A POLICY IS NOT ENOUGH… what do you do??
You are a business owner, and you just learned that a female employee has made allegations of sexual harassment against one of your co-owners [or key leadership team members].
The allegations have your head spinning. The female employee who has made these allegations is someone you have worked with for years. You admire her work. She’s creative, talented, and is vital to your organization.
Your leadership member – the alleged “perpetrator” is one of your best friends. You vacation together. Your wives are best friends. Your kids are on the same soccer team. The two of you have built this organization from scratch. You can’t imagine the organization going forward without him.
The allegations are horrific. You don’t know who to believe or what to do.
With the recent buzz surrounding the #MeToo Movement, you have read so many internet articles and blog posts about high profile executives, companies, and media celebrities who are paying multi-millions of dollars to settle claims. Your employees just don’t seem like those folks, who seemed like real jerks. But what do you do? It doesn’t feel like you’ve personally done anything wrong, but this is a HUGE problem. You also learned recently that with the new federal tax law, settlements with non-disclosure agreements are no longer deductible.
Where do you start?
• Should you begin an investigation?
• Who should conduct the investigation, and how?
• What is the best way to ensure that discussions and documents prepared during the investigation are protected by the attorney-client privilege to the greatest extent possible?
• Can you be held personally liable? What about your company’s Board members? Under what circumstances are they personally liable?
• What are best practices for you to implement at the Board and operational levels?
• Will insurance coverage any of this, and if so, at what point is there a “claim”?
• What if you discover the situation is more widespread than the one female employee?
• If the allegations are substantiated, what are your risks in retaining the key team member?
• What are the risks of a retaliation claim from the female employee going forward?
• How did this happen in the first place – you had a policy that prohibited sexual harassment??
Join us on January 23, 2018 from 4:30 pm to 6:30 pm at the Proximity Hotel to discuss these issues and more. A Policy Is Not Enough…..