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.
- 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.
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.
- 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.