Workplace Misconduct in the News in June 2023

We’ve all heard the saying “desperate times call for desperate measures.” When it comes to workplace misconduct, this saying shouldn’t be taken lightly.

Research shows clear connections between job insecurity, stress, and misconduct. Unfortunately, HR Grapevine reports an increase in job insecurity in the U.S. As fear of job losses and economic instability climb, companies should be on the lookout for workplace misconduct and take preventative measures to keep your organization safe from personnel, reputational, legal, and financial damages.

The companies who take misconduct seriously already, or get serious about preventing, identifying, and navigating misconduct will see limited incidents and have a plan to navigate them compliantly and quickly.

On the other hand, companies that put off dealing with misconduct will likely end up making headlines like these organizations below. Read below to see recent headlines with misconduct including general headlines and news, articles on lawsuits and investigations, as well as incidents of executive and employee misconduct.

General Headlines & News

  • Younger generations are very concerned about workplace harassment: Gen Z and millennials are generally dissatisfied with their employers’ harassment prevention and response efforts. (HR Brew)
  • Instagram Connects Vast Pedophile Network: The Meta unit’s systems for fostering communities have guided users to child-sex content; company says it is improving internal controls (The Wall Street Journal)
  • NLRB Returns to Setting-Specific Standards for Employee Misconduct Occurring in the Course of Protected Activity (JDSUPRA)

Lawsuits & Investigations

  • SEC’s Gary Gensler Had Crypto in His Sights for Years. Now He’s Suing Binance and Coinbase: Agency chair focuses enforcement power on exchanges after earlier failures to subdue industry

    "'I’ve been around finance for four decades,' Gensler said in an interview Tuesday. 'I’ve never seen so much just noncompliance and hype masquerading as reality as I’ve seen in this field.'" (The Wall Street Journal)

  • Risqué Music at Work Might Be Illegal, Court Says: A federal appeals court said it would allow to proceed a lawsuit brought by warehouse workers who claimed music from Eminem and others turned their workplace hostile (The Wall Street Journal)
  • Activision CEO Bobby Kotick blames ‘outside forces’ for toxic culture accusations: The embattled leader denies reports that the gaming company was run as a “frat house.” (HR Brew)

Executive and Employee Misconduct Incidents

  • Adena Health employees fired after NBC4 investigation exposing misconduct allegations (NBC4)
  • 3 severed heads from donor bodies left at employee’s desk after complaints raised about alleged misconduct (Chicago Tribune)
  • Kokomo Catholic Church says investigation underway into "misconduct allegations" involving ex-employee: Fr. Christopher Shocklee released a statement on the St. Patrick Catholic Church website on June 5 (WRTV ABC)
  • Fremont Theater operators deny firing employee for reporting sexual misconduct allegations (The Tribune)
  • Former Warren County jail employee indicted in official misconduct investigation (WNKY News)

As you can see, workplace misconduct is as damaging as it is common. Luckily, there are several things companies can do and several technologies companies can adopt to remain compliant, mitigate risk of misconduct, and protect their employees from egregious acts of misconduct like the ones above.

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