Employer Liability for Conduct of Non-Employees

Part of running a successful professional practice involves fostering a work environment that is free from harassment. Federal law protects employees from harassment in the workplace, which becomes unlawful where the conduct is so pervasive as to create a work environment that a reasonable person would consider intimidating, hostile, or abusive. Many employers train employees about the consequences of harassment and have policies to handle employees who violate the rules. However, managing the conduct of employees is not necessarily sufficient to prevent liability.

In a …

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It’s All Relative – The Risks of Office Nepotism

Federal authorities recently commenced an investigation targeting a global financial services firm’s alleged practice of hiring the children of powerful Chinese officials, often through a program that used lower hiring standards for those with elite pedigrees, to help the firm win lucrative business in China. The investigation provides an excellent backdrop to discuss the risks associated with nepotism in the workplace.

Nepotism is not generally illegal unless it crosses the line into bribery. In recent years, the SEC and the Justice Department have increased their …

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