- A new training protocol from the American Staffing Association, a member group for staffing organizations, aims to keep temporary and contract workers free from workplace harassment. The new training solution — co-developed by labor and employment law firm Littler — will be available to Association members through Kantola Training Solutions.
- The training solution will help staffing agencies comply with federal, state and local regulations that impact harassment and will be updated as new legislation is enacted, according to ASA. Through the solution staffing companies will be able to train their own workers, assign courses to specific learners, communicate with candidates and employees, download status reports and customize programs to fit their policies.
- While businesses typically provide training as mandated to employees, the nature of the temporary or contract worker relationship with an employer adds complications. The ASA said this partnership aims to bridge that gap with the launch of a staffing-specific solution that "addresses the unique considerations of the joint employer relationship between staffing agencies and clients," according to a statement from ASA General Counsel Stephen C. Dwyer.
Mandatory harassment training has been one response to the #MeToo movement in a growing number of states and cities. A recent survey by the National Institutes of Health estimated that 20% of workers suffer some form of harassment on the job, but of that group almost half fail to report the behavior.
Business leaders have responded proactively even when training is not required, sometimes by turning to new ways of educating their workforces. Online programming is more available and in different forms than it was in the past. One new twist on training is harassment training that uses virtual reality. This new way to train puts workers in virtual scenarios to help recognize and prevent harassment in the workplace. Headsets track body and eye movement to assure gestures are as neutral as language.
But a lot of the statistics and training efforts have focused on employees. Temporary and contract workers are at risk of falling through the cracks in some of these initiatives. The ASA points out that providing workers with workplace harassment prevention training is a best practice for all staffing companies.