Corporate Governance and Consequences of Bad Behavior: Creating a Culture of Compliance in the #MeToo Era

A live 90-minute CLE webinar with interactive Q&A


Thursday, July 30, 2020

1:00pm-2:30pm EDT, 10:00am-11:30am PDT

or call 1-800-926-7926

This CLE webinar will address the corporate compliance issues that have arisen in the aftermath of the #MeToo movement. Companies that tolerated or empowered bad behavior have suffered, and corporate counsel must examine what the best practices are for developing a culture of compliance and the risks of failing to do so. Companies can no longer be entirely comfortable relying on Title VII, as the current legal trend is to broaden those corporate policies to reflect a more commonsense approach to unacceptable behavior that reflects the collective moral outrage.

Description

Corporate boards and owners set the stage for the culture a business possesses. Much of the spotlight on the #MeToo allegations related to the individuals and their violations. However, the damage went beyond individuals to the companies that tolerated, enabled, or empowered bad behavior.

Conscientious businesses must understand the roots of the #MeToo movement to respond effectively to employees' increased demands for more transparency and accountability in investigating sexual harassment claims. The "court of public opinion" inflicts damage on a business' reputation long before the matter goes to court. Businesses can not just rely on Title VII. A win at the summary judgment stage takes years and can result in exorbitant attorneys' fees. Since individual harassers cannot be sued directly under Title VII, the organization, its management, and individual owners must defend the behavior.

The company needs to review its handling of all prior allegations of sexual harassment. Historically, companies have used nondisclosure provisions in employment agreements and settlement agreements to conceal details of alleged sexual harassment. The prevailing sentiment in the wake of #MeToo is that these agreements allow businesses to hide misconduct and avoid addressing it. At least 17 states considered legislation to prohibit nondisclosure agreements in the sexual harassment context. Additionally, the use of arbitration agreements with sexual harassment or abuse claims is subject to restrictions in multiple states, requiring businesses and their counsel to prepare for full-scale litigation in the event of a sexual harassment claim.

Corporate counsel must prepare to advise an organization's leadership on the effect of the changes in both laws and public opinion concerning potential #MeToo claims. The role of the board of directors and similar individuals is to establish oversight for an organization's compliance with applicable law and standards of ethical conduct. The need to develop policies, procedure, and a culture that focuses on preventing and remedying workplace sexual harassment is apparent. In the social media age, a business can suffer severe consequences even without the imminent filing of a lawsuit.

Listen as our authoritative panel provides practical advice and guidance on creating a culture of compliance in the post-#MeToo environment to prevent and remedy instances of workplace sexual harassment and comply with state and federal laws enacted to achieve this goal.

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Outline

  1. Review of #MeToo
  2. Compliance requirements and effect on ownership/corporate boards
    1. Changes at state level
    2. Non-disclosure agreements
    3. Arbitration agreements
  3. Best practices and procedures

Benefits

This panel will review these and other notable matters:

  • What are the significant issues a company's owners must consider in a post-#MeToo world?
  • How can business management relay policy revisions and updated culture standards to employees?
  • How should a company address federal and state changes to employment law in its compliance procedures?
  • What are the best practices for implementing a culture of compliance post-#MeToo?

Faculty

Lenkov, Patricia
Patricia Lenkov

Founder
Agility Executive Search

Ms. Lenkov is widely regarded as a thought leader on board recruiting, corporate governance, composition, and...  |  Read More

Nimmo, Michael
Michael L. Nimmo

Partner
Denver Trial Lawyers

Mr. Nimmo specializes in serious and complex civil litigation, where he represents victims who were injured in the...  |  Read More

Stinar, Parker
Parker Stinar

Attorney
Denver Trial Lawyers

Mr. Stinar is nationally experienced birth injury and medical malpractice attorney. He represents clients in all stages...  |  Read More

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