Sexual Harassment

As a governing board member it is imperative to handle matters of sexual harassment with finesse. To determine who is at fault is highly volatile, as falsely accusing either party could destroy their reputation resulting in job loss and extreme difficulty finding a replacement job. Very often an entire field will shun a worker for such actions, making it near impossible to carry on in their profession in the same manner.
In this situation, taking the matter to court could easily cost the company well over the four months severance pay demanded by the female employee. It would for certain bring out he truth as to whether the CEO is at fault or not. As a precursory step to court, I would highly suggest a committee be created to hold an informal court hearing within the corporation. This would help determine how strong of a case both sides have against each other. Depending on the outcome of this, court should then be considered. If there is overwhelming evidence she is making up the charges, she should be made aware of what her position in court would be and not offered a severance, but instead unemployment, (which would be standard anyway.) If the CEO is presumed to be guilty in the “mock trial,” he should be asked for a confession of the truth and then fired, with her severance pay granted. In the unlikely situation neither party is able to be determined as “closer to fault,” the matter should be taken to real court. This would eliminate all further complaints and grievances the corporation should need to worry about, and make it clear who should be presented with dismissal, if anyone.
These are the actions I would present as an option in this particular situation. There were no witnesses, and the CEO has been with the corporation long enough that many people within the organization could present a clear and accurate character definition of him in the mock hearing. It is in the corporations best interests to keep an established CEO, but also detrimental to determine whether or not he is a sexual predator leading the corporation. I believe the suggested course of action to be the most reasonable.

Category: Social Issues