Misconduct at Work in the News - February 2024

Each month, it seems there are more and more extreme examples of misconduct in the news. Considering it only takes 5% of workers or executives engaging in misconduct for an organization to start seeing significant impacts, this trend should be increasingly concerning to organizations worldwide. In this month’s feature, you’ll find 22 headlines including additional backlash related to #Scandoval and Jeffrey Epstein, the ruling in Donald Trump’s fraud case, and more. See misconduct across industries and types of misconduct below.

Business and Financial Services

Two of Epstein’s Closest Advisers Are Sued by His Victims (NY Times)

Jeffrey Epstein’s longtime accountant and his personal lawyer were accused of enabling the disgraced financier’s sex trafficking.

'I was ousted' | Director sacked after rejecting boss's advances wins £100k payout (HR Grapevine)

Judge fines Donald Trump more than $350 million, bars him from running businesses in N.Y. for three years (NBC)


Ex-NY Governor Cuomo Sexually Harassed 13 Female State Employees, DOJ Says (Bloomberg)

The California Legislature promised to release its sexual harassment records. It has not since 2020 (KCRA)

Ex-military leader Edmundson's accuser continues testimony in sexual assault trial (Niagara on the Lake Local)

Just cause: Long breaks, inaccurate timesheets lead to termination of Alberta worker (HR Reporter)

UW-Madison Police Chief Kristen Roman resigns amid workplace investigation (Wisconsin State Journal)

Media and Entertainment

Former W.W.E. Employee Accuses Vince McMahon of Sex Trafficking (NYT)

In a lawsuit, the woman says Mr. McMahon hired her at the pro wrestling company in exchange for sex and then abused her for years.

Grammy-winning artist Lizzo has been denied her attempt to dismiss sexual harassment lawsuit filed against her (East Coast Daily)

Oregon Newspaper to Resume Printing After Embezzlement Forced Layoffs (NYT)

The Eugene Weekly was forced to lay off all 10 of its staff members last month after it discovered tens of thousands of dollars in unpaid bills.

Social media controversy | BBC senior employee sacked over offensive Facebook posts (HR Grapevine)

Corey Perry contract grievance against Blackhawks ‘threatened’; deadline to file extended (Chicago Sun Times)

Perry believes the Hawks did not have grounds to terminate his contract over his workplace misconduct in November, NHL commissioner Gary Bettman said Friday.

Arianne Zucker Sues Days of Our Lives Producers for Sexual Harassment (AOL)

Retail and Hospitality

A Misconduct Scandal that Ruined a Bar: A VPR Scandoval Consumer Services Use Case (Fama)

Stella Will Open in West Hollywood Despite Reports of Chef’s Prior Workplace Misconduct (Eater)

An independent investigation found that Gentile engaged in “disrespectful and harassing behavior” at Buca in Toronto

It’s Not Just Wages. Retailers Are Mistreating Workers in a More Insidious Way. (NY Times)

Questions Arise Over Sephora’s Handling of Girls in Blackface (NY Times)

The company said it asked the shoppers to leave. Two witnesses said that is not quite what happened.


Samsung chief Lee Jae-yong is acquitted of financial crimes related to 2015 merger (NPR)

TikTok Faces EU Investigation Over Protection of Minors, Harmful Content (Wall Street Journal)

Social-media platform could be fined if European officials find it broke new online-content rules

KRAFTON is sued over alleged sexual assault and wrongful termination (Gaming on Phone)

DraftKings executive’s misbehavior, non–compete aired in dueling lawsuits (Boston Globe)

‘Numerous… acts of deception, lies, and other misconduct,’ company alleged

As we wrap up February 2024, the array of misconduct incidents across various sectors—from business and financial services to government, media, entertainment, retail, hospitality, and technology—highlights a critical and ongoing challenge for organizations worldwide. The featured 22 headlines, including high-profile cases related to #Scandoval, Jeffrey Epstein, Donald Trump, and others, underscore the pervasive nature of misconduct and its ability to transcend industries and borders.

These incidents not only raise questions about ethical standards and accountability within organizations but also about the broader societal norms that allow such misconduct to flourish. As organizations grapple with the ramifications of these actions, it's clear that addressing misconduct requires more than just individual accountability. It demands a systemic overhaul of corporate cultures, stringent enforcement of ethical guidelines, and a renewed commitment to transparency and integrity. This month’s news serves as a somber reminder of the work that lies ahead in building more respectful, safe, and accountable workplaces.

Get more information on preventing misconduct at work here.