February 23, 2023  

Workplace Misconduct in the News - February 2023

Workplace Misconduct Misconduct in the News

Workplace misconduct is costly for organizations, and it’s really challenging to detect. Even worse, it’s extremely common. Last month, we published an article Workplace Misconduct in the News - Q1 2023

Unfortunately, since then, several additional stories have come out with even more incidents. Check out these 9 headlines of employee, executive, and investment misconduct from the past month.

Employee Misconduct 

#1. Payroll manager at Chicago art museum charged with stealing $2 million after fraud went unnoticed for 13 years. (Fortune)

#2. After Half Moon Bay shootings, how can employers help mitigate workplace violence risks? (USA Today)

“Officials say the Half Moon Bay shootings in Northern California Monday that left seven dead was likely an act of workplace violence by a ‘disgruntled worker.’ ‘The Mountain Mushroom Farm, the first location, is where the subject was employed,’ San Mateo County Sheriff Christina Corpus said Tuesday. ‘It appears this person snapped and took measures into his own hands, and unfortunately, innocent lives were lost.’ Of the 5,190 fatal work injuries recorded in the U.S. in 2021, 481 (9%) were intentional injuries by another person, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics. That’s a 23% spike from 2020 and up 6% from 2019." In order to prevent these violent and fatal crimes, the CEO of SHRM, Johnny Taylor, said, 'Mass killers typically don't have criminal records – researchers at Columbia University found just 20% of mass killers between 1900 and 2019 had histories of being subject to a restraining order, arrest, or incarceration – but Taylor said background and reference checks can also help mitigate workplace violence.' .... 'We want people to have second chances. But you also need to do some reasonable background checks,' he said. 'We’ve got to figure out who we’re bringing into our workplace.”

Executive Misconduct

#3. Former High-Profile Lawyer Is Charged With Embezzling More Than $18 Million. Tom Girardi, who was part of the legal team representing the environmental activist Erin Brockovich, was indicted in two states on charges that he stole from clients, prosecutors said. (The New York Times)

#4. New Lawsuit Against WWE Could Put Vince McMahon’s Board Seat in Jeopardy  (Sports Illustrated)

''[Dennis] Palkon is suing WWE Inc. for documents about the organization’s investigation into Former CEO and current Board Member, McMahon, which claimed the 77-year-old 'raped and sexually assaulted employees and contractors over the course of decades.' Additionally, The Wall Street Journal reported in July that McMahon then paid over $12 million in 'hush money' over the course of 16 years to quiet sexual misconduct and infidelity allegations." 

#5. Activision Blizzard to Pay $35 Million for Failing to Maintain Disclosure Controls Related to Complaints of Workplace Misconduct and Violating Whistleblower Protection Rule (U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission)

Investment Misconduct 

#6. How did JPMorgan fall for Frank? Several execs played a role in buying the $175 million startup that’s been accused of fraud (Fortune)

#7. Investor Class Action Lawsuit Proposed Against Live Nation for potentially violating antitrust laws  (TicketNews.com

#8. Jury: Musk didn't defraud investors with 2018 Tesla tweets: A jury has decided Elon Musk didn’t defraud investors with tweets in 2018 (ABC News)

"A high-profile trial focused on a 2018 tweet about the financing for a Tesla buyout that never happened drew a surprise spectator Friday — Elon Musk, the billionaire accused of misleading investors with his usage of the Twitter service he now owns."

#9. Mario Batali Is Investing in Restaurants Again: A half-decade after the celebrity chef was accused of fostering a sexualized culture of misconduct and harassment, he’s now an owner and investor at a bakery in Michigan (Eater)

When instances of misconduct like these occur, it takes a major toll on employees and workers, companies, and shareholders. Fraud alone costs organizations 5% of annual revenues. Harassment costs about $300 to $1,000 per employee per year. Overall, employee misconduct costs US companies approximately $20 billion a year.

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If you want information on how to avoid workplace misconduct, prevent costly legal action, and improve your quality of hire and investment, learn how Fama’s online screening can make hiring, placing, and investing in great people easy - schedule a demo today. 


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