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Recent Events Remind Employers of the Importance for Workplace Training

November 13, 2012

Last week, two CEOs and one General saw their careers and reputations tarnished due to sexual indiscretions. First, on Friday, November 9, 2012, incoming Lockheed Martin CEO Christopher Kubasik resigned after an ethics investigation revealed he had an inappropriate relationship with a subordinate. His separation will cost Lockheed Martin at least $3.5 million. The same day, General David Patraeus resigned as Director of the United States Central Intelligence Agency because of an extramarital affair. The FBI had been investigating the woman involved, who was also the general’s biographer, in part because she sent harassing emails to a woman she thought also had an interest in the general. Furthermore, a long-time employee recently accused Waffle House’s CEO, Joseph Rogers, Jr., of sexual harassment over a nine-year period. She alleged that, among other things, Mr. Rogers demanded she perform sexual acts many times during her employment.

These recent news stories remind us that having a well-trained workforce and comprehensive policies and procedures can avoid both substantial financial consequences and employee morale issues. In addition to costs associated with investigations and severance payments, harassment allegations lead to productivity costs, including potential security breaches and workplace jealousies. It is a good time to review your company’s workplace policies and procedures and to conduct workplace harassment, and other, training. Honigman Labor and Employment attorneys specialize in such training programs for both management and non-management employees and crafting policies to address harassment and other workplace issues.