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Silicon Valley CEO Combats Sexual Harassment

October 4th, 2017

Philadelphia Sexual Harassment Lawyers: Silicon Valley CEO Combats Sexual HarassmentSilicon Valley has been battling sexual harassment claims for some time now. Employees from Tesla, Uber, and Binary Capital have all spoken out. Silicon Valley CEOs have responded to the negative press by trying to change company culture. They have tossed around ideas such as implementing an industry code of conduct or an industry-wide HR department.

Although these ideas could be helpful once they gain traction, they are hardly proactive. Kristina Bergman is one of the founders of Integris Software. This startup was created over a year ago and it provides privacy intelligence software to buyers.

The Voting Agreement

Bergman’s plan is to allow board members to oust the board director if sexual harassment becomes an issue at the company. Bergman wants to implement a voting system which gives equal power to board members. Usually, board members are only removed if there is evidence that they are connected to large-scale crimes, such as fraud.

Bergman drafted an agreement that addresses several problems. It allows board members to replace a problematic director instead of vacating board seats and losing members. Board members will also authorize an investigation conducted by an independent counsel.

Once the counsel has proved reasonable probability of sexual harassment, the director will be terminated or asked to resign. This agreement is the first of its kind to call venture capitalists and entrepreneurs to task when it comes to influencing company culture.

Changing Company Culture

Sexual harassment is a pervasive problem. Bergman believes a system that punishes perpetrators from the top down is more effective than focusing on isolated incidents. She believes that company culture influences employee behavior. Employees must adhere to a code of ethics, but the same cannot be said for company directors and board members.

This could be a groundbreaking move for other Silicon Valley startups. The idea is still new and Bergman’s company is the only one to enforce this provision. However, her vigilance against workplace sexual harassment can inspire other companies to be proactive as well.

It is important to remember that no executive, board member, or director is above the law. Sexual harassment is illegal and company executives can be charged and removed for inappropriate behavior. Executives may use their position to intimidate others and co-workers with knowledge of their inappropriate behavior may stay silent for fear of retaliation. This creates a company culture of fear in addition to inappropriate behavior.

Philadelphia Sexual Harassment Lawyers at The Gold Law Firm P.C. Advocate for Those Affected by Sexual Harassment

If you notice inappropriate behavior, you do not have to suffer. There are resources to help you address workplace sexual harassment. Our sexual harassment lawyers in Philadelphia will assist you with identifying behaviors and pursuing a claim against the company. The Gold Law Firm P.C. is a law firm dedicated to helping victims of sexual harassment within the workplace. Call us at 215-569-1999 or fill out our online contact form to schedule your free consultation.

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