About ELI

In the News

ELI is a resource for the news media, providing expert commentary and opinion and informational resources on a variety of topics related to building a legal and ethical workplace. Here you’ll find links to recent articles written by or citing ELI experts.

With women comprising 55.2% of the workforce compared to 66.4% of men, the U.S. labor force is suffering from a gender gap. The workforce is missing out on key ideas, contributions and opportunities that come with embracing diversity. Companies like yours can help close the gender gap by prioritizing inclusive hiring practices, creating a respectful environment and fostering a supportive workplace culture — a move that will empower women and achieve key business results.
The U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) recently released a draft of its new Strategic Enforcement Plan (SEP), outlining its priorities in tackling workplace discrimination over the next four years. The playbook, published in the Federal Register in January, indicates that the agency will be on the lookout for discrimination caused by artificial intelligence (AI) tools.
Employers may need to adjust their practices and policies to comply with the Speak Out Act, which invalidates nondisclosure agreements (NDAs) and non-disparagement agreements designed to keep employees from discussing instances of sexual harassment and sexual assault. President Joe Biden signed the law on Dec. 7, 2022, and it took effect immediately.
The $8 million settlement that Circle K Stores Inc. struck this week with the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission is not just about money, legal experts said. The EEOC settlement was a “pre-litigation” agreement and intended to resolve “disability, pregnancy and retaliation discrimination charges,” and in doing so avoids the risk of a government lawsuit. The $8 million includes a fund to “compensate aggrieved individuals” who worked at Circle K from 2009 through September this year.
Law 360

The second #MeToo-inspired bill to clear Congress this year is set to become law soon when President Joe Biden signs the Speak Out Act, which bars employers from holding workers to…

Be Nice

Proto Magazine - Massachusetts General Hospital

It seemed like a minor incident. Peckish between cases, a top physician at a major health system grabbed an apple from a table in the hospital’s breakroom. But to the nurse who expected to eat the fruit, this was one insult too many. “Dr. Smith” often did things to rub people the wrong way. He was routinely condescending and once barked at a nurse, in front of a patient, to stop asking stupid questions. So this time, the owner of the pilfered apple filed a formal complaint.

Nondisclosure Agreements May Not Cover Sexual Misconduct Claims


Employers may need to reconsider how they use nondisclosure agreements (NDAs) in the wake of recent congressional action and new state laws. The U.S. House of Representatives on Nov. 16 passed the Speak Out Act, which prohibits the use of nondisclosure and nondisparagement agreements in cases of sexual harassment or sexual assault. The bill passed the Senate on Sept. 29. The Speak Out Act applies only to contracts signed before a dispute arises, not afterward, and does not cover other workplace misconduct, such as age or race discrimination.

How to handle political conflict in the workplace around Election Day

HR Brew

No matter what side of the aisle you’re on, Election Day and the days that follow can be a source of anxiety or tension in the workplace. Not only can political disagreements drain productivity and create conflict, but Stephen M. Paskoff, founder and president of workplace training company ELI and former EEOC attorney, told HR Brew that they can also fray relationships and even lead to turnover. And the risk doesn’t disappear when the polls close. “The day after the election, it’s going to be accelerated,” he said. “There are going to be a lot of people who are elated…Some of them are going to be enraged, feeling that the election was stolen or lost or taken away from them.”

Handling Election Angst in the Workplace


Election Day and the days that follow can bring both joy and tension to workplaces. Some workers may openly celebrate the results—while others may feel sad, defeated or furious. Employees with different political beliefs could engage in heated arguments, leading to a tense and unproductive workplace that undermines employee morale. This year’s results could be particularly contentious, with some states presenting ballot measures on abortion, marijuana, minimum wage and unions.

6 signs your DEI efforts don’t really matter – and what can be done better

HR Morning

Are your Diversity, Equity and Inclusion (DEI) efforts meaningful? Or are they superficial – perhaps they look good on paper but don’t really matter? Unfortunately, almost three-quarters of employees don’t think their companies policies related to DEI are genuine, according to the Catalyst Report, “Words Aren’t Enough: The Risk of Performative Policies.”

How to Keep Your DEI Efforts on Track in the Era of Remote Work

Workest by Zenefits

If there’s anything certain about today’s workplace transformation, it’s the remote-work explosion. Employers who thought working from home (WFH) would be a temporary response to the spread of COVID-19 know now that remote work is fast becoming the norm. In fact, a McKinsey & Company survey found that 4 out of 5 respondents who worked remotely preferred to keep it that way.

Making 2022 Compliance Training Matter, Simple and Stick

The Compliance and Ethics Blog

As 2022 starts, so does a new year of compliance training deliveries. Now is the time for organizations to consider how to make the time and expense invested in learning and time off the job be as productive and useful as possible. My prediction, though, is that all too many will stick with the status quo, deploying learning characterized by mounds of information and directives, documenting attendance and leaving it at that.

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Stephen Paskoff on Diversity, Equity & Inclusion Compliance Challenges

Compliance Perspectives Podcast

As diversity, equity and inclusion efforts proliferate, Stephen Paskoff, President and CEO of ELI, warns in this podcast that organizations need to be mindful of existing equal employment laws. Allowing for differential treatment, no matter how well intended, can lead to claims of discrimination.

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Diversity, Equity & Inclusion in the Workplace

HCMx Radio with Brandon Hall

Stephen M. Paskoff, Esq., is the founder, president and CEO of ELI, a learning and consulting company that teaches and advises on professional workplace conduct, helping clients translate their values into behaviors, increase employee contribution, build respectful and inclusive cultures, and reduce legal and ethical risk.

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Should We Ban Political Talk from the Workplace?

Shaping Opinion 

Steve Paskoff joins Tim to talk about whether it’s a good idea for employers to ban discussion of politics in the workplace. Steve is CEO of an Atlanta-based firm called ELI, Inc. That’s a company that provides workplace culture training for employers. In this episode, Steve explains how to handle the touchy issue of employees talking about politics and other sensitive topics at work.

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Employers Grapple With Implicit Bias As Mentoring Takes Off

Law 360

For companies looking to diversify their upper echelons, mentorship programs can be an attractive option. But the particularly close relationship between mentors and mentees raises a unique set of concerns that experts say employers need to be aware of. To find a recent example of a mentorship situation going off the rails, one only has to look to the ongoing scandal surrounding Democratic New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo. The embattled governor said he “was trying to be a mentor” to former aide Charlotte Bennett, who has accused him of asking her invasive personal questions about her love life and quizzing her about whether she’d date older men.

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Workplace Survival During a Contentious Year

HR News

We are in an acrimonious political period, with the diversions among voters having become extreme and only intensifying. And we know this. In fact, a Pew Research poll reported on October 10, 2019, showed that large majorities of Americans who identified with either of the two major political parties – 85 percent of Republicans and 78 percent of Democrats – believed that the partisan divide was increasing.

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Committed to Culture: How HR Director Allison Vessels works to make Windsor Run feel like home

American Healthcare Leader

Allison Vessels is committed. As director of human resources at Windsor Run, Erickson Living’s new senior living community in Matthews, North Carolina, Vessels has dedicated herself to fostering a culture that makes staff and residents alike feel at home.When Windsor Run opened in May 2018, it was all hands on deck to make a good first impression on new residents. Staff members helped each other succeed beyond their own official duties. Vessels even served as hostess in the restaurant, striving to ensure that Windsor Run residents experienced the same high-level dining services as were offered at other Erickson communities.

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When Training Alone Doesn’t Work: The 5 Cs of Civility

Training Industry

How often have you heard people in your organization complain that “training doesn’t work”? I hear that sentiment all the time in conjunction with training on behavioral issues such as discrimination, inclusion, respect and civility. Often, I have to agree: Training doesn’t work — or, rather, training alone doesn’t work. Changing behavior is not a matter of simply conveying knowledge. The Harvey Weinsteins of the world don’t act the way they do because they are ignorant or don’t know better. Rather, they misbehave because they believe they do not need to abide by the law or policy or because they know they can get away with it. Training alone does not solve these problems.

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Two years on: The impact of #MeToo

Benefits Pro

We’re nearing the two-year anniversary of the explosion of #MeToo, a hashtag that has come to symbolize the struggle of women to be treated with respect and equality in the workplace. Unfortunately, the mindset of too many companies in the face of #MeToo is to figure out what is the very minimum they can do to avoid legal trouble.

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A Civil Workplace Requires a New Approach to Training

World at Work

The business of workplace learning has changed dramatically since I got involved in the industry more than three decades ago. Back then, it was difficult to get organizations to appreciate the need for interactive classroom training, let alone explore what happens before and after a course. At the time, daylong classroom lectures were the standard. Today, the mindset has flipped. Increasingly, organizations recognize that training has to meet learners where they are, especially as more employees within the same organization — or even the same department — don’t work in the same physical workplace and likely have different schedules. And, the composition of the workplace is changing dramatically.

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Creating a Culture of Compliance One Conversation at a Time

HR Tech Outlook

With the numerous local, state and federal laws governing employment relationships, human resources have become a key component to any organization’s compliance team. At Temple Health we are working to move beyond the view that compliance is merely a gatekeeper role or a necessary evil; over the past four years, we have been working to cultivate a workplace where HR compliance is treated as part of everyone’s job. We have laid the groundwork with regard to emphasizing and holding individuals accountable to a set of organizational competencies and norms that will not only give us a competitive edge, but allow us, over time, to step back from traditional control mechanisms and external deterrents and motivate our colleagues to work and interact in an appropriate legal and ethical manner.

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Lawyers Are Uniquely Challenging Audience for Anti-Bias Training

Bloomberg Law

“Lawyers are trained socratically, and the way you present to them has to be socratic,” said Stephen Paskoff, president and CEO of the workplace consultancy ELI. “Do not make it look like CLE.” Instead of simply lecturing, Paskoff typically asks lawyers questions and then uses their answers to build a case for why implicit bias is important. Paskoff said another strategy with lawyers, particularly litigators, is to show them that unconscious bias is harmful, even if it can’t be proven in court.

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Keeping tabs: best board management

CA North America

Boards have a fiduciary responsibility to their enterprise, and while they look at the company’s direction, strategy, results, balance sheet, and the like, they also need to look at the behaviour of the organization in general, including that of the leadership and CEO. “[CEO] behaviour can cause harm to the organization – it can affect the stock price, the image of the organization and the fundamental health of the enterprise,” said Stephen Paskoff, Esq., President and CEO of ELI. “The [board] have a right to oversee that and should – the persona of the leaders is closely linked with the organization.”

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#WorkTrends: Politics at Work

Talent Culture

There’s an old adage never to discuss religion and politics. Unfortunately, it seems like discussing politics is unavoidable these days — and for good reason. For a lot of us, the crisis in our political system is a cause for alarm, and it’s difficult to stop thinking or talking about it. But finding the balance with those you disagree with politically can be enormously difficult, especially in a day and age where people are more divided than ever.

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EEOC’s Feldblum One of Few Labor Officials to Cross Party Lines

Bloomberg Law

Former Equal Employment Opportunity Commission Democratic member Chai Feldblum stunned many with the recent announcement that she had joined Big Law management-side firm Morgan, Lewis & Bockius. Feldblum was a progressive force on the commission for the last eight years. Her decision to jump to a management-focused firm went against the commonly-held notion in labor and employment law that Democrats largely represent unions and employees while Republicans work for companies.

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Think Tank: Did No One Say ‘That’s a Bad Idea?’


Michael Stone and Stephen Paskoff explore why brands continue to ignore inclusion and diversity. How can brands still be getting it so wrong? In an age where the most-desired market segments — Millennials, Gen X and older Gen Z consumers — are driven by values, and especially diversity and inclusion and the positions that brands take, the fact that brands still release racist products and ads is mind-boggling.

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‘I Was Young’ Isn’t an Excuse: Business Leaders Need to Revisit Yearbooks

The Wall Street Journal

High-profile executives and business owners should conduct ‘opposition analysis’ on themselves to see if damaging pre-digital images could come to light. Politicians aren’t the only people who need to do a forensic analysis of their pre-digital footprint. Executives and business owners would be wise to know what potentially offensive photos, audio recordings and writing attributed to them in their younger days exist and could come to light, career coaches and crisis management professionals say.

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Is Politics Ruining Your Workplace Culture?

Human Resources Executive

The high-stakes midterm elections are tomorrow, and that seems to be all anyone can talk about—on the airwaves, at the dinner table and, yes, at the office water cooler. Talking about politics at work, however, can also have some high-stakes consequences—if the dialogue isn’t effectively managed. A new survey by Randstad U.S. found that political conversations at work are common, but so are some unfortunate outcomes.
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#MeToo: Movement or Moment?

Chief Learning Officer Magazine

The #MeToo movement went viral in October 2017. Today, it continues to spread awareness about sexual harassment and misconduct, but it appears little has been done by organization leaders to produce much substantial change in their workplaces.A new study by leadership training company VitalSmarts shows just that. The study of more than 1,100 people found that only 31 percent of employees observed anything more than small changes to their workplace since the movement began.
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ELI CEO Stephen Paskoff On Creating A Values-Driven Culture

Chief Executive Magazine

For Stephen Paskoff, CEO of workplace training specialist ELI, creating civil workplaces is a passion. And with the negative headlines the #MeToo movement has been making over the past year, many business leaders have been listening to his advice of late. Paskoff is a former trial attorney for the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission with a deep background in labor and employment law.
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Closer Look: Defining Racial Bias Training


Today across the nation, Starbucks will close for a few hours to give racial bias training to all employees. We’ll speak about this with Stephen Paskoff, the founder of ELI® and the company’s hallmark Civil Treatment® learning solutions.
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#MeToo Called for an Overhaul. Are Workplaces Really Changing?

The New York Times

Women have spoken. Men have fallen. Corporations are nervous. But are American workplaces making real progress in curbing sexual harassment? Five months after allegations against Harvey Weinstein led to the mass baring of past secrets, the focus is turning to the future. Government is stepping up efforts: In Washington, the House of Representatives is preparing to train every worker, down to the most junior intern, and state legislators across the country are proposing ambitious new laws. Corporate boards and investors from Wall Street to Silicon Valley are going on the offensive, probing for problems to avoid being surprised.
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Breaking the Silence

Harvard Business Review

Stephen Paskoff, ELI President and CEO, was recently quoted in a Harvard Business Review article titled Breaking the Silence. The piece was written by Chai Feldblum and Victoria Lipnic of the EEOC and focuses on the topic of sexual harassment in the workplace. In the article the authors lay out a road map for how to address and end harassment.
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Damaging The Brand Message… From Within

February 22, 2018

Yesterday, Ford’s President of North America, Raj Nair, abruptly departed the company due to inappropriate behavior. Last Tuesday, Paul Marciano, Chairman of Guess, relinquished all daily operational duties (and his salary) due to allegations of sexual harassment (which he denies). This was preceded a couple of weeks ago by the resignation of Laurent Potdevin, CEO of Lululemon, for creating a toxic environment in the workplace. Ford, Lululemon, Guess – each a great brand and, in the case of Ford, an iconic brand.
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How to Keep Being Sexually Harassed from Costing You Your Career

December 2017

Tucker Miller, Vice President of Client Consulting at ELI, was recently interviewed by Hilary Hendershott for an episode of Profit Boss® Radio titled How to Keep Being Sexually Harassed from Costing You Your Career. In the podcast, Miller explains the difference between quid pro quo harassment and a hostile work environment, and shares insights about how to know if you are being harassed, and what to do about it. Listen to the Show

Closer Look: The Top Stories of 2017

December 27, 2017

Whether it’s the entertainment and media industry or politics, allegations of sexual harassment and assault against public figures have continued to dominate news headlines. A look back at the impact of the national conversation on sexual harassment this year and what it means going forward with Stephen Paskoff, founder of the Atlanta-based company ELI, which helps businesses address uncivil behaviors and maintain workplace compliance.
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AJC: Why forcing out figureheads over sexual harassment isn’t enough

December 15, 2017

The American workplace is facing a reckoning as bombshell reports of sexual harassment are released almost daily. While industry icons like Al Franken, Matt Lauer and Harvey Weinstein have been unceremoniously removed from their positions of power, changing the decades-old “Keep Quiet” habit will take more than firings or resignations, policy changes or check-the-box trainings.
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Closer Look: What can companies do to foster a civil work environment?

November 29, 2017

As allegations of sexual harassment and assault continue to blanket the news, what can companies – big or small – do to foster a compliant and civil work environment? An Atlanta-based company, ELI, aims to help businesses address uncivil behaviors and maintain workplace compliance. Dr. Stephen Paskoff, the founder of ELI joins us in studio.
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Closer Look: Sexual Misconduct And Hollywood; And More

October 24, 2017

On this episode of NPR’s Closer Look, two women who were sexually harassed at their workplace share their stories and we speak to an HR expert about what steps should be taken if someone experiences sexual harassment at their job.
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NPS Toughens Harassment, Discrimination Policies Following Employee Survey

October 18, 2017

The Interior Department has launched a new zero tolerance policy for harassment and discrimination in its National Park Service workplaces–ranging from cubicle farms to the wide open spaces–after a survey revealed that two-fifths of its employees had experienced that type of misconduct while on the job.
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Stephen Paskoff on Civility in the Workplace [Podcast]

September 12, 2017

Civility in the workplace is something most, but not all, would agree makes for a better work environment. But, what about the impact on compliance? In his book Civility Rules, long-time labor and employment attorney Stephen Paskoff, who is a former trial attorney for the EEOC, argues that civility plays a critical role in ensuring ethical, compliant behavior. He observes, “The path from the merely disruptive to outright abusive behaviors is a well-traveled route to illegal actions.”
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Getting Employees to Speak Up May Require Culture Change

August 2, 2017

Getting employees to raise their ideas or point out problems may require a culture change in traditionally hierarchical organizations, consultants say. But the effort is worth it for creative problem-solving, not to mention that hesitant employees may know about safety concerns or critical business hazards.

Reproduced with permission from Daily Labor Report, 147 DLR 15 (Aug. 2, 2017). Copyright 2017 by The Bureau of National Affairs, Inc. (800-372-1033)
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SHRM: When HR Gets It Wrong

July 17, 2017

When HR Gets It Wrong is a series of articles from SHRM that explores the challenges HR faces when confronted with allegations of misconduct, inequity and other problems at an organization.

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At Fox, Uber and Mizzou, Where Was Human Resources?
Avoiding a Bungled Investigation
Training that Doesn’t Work

The Words We Read. The Way We Think. The Risks We Have

June 23, 2017

Burned. Owned. Slammed. These three words are found in headlines all over the internet: Watch this person slam that one. So and so just owned such and such. See this guy totally burn that guy. We live in times where making a point isn’t good enough. Degrading and humiliating the other person is what many people crave.
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Fumigating toxic workplaces: Federal News Radio Interview with Stephen Paskoff

June 13, 2017

What happens if there is someone in your office, maybe a coworker, maybe a supervisor, who tells offensive or off-color jokes? What if your immediate boss is a hugger or toucher where you are concerned? Maybe he/she has asked you out— for dinner or the weekend — because the old-ball-and-chain is away?
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I Hate My Boss: Podcast Interview with Tucker Miller

June, 2017

It drove Bill O’Reilly off the air, got L.A. Reid fired and sent Uber scrambling. Sexual harassment has dominated the news lately, but can it be stopped? Liz and Larry are joined by Tucker Miller, Vice President of Client Development and Consulting at ELI, Inc. to share what can you do when it happens at your job.
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Workplace harassment: What can you do to stop it?

May 16, 2017

So what happens when working at your workplace isn’t working? What if you have a disruptive or disrespectful colleague? What if the office Romeo (or sometimes female equivalent) is the boss? What do you do?

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Uber Engineer’s Claims Could Offer Lesson on How Not to Run an HR Department

February 28, 2017

After a manager propositions female subordinates for sex, the company’s HR department lets the guy off the hook because “he’s a high-performer.” After a woman complains about sex discrimination, her stellar performance review is secretly changed to include negative remarks. When the woman tells HR that her manager said she’d be fired if she complained to HR again, HR says there’s nothing it can do. These must be some of those textbook examples—probably from the 1950s—on how to never, ever run an HR department, right? No.

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The Rock Star Candidate with a Checkered Past

December 28 2016

Last month, Liberty University announced that it had hired as its new athletic director Ian McCaw, a former Baylor University athletic director who helped shape a football program that boasted a Heisman Trophy winner and two Big 12 championships.But McCaw came with baggage: He left Baylor in the spring of 2016 after an investigation found that coaches and the athletic department took no action when they were told football players had been accused of multiple gang rapes and sexual assaults.

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What ethics and compliance professionals can learn from the EEOC

November 2016

In June, the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) released new recommendations on how to prevent and reduce harassment in the workplace.1 Although the task force that produced the report was specially assigned to study sexual harassment, many of their discoveries about what makes harassment prevention programs effective (and ineffective) are directly relevant to professionals working in ethics and compliance as well.

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Why Roger Ailes’ Reputed Bad Behavior Went Unchecked

October 13, 2016

In the space of a few weeks this summer, America learned from the federal government that training isn’t doing much to prevent harassment at work, and then learned that Fox News founder Roger Ailes was resigning because he allegedly participated in, and presided over, a culture of repeated sexual harassment.

An Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) task force concluded in a June 2016 report that, 30 years after the U.S. Supreme Court held that workplace harassment was an actionable form of discrimination prohibited by federal law, “we have come a far way since that day, but sadly and too often still have far to go.”

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Why Sexual Harassment Training Needs a Reboot

August 23, 2016

The sudden fall of Fox News Chairman and CEO Roger Ailes amidst multiple claims of sexual harassment has cast new light on sexual harassment in the workplace. On this podcast, the founder of the workplace training and learning company ELI discusses why companies need to take a different approach when it comes to sexual harassment. Stephen Paskoff explains that much of the training that employers offer is designed to build legal defenses more than anything else. “Too many organizations take a cosmetic approach,” says Paskoff. “Employers should look at what will stop the behavior, and I don’t think giving a one-time dose of learning a year is what does that.”
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Compliance’s increasing role in preventing LGBT discrimination

JULY 19, 2016

Salesforce.com CEO David Benioff has drawn lots of media attention, a good deal of praise from civil rights proponents, and plenty of ire from conservative politicians and pro-business groups … all by threatening to reduce the company’s investment from states that pass laws allowing businesses to discriminate against LGBT people and relocate his employees from those states to operations elsewhere.
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These GCs Say It’s Time to Revisit Harassment Training

July 13, 2016

Workplace harassment training is largely ineffective and too focused on simply preventing liability, according to a new report from the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission. But there are ways to better this situation, including methods gaining traction on college campuses, according to general counsel who spent over a year working on the report.

“People need to know that when they are on the receiving end of behavior that’s improper, they can speak up about it. If you don’t have a culture where people can speak up, you’ll never completely root out a problem. You want your messages to be very simple and not laden with legal terminology. And you have to make the learning stick” – Stephen Paskoff
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The EEOC Recognizes ELI’s Civil Treatment® Training Program Reduces the Incidents of Harassment in the Workplace

JULY 12, 2016

ELI, Inc., a training company that helps organizations solve the problem of bad behavior in the workplace, and its President and CEO, Stephen Paskoff, were featured in the recent report “Study of Harassment in the Workplace,” released by the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC). The EEOC officials reported that ELI’s training helps reduce harassment in the workplace and recognized the program as an example of effective training that focuses on what employees and managers should do. As the report states, “…[M]any agencies have a contract with a training company called ELI to conduct ‘Civil Treatment Training for the Federal Government.’ The EEOC officials found that the civility training was helping in reducing the incidents of harassment in their agencies.”  Want to learn more about the EEOC report? Click here to visit our EEOC Study of Harassment in the Workplace resource center.
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Report on Medicare Compliance: Civility, Culture Tie into Compliance; Regulations Are Not End Point

APRIL 25, 2016

At one company where the compliance program won multiple training awards, the compliance officer was shocked to learn that senior executives were corrupting his good work. They required their administrative assistants to take compliance courses for them and check the box indicating they were completed. Bothered by the duplicity, an administrative assistant informed the compliance officer, who wondered about the implications for his organization that executives were outing a core compliance requirement and falsifying their attendance.
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Fox Business: Getting to the Next Level in Your Career

February 9, 2015

“Good training is critical, and quite often people don’t know what to look for,’ says Stephen Paskoff, president and CEO of legal and ethical workplace training firm ELI, Inc. Consider whether you need more knowledge, skills or a combination of both. ‘There’s a constant evolution of new skills that are needed and if you don’t keep up, you’re not serving your employer well.”
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HR Magazine: How to Create an Effective Cross-Cultural Training Program

January 7, 2015

“What companies should do instead is develop policies aimed at promoting a standard corporate culture,’ says Paskoff, a former U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission trial attorney. ‘They need to define what constitutes appropriate workplace behavior and reinforce that code of conduct in every location.“
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HR Agenda: Creating a Unified Business Culture

January 1, 2015

“How do you build a consistent professional culture in a business that spans the globe? The challenge can seem overwhelming because the societal differences where the business operates are so vast. Every aspect of human interaction is affected from the acceptability of the types of jokes told in the workplace, to the manner of dress and body language. What is acceptable professionally and personally in one country may often be seen as offensive or even discriminatory in another.”
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Forbes: 6 Tips And Ideas For Corporate Gifts This Holiday Season

December 17, 2014

“ Remember, gifts are a form of communication in the same way as what you write and what you say,’ says Stephen Paskoff, CEO of workplace learning company ELI. ‘Give clients, employees and colleagues gifts in line with your organization’s values and standards, and keep in mind that what you give directly reflects your judgment and professionalism.“
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Safety Outlook: Safety Dream Team = Cultural Ambassadors

December 8, 2014

“Many companies treat “safety” just as they would any other skill training program. They put together a safety team consisting of experts in the workplace and experts in the training. But this approach misses the mark because safety is a cultural issue, not simply a training issue.”
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Corporate Counsel: Global Bank Currency Scandal: It’s the Compliance, Stupid

November 13, 2014

“Stephen Paskoff, president and CEO of Employment Learning Innovations Inc., a legal and ethical workplace training firm, told CorpCounsel.com that when a healthy ethical culture isn’t present, even the best compliance programs do not succeed. ‘If you really want people to comply with standards, you have to start with culture,’ he said. ‘And too often, culture is regarded as an afterthought when it should be a building block.’ ”
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Mainstreet.com: How to Boost Your Reputation at Work Without Stepping on Any Toes

October 31, 2014

“Listen to what other people say,” said Steve Paskoff, CEO of ELI, an Atlanta-based workplace learning company. “Try to repeat their remarks in a non-threatening, non-accusatory tone and then state your disagreements in a professional, non-personal and factual way.”
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Corporate Secretary: Creating a Civil Workplace Culture

September 11, 2014

“When a leader’s behavior is demeaning enough that someone who ‘should have spoken up if he had the true fiduciary interest of the organization at heart’ fails to do so ‘because he didn’t want to be embarrassed or humiliated’, it creates an untenable situation, says Stephen Paskoff, president and chief executive of Atlanta-based Employment Learning Innovations (ELI), which trains managers to recognize and change uncivil workplace behavior.”

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Fox Business: Tips for Using Social media to Find Your Next Job

September 3, 2014

“…But this process takes more than just accepting and sending invitations to connect. “Figure out how you can connect with people so they will be willing and interested in connecting with you,” says Stephen Paskoff, president and CEO of legal and ethical workplace training firm ELI. Before making a connection, try to find common interests or experiences that you can reference.”
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The Globe and Mail: Centerplate CEO’s Ouster Illustrates the Power of Social Media

September 2, 2014

“…The conversations that happen online in real time can have a real impact on a company. “Social media enhance the visibility of leader misdeeds, which can be quickly attached to a brand,” said Stephen Paskoff, president and CEO of Atlanta, Ga.-based ELI Inc., which consults businesses on the behaviour of their employees.”
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FORTUNE: Centerplate CEO Des Hague Out After Backlash Over Dog-Kicking Incident

August 29, 2014

“In Fortune‘s original story on the incident, crisis-management consultant Steve Paskoff speculated that Centerplate would have to ‘do a thorough investigation. While we’re doing a thorough investigation, you put him on some type of suspension. You do this as fairly, rapidly, and efficiently as you can.”
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Entrepreneur: What to Do When the Big Fish You Hired Roils Your Startup’s Small Pond

August 29, 2014

“When an entrepreneur is starting a new company, there is great temptation to hire one or more “big shots”. These are, usually, very talented people who attract attention and investment. That’s all well and good as long as the big shot is a genuine asset to your company.”
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FORTUNE: Will CEO Dog-Abuse Scandal Sink Stadium Caterer Centerplate?

August 25, 2014

“…So what will this scandal mean for Centerplate’s business? If it doesn’t want to be perceived as just paying lip service, then it needs to take action regarding Hague, says crisis management expert Steve Paskoff, CEO of ELI, which does corporate sensitivity training.”
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Bloomberg BNA Workforce Strategies Report: Conflict Resolution: How Managers Can Address Disputes in the Workplace

July/August 2014

“…According to Stephen Paskoff, president and chief executive officer of ELI, a provider of corporate training programs, an organization’s expectation of a civil corporate culture has to be based on specific behaviors, and employers have to have standards for behavior that everyone can understand.”

Paskoff recommended that leaders be very clear and specific when defining what is an acceptable behavior in the workplace.

Excerpted from Workforce Strategies Report, pp. 8, 10-12, 15 (July 2014). Copyright 2014 by The Bureau of National Affairs, Inc. (800-372-1033) http://www.bna.com.
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Ethikos Magazine – Can Ethical Behavior Be Taught? By: Stephen M. Paskoff, Esq.

July/August 2014

“Yes, ethics can be taught.  The real question is whether you’re making sure it is learned.”

Given the wave of ethical lapses splashed across headlines, it’s no wonder that I’m regularly asked to speak to professional groups about whether and how ethics and professionalism can be taught. The recent scandals in the military are a particularly hot topic. I get questions that start out something like this: “Every military person I know is focused on values like honor and ethics. It’s part of the culture. If those institutions can’t get it right…well, it seems like ethics just can’t be taught. Can it?”
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Human Resource Executive: Taking Aim at Workplace Bullies

July 2014

Anti-bullying legislation continues to gain momentum in state legislatures, with Tennessee becoming the first state to pass anti-bullying legislation.
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Bloomberg BNA Human Resources Report: Employers Need to Be Aware of Subtle Discrimination Facing Female Executives

June 23, 2014

Discrimination against female managers and executives often tends to be subtle, but the impact on an employer – which can include recruitment and retention problems, bad publicity and potential litigation – is not, according to attorneys and employment analysts.

Reproduced with permission from Human Resources Report, 32 HRR 649 (June 23, 2014).  Copyright 2014 by The Bureau of National Affairs, Inc. (800-372-1033) http://www.bna.com.
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In trust we trust – Everyone agrees trust is key to a healthy workplace. So why isn’t there more of it?

May 2013

Imagine me walking into a corporate executive’s office.

Me: How important is trust to the health of your workplace?

Executive: Why, it’s critical. Awkward pause.

Executive: Who are you? And why are you in my office wearing pajamas?

Me: I’m America’s most-beloved workplace advice columnist. I wear what I please.

Then the police come, and there’s some unpleasantness. All in the name of trust! Most managers and employees agree trust is the foundation on which a happy workplace is built. But a new survey by ELI Inc., a corporate training company that focuses on workplace conduct, found that about 30 percent…
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Looking Beyond the Law: Civility and the Productive Work Environment

February 2013

Is your work environment one that is toxic or one of respect? Do your employees feel comfortable in speaking up and making a contribution? Stephen Paskoff and Dr. Edward Queen discuss a prescription for creating a value based business culture that encourages a more productive work environment.
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Corporate Compliance Insights: 5 Steps for Building an Effective Compliance Program

March 2011

Thousands of laws and regulations both inside and outside the United States cover what’s recognized as the exploding field of compliance. Violations can lead to civil and criminal penalties, destroy lives and shatter the reputations and even the existence of non-complying organizations as we have seen in cases such as Enron and Arthur Andersen.

Often lost in the maze of processes, hotlines, internal departments, systems and matrixes set up to address compliance requirements is the fact that daily workplace behavior drives compliance. Are problems prevented, detected or corrected when they do occur – or allowed to spin out of control into potential crises?

Too often, organizations forget that busy people working in challenging times need to know what to do and what not to do related to compliance — with the same clarity as other job responsibilities they shoulder. Most importantly, they need to know and believe to their core that their employer sincerely wants to find out about problems and welcomes the concerns they bring forward. The following five steps can help achieve that desired goal.
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AOL: Retaliation in the Workplace Exceeds Race-Based Claims for First Time

January 2011

In an ideal world, everyone would just get along. There would be no bullies at schools or shootings at supermarkets, and of course there wouldn’t be any conflicts in the workplace. But, unfortunately, in any place or situation where you mix together a lot of different people and their personalities, you are bound to occasionally encounter some issues.

Just ask Sandy Peddicord. She suffered from workplace demotion, harassment, and abuse because she spoke out about the discrimination that she and another woman experienced at Housby Mack Inc., under the hands of the owners and CEOs, Kevin and Kelly Housby.
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SHRM: The Importance of Being Civil

January 2011

Question: Why is workplace civility so important, and what can we do to increase it?

Answer: A number of white papers, books and studies in health care, government, manufacturing, professional services and other industrial sectors show the harm that can result when people are rude. The challenge for human resource professionals is to get leaders to understand that workplace civility is a strategic and operational imperative requiring little cost but generating huge bottom line and operational business results. Unfortunately, to many it sounds like a politically correct nightmare, or the latest fad, rather than a simple business issue that can be managed. A few simple steps can get leaders to think of civility in a new way:
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New York Times: N.F.L. Declined to View Favre Texts, Lawyer Says

January 2011

A lawyer for the massage therapists who sued Brett Favre and the Jets on Monday said N.F.L. investigators looking into a separate sexual harassment allegation declined his offer to view text messages and other documents that he said demonstrated Favre’s misconduct.

The N.F.L. fined Favre $50,000 last week for what it said was a lack of honesty and failure to cooperate with an investigation into whether Favre, who was accused of sending lewd messages and photos to a Jets game-day hostess, violated league policy on workplace conduct.
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Human Resource Executive: Bias Claims on the Rise

December 2010

With the latest recession being hailed as the worst in U.S. history, the record-setting EEOC claims in two of the past three years make sense. But that doesn’t make it any easier for HR leaders, who must both respond to current problems as well as prevent future ones.

During fiscal year 2010, the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission received a record 99,922 job-bias charges — the highest number in the agency’s 45-year history. The 2009 EEOC bias claims numbered 93,277, only a slight drop from the previous record set in 2008 at 95,402.
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AOL Small Business: Surviving Office Holiday Parties: 5 Things You Need to Know

December 2010

Company celebrations can be a great way to bond with co-workers — or make a total fool of yourself after a few drinks. How to survive your next office holiday party.
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Forbes: The Fair Labor Standards Act Has Become a Big Danger to Employers

November 2010

The Fair Labor Standards Act, passed in 1938 to protect the rights of workers, has recently become a bonanza for private attorneys and a potential disaster for employers. In a time of shifting job responsibilities, reclassification misunderstandings and economic uncertainty, private attorneys and the federal government have discovered long-ignored wage and hour provisions that can effectively raise workers’ pay significantly.
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Human Resource Executive: Dealing with Controversy

August 2010

In any company emergency, HR leaders are best equipped to help craft solutions and dispense information. And one thing employees crave is information. To make sure your message is accepted by employees and to counter gossip is to establish HR as consistent, transparent and authoritative on the issue.
By Bob Calandra

HP stunned the business community earlier this month when it announced that its hugely successful top executive was resigning for falsifying $20,000 on his expense account, amid allegations of sexual harassment. Some pundits and corporate leaders have questioned HP’s decision to force Hurd’s resignation over an expense-account issue.
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Law360: To Avoid Wage-Hour Risks, Use Ounce Of Prevention

August 2010

Law360, New York (August 09, 2010) — Ask almost any employment lawyer where case loads are growing fastest, and you probably won’t be surprised to hear about the explosive increase in the wage-and-hour arena.

Virtually any viewer who has switched on late-night television likely has been barraged by a string of attorneys’ wage-and-hour commercials and public service announcements from the U.S. Department of Labor’s “We Can Help” wage-and-hour awareness campaign. The growing public awareness of wage-and-hour claims may even trigger more lawsuits and even bigger resulting settlements.
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Atlanta Journal-Constitution: Lawyers Seek More Work-Life Balance; Firms Accommodate Them

August 2010

By day, Katie Birmingham is all about her inner foodie, as chef-owner of her Atlanta eatery, Noon Midtown. By night, Birmingham’s a barrister for Counsel on Call, a law firm that gives its network of lawyers the choice to take on as much or as little legal work as desired.

Though she loves the law and has practiced since 2003, Birmingham loves cooking just as much, and left the big Atlanta firm Kilpatrick Stockton in 2008 to have the flexibility to do both.

Cooking is such a strong passion for me; it always has been,” she said. The flexible scheduling with Counsel on Call “gives you a little bit more control over your time and, as a consequence, more control of your life.”
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Human Resource Executive: DOL’s Game-Changing FMLA Revisions

July 2010

New guidelines from the Department of Labor portend a change in how organizations may deal with which employees are eligible to take unpaid FMLA leave. What does HR need to know to remain compliant?

Last week, the U.S. Department of Labor expanded the definition of “son and daughter” under the Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA). The result could be a game changer for employers on a few levels.
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Press Releases

ELI, Inc. Announces New Civil Treatment® Initiative to Help Organizations Build More Inclusive, Productive and Compliant Workplaces

September 9, 2019

ELI, Inc., a training and consulting company that helps organizations build more inclusive, productive, and compliant workplaces, today announced the launch of its Civil Treatment®Workplace program. An addition to its award-winning portfolio of offerings available through the company’s pioneer Civil Treatment® series, this unique program enables organizations to operationalize workplace civility as an ongoing initiative connected to its mission and goals, rather than as a stand-alone, one-time course.


eli-inc-brandon-hall-award-20162016 – Best Unique or Innovative Learning and Development Program – Brandon Hall Group Excellence in Learning Awards – Bronze Winner

Verizon and ELI for Civil Treatment for Employees

bh-award2015 – Best Unique or Innovative Learning and Development Program – Brandon Hall Group Excellence in Learning Awards – Bronze Winner

Civil Treatment® for Leaders

Human Resources Executive MagazineBest New Training Product

Civil Treatment® for Managers

Human Resources Executive Magazine Best New Training Product

Civil Treatment® for Employees

Human Resources Executive Magazine Best New Training Product

The Legal Record®: Investigating and Documenting for Civil Treatment®

Human Resources Executive Magazine Top Ten Training Product

The Civil Treatment® Series

Human Resources Executive Magazine Top Ten Product and Product Groupings for the past 10 years

The Civil Treatment® Series

Corporate Legal Times, Distinguished Legal Service Award

Civil Treatment® for Managers

MCAI Awards in Media Excellence (AiME) Golden Reel Award

Civil Treatment® for Managers Online

Silver Axiem Award (Video)

Civil Treatment® for Managers

Silver Axiem Award (Interactive Media)

Civil Treatment® for Managers Online

Gold Aurora Award (Video)

Civil Treatment® for Employees

Silver Brandon Hall Excellence in Learning Award

Civil Treatment® for Employees Online

Software and Information Industry Association’s 17th Annual Codie Awards, Finalist

Civil Treatment® for Employees Online

ITVA Georgia Video Festival, Gold Award, Excellence in Training and Education

Banking on Fairness®

How much is bad behavior
costing your organization?
Watch the video to find out!

From the Blog

When Leaders are Too Busy: What it Really Means

Imagine this conversation: Doctor: “We’ve reviewed the tests; our findings are in line with all of the other opinions. You need this operation. Without it, your life is at risk.” Patient: “This is exactly what I’ve been told; I did my research and know you’re the best. Just one question:

Read More »

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