8/17/18

Ford Quoted in Agenda Story Titled “Ignored Misconduct Complaints Come Back to Haunt”

Related Practices

Attorneys & Professionals

Jackie Ford, a partner in the Vorys Houston office and a member of the labor and employment group, was quoted in an Agenda story about two recent legal cases that involved companies that were sued because of how they handled misconduct complaints.  Ford spoke with the article’s author about internal policies and the importance of reviewing them regularly.

The story states:

“The primary motivation for effective internal policies that root out bad behavior should be that it’s simply the right approach to protect the workforce, sources say. But also, from a business perspective, not having effective policies in place brings with it a great deal of exposure, says Jackie Ford, partner at Vorys, Sater, Seymour and Pease, who spoke generally and not about specific companies. And that can come in the form of lawsuits, reputational damage and a dollar impact, she says.

In fact, the EEOC, in a task force study released in 2016, pointed out that, in the previous year, more than $164 million had been recovered by the EEOC alone for workers alleging harassment. And then there are also the costs to those who suffer from the harassment, decreased productivity and increased turnover, the report reads, all of which ‘is a drag on performance — and the bottom-line.’

There are some instances in which policies that are lacking will only be identified in hindsight, because of lawsuits, for instance, says Ford. But there are also signs a company can watch out for, such as groups of employees who regularly ignore general workplace standards.

‘When you see patterns like that, that can be a warning sign of a variety of potential dangers, including harassment and other kinds of workplace violations,’ she explains.”

To read the entire story, visit the Agenda website. (Subscription may be required).