How NOT To Do Employee Training: Spanking Trainees

An employee is suing her previous employer for discrimination, assault, battery, and infliction of emotional distress for her experiences during a highly unorthodox training session.

It seems really obvious to me that these training practices probably would cause more problems than they would solve.

Alarm One, a company based in California (!), used a “motivational training” program that included:

Winners poking fun at the losers, including throwing pies at them, feeding them baby food, making them wear diapers and hitting them on their buttocks.

The company’s lawyer is quoted as saying:

“The spankings also were used to increase productivity from its work force.”

Read here for more details about the company that used spanking as part of its training program.

One would hope that some firings of top management take place in the near future. But, the company better be careful to avoid retaliation claims.

UPDATE 1/18/08: Court Overturns $1.5M Spanking Verdict

[A] three-judge panel of the state Court of Appeal overturned that verdict, ruling that the jury had been given improper instructions. In particular, the jury wasn’t instructed that one vital element of proving that sexual harassment occurred is showing the action was directed at a woman because of her gender.

1 Comment

  1. Thanks, Michael. I got this one via email from a lawyer friend last night.

    Lawyers generally shouldn’t talk to the press about their cases. It’s likely that the most unfavorable, out-of-context, and very brief quote will be used. Exhibit A supporting that point is the absurd quote here.

    Interesting what you say about retaliation. I’m not sure what you mean. What protected conduct have they engaged in? Or were you kidding?

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