Nontraditional training is designed to build a "team spirit" among employees or to teach employees to maximize their potential. Most often found in supervisory or management training programs, nontraditional training comes in two general forms:
* Adventure. In these programs, a group of employees participate in a series of physically and emotionally demanding team-building and risk-taking exercises in a rural or wilderness setting.
* New age. These programs employ motivational sermons, transcendental meditation, hypnosis, intense encounter sessions and other nontraditional techniques in an attempt to imbue employees with a new system of beliefs.
These types of training are quite controversial, and each presents different potential legal pitfalls.
The adventure training setting provides a wealth of potential causes of legal action from employees. Negligence claims for personal injuries suffered by employees during adventure training are generally covered by workers' compensation, but other potential causes of action do not enjoy such pre-emption. For example, actions not covered include:
* Intentional infliction of emotional distress.
* Invasion of privacy.
* False imprisonment.
* Wrongful discharge.
Given the stress involved in the adventure training setting, an intentional infliction of emotional distress claim is the most obvious cause of action available to an employee who is humiliated or embarrassed by an inability to perform an assigned training activity. The more …