Workplace Misconduct in the News in May 2024

The reason we report on Workplace Misconduct in the News each month is because the impact misconduct scandals have on the workplace is vast, and never ending. It’s no surprise that maintaining a positive work environment is critical to employee, team, and business success. Countless studies show the impact of positive workplaces on key business performance metrics like employee productivity, retention, and even profitability and stock value.

When organizations aren’t committed to creating positive working environments and let misconduct run awry, they start to see all those positive KPIs tank. Employees disengage, take time away from work, and even start looking for other jobs. One study found that 44% of employees have used vacation days or personal time off to avoid toxic workplaces. Another by the American Psychological Association showed that toxic workplaces are driving away 1 in 5 American workers.

That all happens, in most cases, before misconduct scandals break into the mainstream news… like what happened to these organizations and notable leaders:

1. Former USA soccer coach Bruce Arena 'put on leave amid investigation' (Daily Mail)

“The New England Revolution have placed coach and general manager Bruce Arena on administrative leave pending an investigation into allegations of insensitive and inappropriate remarks, the club confirmed on Tuesday. 'The organization takes any allegations of workplace misconduct extremely seriously and is working closely with the League and fully cooperating with its investigation,' the club said in a statement.”

2. Kenan Thompson Says Nickelodeon Needs to Investigate Abuse Allegations Captured in ‘Quiet on Set’: ‘How Dare You?’ (Indie Wire)

3. Dan Schneider Sues ‘Quiet On Set’ Networks, Producers For Defamation (Forbes)

4. Allegations of RCMP bullying detailed in Surrey police court docs (CBC)

"One newly-hired SPS officer claimed RCMP treatment was 'dehumanizing, full of hatred and trickery'"

5. NBCUniversal finalizing settlement with CNBC reporter, who is exiting the company (Axios)

“Gamble filed a complaint earlier this year that accused named CNBC International executives of fostering a toxic workplace culture and made allegations of sexual harassment and discrimination against other executives…. Gamble's internal complaint led to the investigation, and ultimate firing, of NBCU CEO Jeff Shell last month for sexual harassment.”

6. 'Selling Sunset' Star Accused of Workplace Misconduct (Collider)

“Former employees sued Bre Tiesi for verbal abuse, harassment, and discrimination. Claims include mocking LGBTQ+ community and using offensive language. Former employees demand $9M in damages, and Tiesi's fate on Selling Sunset uncertain.”

7. Lawsuit Accuses Everton Bidder 777 Partners of $600 Million Fraud (The New York Times)

“In a suit filed in federal court in New York, a firm that provided hundreds of millions of dollars to 777 accused the company of double-pledging its collateral to other investors.”

8. Airline Agrees to Pay $79 Million After Selling Tickets for Canceled Flights (The New York Times)

“Qantas, Australia’s national carrier, apologized and said it would pay a fine and compensation to settle a suit brought by a consumer watchdog.”

9. Auditor That Works for Trump Media Is Charged With Fraud (The New York Times)

“Regulators said BF Borgers failed to abide by accounting rules that its public company clients are required to follow.”

10. US probe finds widespread sexual misconduct at FDIC (Reuters)

“[A] report by law firm Cleary Gottlieb opens new tab paints a picture of an agency at which sexual harassment, racial discrimination and bullying were pervasive at every level and tolerated by senior leaders for years, while complaints about misconduct were met with retaliation.”

11. McHenry Calls on FDIC Chair Gruenberg to Resign Following Damning Independent Report from Cleary Gottlieb (Financial Services Committee)

12. Miss Teen USA Quits 2 Days After Miss USA Amid ‘Toxic’ Workplace & ‘Bullying’ Allegations (TV Insider)

13. A fifth Miss Hall’s School alumna comes forward with sex abuse claims against former teacher (WAMC)

14. CT lawmakers vote to stiffen penalties on cops who falsify records following fake ticket scandal (CT Post)

Preventing these cultures of misconduct can be much simpler than many think. Our 2023 State of Misconduct at Work research walks through some easy steps HR, Talent Acquisition, and business leaders can take.