the Website and link to another site, you will leave the Website and this Policy will not apply to your use of and activity on those other sites. We encourage you to read the legal notices posted on those sites, including their privacy policies. We shall have no responsibility or liability for your visitation to, and the data collection and use practices of, such other sites. This Policy applies solely to the information collected in connection with your use of this Website and does not apply to any practices conducted offline or in connection with any other websites.

Changes in Our Privacy Policy

We reserve the right to change this Policy at any time. Please refer to the date at the top of this page to determine when this Policy was last revised. Any changes to our privacy policy will become effective upon posting of the revised policy on the Website. By continuing to use the Service or Website following such changes, you will be deemed to have agreed to such changes. If you do not agree with the terms of this Policy, as it may be amended from time to time, in whole or part, please do not continue using the Service or the Website.

Contacting JD Supra

If you have any questions about this privacy statement, the practices of this site, your dealings with this Web site, or if you would like to change any of the information you have provided to us, please contact us at: info@jdsupra.com.

- hide
*With LinkedIn, you don't need to create a separate login to manage your free JD Supra account, and we can make suggestions based on your needs and interests. We will not post anything on LinkedIn in your name. Or, sign up using your email address.