Paying a Personal Price: The Risk of Individual Legal Liability for ‘Going Along’ with Wrongdoing | Sessions
HR professionals often get caught in the middle when their employer is contemplating something ill-advised or illegal. They may be asked to find bogus reasons for firing a whistleblower, for example, or to approve another slap on the wrist for an executive who is clearly a serial harasser. Faced with such pressure—and possibly with their own job on the line—HR professionals must, of course, consult their conscience. But they also should consider their personal legal risk. Depending on the scenario and the applicable law, HR professionals may be held individually liable in an employee's resulting lawsuit, or even convicted in a criminal proceeding. This session will identify the workplace laws that allow for such personal liability and will offer practical advice to avoid being named in a legal action. We will walk through three scenarios involving schemes that are recognizably illegal, offering suggestions that should spare HR professionals and their employers a trip to court.
- Learn the major workplace statutes that do—and do not—allow for individual liability by HR professionals.
- Learn how to identify common situations in which such risk is present.
- Recognize the behaviors and statements that may increase—or decrease—an HR professional's chance of being sued individually.
- Learn best practices for deflecting management requests to participate in, or turn a blind eye to, wrongdoing.