Henning does not for, consult, own shares in or receive funding from any company or organisation that would benefit from this article, and has disclosed no relevant affiliations beyond their academic appointment.
Republish our articles for free, online or in print, under Creative Commons licence. These settlements often require alleged victims to sign a nondisclosure agreement — essentially a pledge of secrecy — in exchange for a cash payment. They are designed to keep the reputations of allegedly abusive high-flyers intact, an arrangement that can allow repeated wrongdoing.
As a law professor who focuses on white-collar crimewhat I find striking about these contracts is how they can be treated as tax-deductible business expenses.
That means American taxpayers are helping foot the bill for keeping despicable behavior in the shadows. Sexual harassment becomes a crime only when there is a nonconsensual touching or sexual contact that can be prosecuted.
Victims of sexual harassment in the workplace usually can pursue personal injury claims by seeking damages from the executive or colleague responsible for it — or their employer — to compensate for emotional distress and any physical injury the abuse caused.
These cases are mostly litigated at the state level, if they ever reach a courtroom. The broader cost of these confidential agreements to society is that they leave perpetrators free to prey on new victims who are unaware that they may be walking into a trap when they meet privately with a powerful executive or someone who simply has greater seniority and influence.
That kind of solution, however, only goes a short way toward protecting Sexual harassment bribery in business public because it is limited to cases that go to court.
For example, a former Weinstein Company employee withdrew her complaint to management without ever resorting to a legal filing by accepting a settlement in Connie Leyva plans to introduce a bill that would go even further. Her legislation would ban all secret nondisclosure agreements in financial settlements that arise from sexual harassment, assault and discrimination cases. The payments associated with these settlements can be treated as a business expense.
Either an employer or the person accused of harassment can pay the money required by these settlements. Congress changed that in Section of the U. Just about everything else is deductible. But most victims of sexual harassment and abuse do not get a break. Who else gets Sexual harassment bribery in business deduct their settlement payments for misconduct? One good example is BP.
Another is JP Morgan. Congress is now weighing whether to close many loopholes as part of a broad tax package. In my opinion, that makes this the ideal time to stop allowing deductions for secret settlements of sexual abuse claims from corporate or personal income taxes. Ending this tax break would make this kind of confidentiality agreement more costly for perpetrators and the companies that let them off the hook.
That would give corporate accountants and human resources departments a powerful incentive to root out the problem. There are no surefire ways to end sexual harassment and assault in the workplace. But making it cost Sexual harassment bribery in business to hide this misconduct might help make it less commonplace.
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The secret settlements that leave the reputations of alleged sexual abuse perpetrators intact are also tax-deductible. HenningWayne State University. Before Fox News fired Bill O'Reilly, there was a great deal of outrage over his alleged sexual abuse.