Today’s Advisor contains answers from our “Ask the Expert” feature on HR.BLR.com..
The question is, “Is it permissible to exclude employees from training if they are expected to retire soon?”
Here is how our expert responded:
Especially in light of the economy, it is understandable that an employer would want to invest its training dollars wisely and avoid situations in which an employee retires shortly after training has been completed. However, employers that exclude employees from training on the basis of their age (or other protected status) likely will be treading in murky legal waters.
Susan Prince, J.D., legal editor at BLR® (www.blr.com), cautions against asking older workers whether they plan to retire and advises employers not to base training decisions on an employee’s age.
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Offering an early retirement package is one thing, but refusing to train older workers is an entirely different thing—even if the company is concerned about them leaving before it sees a return on its training investment.
“Employers may offer early retirement incentives without violating the Age Discrimination in Employment Act, but acceptance must be completely voluntary,” Prince explains.
Refusing to provide training to a retirement-age employee due to a suspicion that the employee will not remain with the company would likely be frowned on by the courts. Besides, there is no guarantee that younger workers who receive training will stay longer than their older counterparts. “Any employee that is trained may terminate employment at any time, so a younger worker might leave the company sooner than an older worker,” Prince points out.
“Basing a training decision or an inquiry on an employee’s age may create a problem for any employer,” she adds. “The Equal Employment Opportunity Commission’s (EEOC) regulations prohibit employers from discriminating in apprenticeship programs on the basis of age unless age is a bona fide occupational qualification or the decision is based on a reasonable factor other than age. The two scenarios are different, but similar enough to read the EEOC’s intent.”
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Now you can run your training program like a pro with our new TrainingToday system. This dynamic training resource provides course content on safety, ethics, sexual harassment, the FMLA, the ADA, and much more.
TrainingToday is a leading provider of online education programs for employees and supervisors. Each course in our extensive library addresses a specific topic with engaging and interactive presentations, delivering practical advice and clear instructions that trainees will remember long after the training is complete.
Three Delivery Platforms
TrainingToday offers you the option of three delivery platforms to meet your organization’s needs:
- Unlimited training for your whole organization for one flat fee
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- Hundreds of courses available, from employment law compliance to sales excellence
The Enterprise platform includes all the features of the Professional version, plus it will:
- Track and report capability with the built-in comprehensive Learning Management System (LMS);
- Train with courses as they are or make them truly your own with our customization options; and
- Upload your own content (PowerPoint®, video, Sharable Content Object Reference Model (SCORM) files, etc.) to the LMS in addition to using our comprehensive training courses.
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Here are just some of the many courses available at TrainingToday:
[Click here to download information on all courses and libraries.]
Over 75 HR and employment training courses covering such topics as sexual harassment, diversity, and the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA).
The Diversity library is an interactive training program with different modules for supervisors and employees. It features real-world scenarios and insightful commentary from a leading workplace expert and employment law attorney.
Preventing Sexual Harassment—National
Until now, training has been a real challenge—there’s such a load of extraneous planning, preparing, and tracking involved. But we’ve got good news—BLR’s editors have developed a unique new program so all that work is done for you.
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Course certificates can be automatically generated from within the training center and are automatically retained for recordkeeping purposes.
Unlimited Training that Won’t Bust the Budget
Best of all, in these budget-crunching times, TrainingToday costs only a fraction of what you would pay for an LMS. You always know exactly what training will cost, no matter how many programs you use or how many times you use them. There’s just one low, annual fee—for unlimited training—calculated by the size of your workforce. Budget once and you’re done!
These are all motivational, actionable courses—for both employees and supervisors—in such key areas as sexual harassment, the Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA), diversity, communication, Uniformed Services Employment and Reemployment Rights Act (USERRA), recruiting, and many more. The courses are kept up to date to reflect federal and state regulatory changes, and what’s more, BLR® adds new programs continually.
TrainingToday also includes a selection of safety courses—you decide whether you want just the HR courses, the safety courses, or both.
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