International Monetary Fund and Verizon

Chapter 6: Lessons Learned from Companies Caught in the Act

Posted by Dawn Lomer in on March 3rd, 2015

Chapter 1: Xerox and Ford

Chapter 2: Siemens and Satyam

Chapter 3: Tyco and Hewlett-Packard

Chapter 4: Johnson & Johnson and Mattel

Chapter 5: BAE and Google

Chapter 6: International Monetary Fund and Verizon

International Monetary Fund

Fine/Settlement: TBD + Reputational Damage

The arrest of the IMF’s managing director, Dominique Strauss-Kahn, for allegedly sexually assaulting a hotel housekeeper, resulted in a wave of attention directed at the corporate culture at the IMF. Strauss-Kahn resigned from his position at the IMF shortly after the arrest.

Since then, the floodgates have opened with new allegations against Strauss-Kahn and a portrait of an organization rife with harassment.

Lessons Learned

  • Anti-harassment training and policies
    • Ensure the policy includes information about the types of harassment and discrimination and where employees can report anonymously any misconduct.
  • Tone from the top
    • Get top-level buy-in for harassment and discrimination policies and show that the rules apply to everyone, regardless of their level of seniority in the company.

Every employee should be held to the same standards. Their title or seniority aren’t an excuse for unacceptable behavior.

Verizon Communications

Fine/Settlement: $20 million

Telecommunications giant Verizon Communications agreed to a $20-million settlement and significant equitable relief to resolve a nationwide class disability discrimination lawsuit filed by the US Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC). The settlement sent a clear message that disability discrimination is a serious offence.

The class lawsuit said the company disciplined or fired hundreds of employees who weren’t able to comply with the company’s strict attendance policy. The employees in question were denied “reasonable accommodations” for their disabilities, according to the ruling.

Lesson Learned

  • Anti-discrimination policies and enforcement
    • Companies must provide reasonable accommodations for disabled employees according to the law. The settlement demonstrated the need for employers to have attendance policies that take into account the need for paid or unpaid leave as a reasonable accommodation for employees with disabilities.

Chapter 7: Happy Days Children’s Wear

Dawn Lomer
Dawn Lomer

Managing Editor

Dawn Lomer is the managing editor at i-Sight Software and a Certified Fraud Examiner (CFE). She writes about topics related to workplace investigations, ethics and compliance, data security and e-discovery, and hosts i-Sight webinars.