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Even Senior Executives Are Being Axed In Sexual Harassment Events

HR leaders see a growing trend toward making employees pay significant consequences for sexual harassment and other transgressions.

A poll, completed in July, indicated wider application of corporate standards in cases where sexual harassment has led to dismissal.

Nearly three of five HR directors polled said they had taken a more vigerous stance in recent years as the incidents of reported harassments has risen.  Two in five reported experience with a "C" executive involvement in such incidents.

The respondents also said they had seen more instances of financial misdeed associated with the incidents than ever before.

As reported in the press at the beginning of August, Mark Hurd, CEO of HP was the latest and most public recipient of censure.  One in five respondents said they had handled a situation requiring board action in the past 24 months.

While admitting that in some cases, the executive continued in his or her position, some respondents said they were able to demonstrate the company's vulnerability in many cases.

In many cases, the major reason, like Hurd's termination, for letting an executive go was misuse of company funds either through bestowing money, positions, contracts or hiding unauthorized expenditures in expense reports,

Stiffer penalties and higher jury awards are making companies more sensitive to worker complaints.

Ironically, 15% of 401 respondents said they had seen an upsurge in complaints by mailes of female harassment.

Gays and lesbians are also complaining to company officials at a higher rate,

The survey, by this newsletter's parent, Information Strategies, Inc. was conducted over three months and involved online surveys and two focus groups.


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