For several weeks now we’ve been spot-lighting good practices in corporate governance and compliance during the Covid-19 crisis. Today we’re flipping the script to call out some stupendously inept corporate behavior in these difficult times. Everyone, say hello to the Boston Sports Club. BSC is one of those upscale urban personal fitness chains; you probably…

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covid-19

We are all frightened by the menace that COVID-19 is emerging to be — in the United States and overseas; in the public sector and private enterprise; at home and at work. So today let’s first begin with an uplifting video from Hubei, China, about what life can look like on the far side of…

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Juniper Network has agreed to pay $11.7 million to settle FCPA charges with the Securities and Exchange Commission, the latest in a string of cases where a company’s overseas subsidiaries exploited weak oversight of accounting policy to create slush funds for bribes. Let’s take a look. According to the SEC settlement order, the bribery happened…

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lessons

We have more news on the tale of Bonnie Kimball, school cafeteria worker temporarily famous for getting fired because she allowed a student to run an $8 lunch tab for 24 hours. Now it seems perhaps Kimball was not entirely forthcoming about why she got fired — which, actually, gives compliance officers even more lessons…

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Policy

Policy management buffs, put on your thinking caps. A school lunch program in New Hampshire has given us a doozy of an example to consider about ethical conduct, strategic priorities, and third-party management. You may have seen the story already. A cafeteria worker at Mascoma Valley Regional High School in Canaan, N.H., was fired the…

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corporate culture

Lately I’ve been wondering about companies that take a strong stance on some public policy issue: gun violence, immigration, climate change, and so forth. My question isn’t so much why a company does this; modern times have seared social issues into the public conversation. Rather, my question is how. That is, once senior executives do…

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Jordan

Interesting detail about the proto-scandal swirling around Jim Jordan, the Republican congressman accused of turning a blind eye to sexual misconduct on the Ohio State wrestling team when he was assistant coach there: Jordan might have violated the school’s sexual harassment Code of Conduct. For those not following this story, Jordan has represented Ohio’s 4th…

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Starbucks

Compliance officers live for policy and procedure most days. So as we study the regrettable incident of Starbucks and the Philadelphia police rousting two black men for sitting in one of the company’s coffee shops, compliance professionals should consider this point: at large organizations, a little bit of procedure can brew up lots of trouble.…

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salary history

Fascinating study from the Journal of Labor Economics that just came to my attention, examining how companies change their hiring practices once they stop asking job candidates about previous salary history. The conclusion: companies talk to more candidates, ask those candidates more questions, and offer them higher wages. The study was done by Moshe Barach…

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rankings

We have a fresh example of kickbacks and conflicts of interest gone awry, thanks to a nifty case from the Securities and Exchange Commission this week that busted a rogue stock trader nicknamed “the Phantom.” The Phantom’s real name is Brian Hirsch, 42. The SEC charged Hirsch and one of his customers, Joseph Spera, accusing…

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