Sunday, April 23, 2006

Have we created a climate of no tolerance because of Sexual Harrassment Lawsuits?

I want to look at an issue that has been bothering me for some time now.
Boeing CEO Harry Stonecipher Resigns; Board Appoints James Bell Interim President and CEO; Lew Platt to Expand Role
And why was he fired?
The Board actions were taken following an investigation by internal and external legal counsel of the facts and circumstances surrounding a personal relationship between Stonecipher and a female executive of the company who did not report directly to him. The Board determined that his actions were inconsistent with Boeing's Code of Conduct.

"The Board concluded that the facts reflected poorly on Harry's judgment and would impair his ability to lead the company," said Platt.

"The resignation was in no way related to the company's operational performance or financial condition, both of which remain strong. However, the CEO must set the standard for unimpeachable professional and personal behavior, and the Board determined that this was the right and necessary decision under the circumstances," he said.

The Board ordered an immediate and comprehensive investigation of the matter after Platt received information that was sent anonymously to him and to the company's legal and ethics leaders 10 days ago. The investigation determined the relationship was consensual and had no effect on the conduct of the company's business. The investigation also determined that neither the career nor the compensation of the female executive was influenced by this relationship.

Should a consenting sexual affair between mature adults and not consummated on company grounds, dictates that the CEO should resign? This means that no CEO can have any relationship with any person that works inside the company. And I can assume that it is not against the law for extramarital relationships, otherwise the prisons would be filled up now.

And for some more information on this situation,Boeing CEO Resigns Over Affair With Subordinate.
"It's not the fact that he was having an affair" that caused him to be fired, said Lewis E. Platt, Boeing's non-executive chairman. "But as we explored the circumstances surrounding the affair, we just thought there were some issues of poor judgment that . . . impaired his ability to lead going forward."

So fire someone for poor judgment, I think we can all be in that boat at one time or another.
"In this environment, office romances have serious legal complications today that they didn't have 20 years ago," said Charles M. Elson, director of a corporate governance program at the University of Delaware. "It's not the relationship; it's the judgment that got you into the relationship that can get you into trouble."
Boeing refused to name the female executive but said she has not been disciplined. A spokesman said there were no charges of sexual harassment. The woman did not work directly for Stonecipher, and he did not show her preferential treatment, company officials said. The executive is "several levels down in the company," Platt said.

Stonecipher, who is married, did not return calls for comment.

Platt said he learned about the affair Feb. 28 after receiving an anonymous tip that included evidence of communication between Stonecipher and the female executive. Platt said he approached Stonecipher with the allegations the next day.
"In my very first conversation with him, he stepped up and said that, yes, he was having a relationship," Platt said. "And Harry was very open and very honest throughout this investigation."

Platt said he then informed the board, which was holding a regularly scheduled meeting. The board ordered an investigation, which included interviews with Stonecipher and the woman by an outside attorney. It found that the pair started the affair shortly after the first of the year and that it lasted only a few weeks, company officials said.

In all honesty, I was accused of sexual harassment. So I have felt the bad end of being accused and having to prove a negative. There was no grounds for it so no disciplinary action and the woman that accused me left the company for a variety of reasons but not before cheating the company out of a few hundred dollars.

So now what is my point?
"I want to say one thing to the American people. I want you to listen to me ... I did not have sexual relations with that woman, Miss Lewinsky," Clinton said during a White House after-school care event with his wife standing by his side. (448K wav sound)

"I never told anybody to lie, not a single time. Never. These allegations are false. And I need to go back to work," Clinton continued. The president offered no more detailed explanation and took no questions. Lewinsky Has Spoken

That's right! Clinton's extramarital relationship when he was "CEO" of the USA on company grounds with an intern that was directly under him, is what I am talking about.
Can we say that his judgement was flawed?
And then for the coverup, Beating The Rap: The Evolving Tale Of How Billy's Gifts Ended Up Under Betty Currie's Bed.
Can we now say that his judgment was flawed?
If any CEO had done what Clinton had done, there would have been multiple lawsuits and he would have been fired so fast as to have security escort him out that minute.
This is partially due to the fact that sexual harassment does not have to be the two in the affair. Any other intern that was not given preferential treatment could sue. Or any one there could have sued on the grounds that it created a "hostile work environment" not the least being Betty Currie.

PS (5-6-2006): Winds fo Change has a nice post on Jefferson/Kennedy scandals:
As I've said, I think there's an opportunity for the Democrats to use this and make both moral and political progress - but it will require cleaning their own house first. I think that's a smart political move, not a dumb one, because it w(i)ll show the American people that they are serious about changing the culture in Washington.

I have heard so much mudslinging on the Republicans it would fill a book but when it happens to the Democrats then it is "Standing up to bullies". The Kennedy case shows deffinite signs of bad judgement. And as shown above that is only thing required to force a CEO to resign!
I won't go into every detail of the Kennedy incidents, but I will point out that it is odd that Kennedy says he has no memory of the night but insists that he did not take alchohol.

Video of Above Statements/Washington Post
What Clinton Said
Senior Official Linked to Escort Service Resigns
BP boss quits after allegations


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