William Milani Quoted in “Falling ‘Superstar Harassers’ Wake Companies Up: EEOC’s Feldblum”

Bloomberg BNA Daily Labor Report

William J. Milani, Member of the Firm in the Employment, Labor & Workforce Management practice, in the firm’s New York office, was quoted in the Bloomberg BNA Daily Labor Report, in “Falling ‘Superstar Harassers’ Wake Companies Up: EEOC’s Feldblum,” by Paige Smith and Chris Opfer.

Following is an excerpt:

Sometimes it takes the toppling of a superstar—and the related fallout from shareholders and others—to get major companies to seriously commit to eliminating sexual harassment, a commissioner at the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission says. Just two recent casualties at tech giant Alphabet Inc. underscore the danger.

“No big employer is going to take positive steps unless there is reaction, from their own employees, shareholders, whoever it is,” the EEOC’s Chai Feldblum said in an interview Oct. 31. “That’s part of bringing attention.” ...

Ditch the Cost-Benefit Analysis

It’s tempting for employers to look the other way when a high producer is accused of harassment, Feldblum said.

“They make the cost-benefit analysis that it’s more costly to discipline or terminate the harasser than the benefit of actually getting rid of the person,” she said.

Inaction and cover-up are ethically wrong and harmful to employee productivity, Feldblum said. But how to proceed?

A plan helps, employment lawyer William Milani with Epstein Becker Green told Bloomberg Law.

“Many of the firms we work with are, with the blessing of senior management, putting in place protocols so that if an issue does arise at that level there’s a roadmap in terms of how we’re going to handle this,” Milani said.

A demonstrated serious commitment to change triggers a ripple effect in a company, he said, adding that companywide training is part of that commitment to action.