Could Your Business Handle a Scandal Like This? Probably not.

by | Nov 10, 2011 | Blog

  • Amy Letke

    Amy Newbanks Letke, SPHR, GPHR, is the Founder of Integrity HR, Inc. Amy provides workplace solutions to improve performance, reduce liability and increase profits. She is passionate about helping other entrepreneurs and business owners achieve success. Contact us for more insights - 502-753-0970 or

Type the word “Scandal” into Google right now and you’ll have a couple hot topics to choose from.

Whether you’re into sports, politics, or teeny-pop stars, there’s a scandalous story for you.

Yes, I’m talking about Joe Paterno, Herman Cain and wait for it, Justin Bieber. Never thought you’d hear those three names together, did you?

What these three have in common is they are all currently in the midst of scandals that could disgrace their names and careers. 

First up, Penn State football coach Joe Paterno and university president Graham Spanier were fired amid the growing uproar over how the school handled sex abuse and child molestation charges against former assistant football coach Jerry Sandusky. Paterno, the winningest coach in the history of Division I football, announced he was going to retire at the end of the season, but the board of directors decided he needed to leave right now. Board vice chair John Surma said, “The University is much larger than its athletic teams.” (Tell that to the 2,000 students who took to the streets in State College to protest the decision).

Then there’s Herman Cain, just another politician with an “allegedly” not so clean past. At least four women are now claiming that Cain, while leading the National Restaurant Association, inappropriately propositioned or touched them. Cain has been flip-flopping his stories, but still denying all of the claims of course. Maybe his chief of staff should spend more of his timing writing Cain’s speeches instead of making one of the worst “guy with a mustache smoking a cigarette campaign commercials” ever. Oops.

And lastly, there’s Bieber. What could that little baby-face singer have done to land himself in the middle of a messy lawsuit? Well, according to a 20-year-old young woman, Bieber fathered her four-month-old baby. I’m going to go ahead and dub this “The girl who cried Bieber.” It’s no longer original (or even believable) to claim a celebrity as the parent of your illegitimate child. But Bieber, in an attempt to clear his name, will give his DNA sample to the courts when he gets back from Europe. Hang in there little buddy.

Let’s be honest, even if all three end up being deemed “not guilty” in their respective scandals, there is a pretty big chance that they will never be able to clear their names.

Isn’t that the way it always goes? (ie: OJ Simpson, Casey Anthony, Michael Jackson, Kobe Bryant, Ben Roethlisberger…Need I go on?)

The last thing your business needs is to be engulfed in a scandal. Because unlike Bieber, Cain and Paterno, you probably don’t have the PR team or extra millions lying around to keep your company afloat after such a big hit.

Just a whisper of a sexual harassment claims can spread throughout an entire office before lunch time. In order to do damage control, it is vital that your business takes the claims seriously and conducts an immediate investigation because a person’s reputation and career, as well as your company, could be at stake.

Employers have an obligation to investigate promptly and take appropriate action to minimize legal liability, not to mention restoring the trust and morale of its employees.

The individual conducting the investigation needs to be knowledgeable about the organization and its employees and be able to gather all the facts in an objective and professional manner.

The HR professionals at Integrity HR are trained to handle difficult workplace matters like sexual harassment complaints and discrimination claims investigations.

You don’t have to “go it alone” when these difficult situations arise, and certainly when the situation is complex, calling in the experts can be of great benefit.

Why should you consider Integrity HR as your independent third party to handle your investigation?

  • When conducting an investigation, a thorough and detailed process needs to take place – we can ask the difficult questions, and view the sometimes unsightly evidence so you don’t have to.
  • A third party is independent – we don’t live with you and probably don’t know the employees involved so the emotion is removed when using a third party. (Read our previous blog about the pain of knowing sensitive HR)
  • You’ll want objectivity in getting results.  When you use an Integrity HR consultant, you’ll get an objective, experienced professional who will conduct a swift and complete investigation, and receive full report of findings from the process.

So don’t let a sexual harassment claim derail your business, call the HR professionals at Integrity HR today. We’ll handle your investigation quickly and quietly so your business isn’t the first story to pop up when someone Googles “scandal.”

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