This is the first in a series of articles covering the various ways directors and officers can be liable. Here, Stephanie Resnick, Philadelphia Office Managing Partner and Chair of the Directors’ and Officers’ Liability Practice Group at Fox Rothschild, and John Fuller, an associate and member of the Directors’ and Officers’ Liability Practice Group at Fox Rothschild, explore the issue of harassment in the workplace.
with co-author John Fuller
Unfortunately, sexual harassment in the workplace is not a new phenomenon. However, the rise and focus of the #MeToo movement has made sexual discrimination and harassment a very significant concern for shareholders. While companies have historically faced liability for the failure to address allegations of sexual harassment or sexual misconduct properly, the #MeToo era has seen theories of corporate and board liability and damages for sexual harassment and misconduct evolve dramatically.
Directors and officers should use this surge in social awareness as a wake-up call and an opportunity to critically assess their anti-harassment policies and the potential liability if company policies are not meaningfully enforced at all levels.
One significant change signaled by recent cases has come in the ability of plaintiff-shareholders to identify…