Retaliation: A Workplace Soap Opera 9-14-18

https://www.jdsupra.com/legalnews/retaliation-a-workplace-soap-opera-93182/

Bruce’s Summary: The author states, “It’s possible to have a valid claim (retaliation) based on an underlying complaint that has no merit.” Something everyone should take a moment to think about.
The author gives three examples for HR Professionals to use as guides when talking with respondents or use for harassment training. As an example, (adding my 20/20 hindsight) in two of the three samples a clear understanding should have been made with the respondent about the pitfalls of responding to the claimant in any manner and the potential negative consequences if such an encounter occurs. The third example, reference to threatening the HR Manager, is trickier. Is it venting or is it threatening? Over my 35-year HR career I experienced both. If threatening, it has to be addressed immediately, if venting, I would let it go with a clear understanding it stops with me. Human beings get upset, everyone does at times, but what has to be understood in our legal environment today is for every action there is a potential consequential reaction. “None of the information contained herein should be construed as legal advice, nor are Calvin Associates consultants engaged to offer legal advice. If there is a need for legal advice, please contact and seek the advice of independent legal counsel.” www.calvin-associates.com

The “Weinstein Clause” May Mark a New Era of Social Due Diligence 9-14-2018

https://www.jdsupra.com/legalnews/the-weinstein-clause-may-mark-a-new-era-42857/

Bruce’s Summary: One more view in the arena of M&A’s and how it may appear that boards are starting to have a little clearer understanding of the impact of the “#MeToo” movement. A new term, the “Weinstein Clause” is beginning to make its debut into M&A negotiations as a real potential business risk item along with other key core financial, operational and legal risks that may have major effects on the value associated with the sale of a business.
The authors share both a negative and positive perceptional view of this change and suggest the use of some additional contractual terms for consideration.
As I said previously for HR Professional’s it’s an opportunity to take a lead role in ensuring that their organizations understand and in-still “Best Practices” before “#MeToo” type allegations are alleged.
By being proactive, HR Professionals can monitor and drive policy development, provide live training for executives, ensure inappropriate manager behavior is recognized and addressed earlier, train employees how to speak up if they become bystanders and using outside investigative experts for more sensitive higher level “#MeToo” type allegations. “None of the information contained herein should be construed as legal advice, nor are Calvin Associates consultants engaged to offer legal advice. If there is a need for legal advice, please contact and seek the advice of independent legal counsel.” www.calvin-associates.com

The #MeToo Rep: M&A in the #MeToo Era 8-28-18

https://www.jdsupra.com/legalnews/the-metoo-rep-m-a-in-the-metoo-era-16367/
Bruce’s Summary: Again, as I said in January of this year, “Well 2018 is here and workplace harassment and retaliation allegations are still rolling in. It seems the talk is that everyone is still waiting for more workplace harassment and retaliation complaints to surface and surface they will.”
So, has anything else changed? Well let’s say you are in the process of selling your company, everything is coming together, financing is looking good and you get an additional request.
You get a “Weinstein Representation” or an “MeToo Representation” request about any prior and/or current ongoing complaints or allegations, which previously were rarely brought up, if at all. But wait, as a normal standard operating procedure you have already responded that you don’t have any ongoing litigation or threats of litigation. Yes, you did respond but it’s no longer enough, we’re in a different world today and what you may have thought was previously addressed and settled is now being asked to be disclosed as part of the due diligence process.
The author provides a great overview of the potential outcomes that can positively and/or negatively affect the value associated with the sale of a business.
For HR Professional’s it’s a wakeup call and an opportunity to take a lead role in ensuring that their organizations understand and instill “Best Practices” when “MeToo” type allegations are alleged.
By being proactive, HR Professionals can monitor and drive policy development, provide live training for executives, ensure inappropriate manager behavior is addressed earlier, train employees how to speak up if they become bystanders and the use of outside investigative experts is a positive in todays “MeToo” environment. “None of the information contained herein should be construed as legal advice, nor are Calvin Associates consultants engaged to offer legal advice. If there is a need for legal advice, please contact and seek the advice of independent legal counsel.” www.calvin-associates.com