College Graduations mark the end of “The Year of Sexual Assault”

As spring came to an end a few days ago and the calendar transitioned to summer, and that transition ends another season of college graduations filled with speeches of hope for the future. Unfortunately, this past academic year was marred by challenges for students, as a rash of sexual assaults on campus plagued women across the country. Therefore, many of the speeches were reflective on the negatives of the past 11 months, rather than inspiration for the future. But with the problems on college campuses comes a new hope that new laws like the Campus SaVE Act will reduce the number of sexual assaults and violent campus crimes going forward to 2015-2016 and beyond.

Training Programs Essential to Avoidance

Studies have shown that educational training programs have a positive impact on reducing the number of sexually violent crimes on college campuses. Accordingly, last year the federal legislature amended the Jeanne Cleary Act to enact the Campus SaVE Act, which included several new training requirements to be imposed on institutions of higher learning.

Some of the training requirements include instructing students and faculty on what constitutes domestic violence, and how to stop it. Moreover, students and faculty are to be provided training on how to implement programs to promote positive bystander intervention, such as going out in groups and keeping a close eye on campus colleagues when social situations call for it. Finally, training courses teach students and employees how to “date smart” within the campus community and always be prepared for the possibility that a potential mate may have ulterior motives that could lead to violence.

Burgeoning Movement of Survivors Speaking Out

The past year has shown an increase in the number of sexual assault survivors on campus becoming activists for the cause to prevent other women from falling victim to such crimes. However, since student life on campus is only 4 years these strong women must eventually graduate from campus and become alumnae. Therefore, it is extremely important to teach student leadership and the fact that it is perfectly okay to discuss experiences (good and bad) while training students that it is okay to keep reported incidents confidential if the student or employee feels that is the course of action they would like to take. Again, awareness is education.

Syntrio is committed to reducing the number of sexually violent crimes on college campuses by institutions of higher learning while maintaining compliance with state and federal laws and commitment to the utmost ethical standards. Contact for more information about our prevention of campus violence courses and remember to follow us on TwitterGoogle Plus and LinkedIn for daily updates on employment law and compliance issues that may impact your facility!


Business Ethics Training Lacking: Cardinals Embroiled in Hacking Scandal

According to a New York Times report, the Saint Louis Cardinals (one of the most successful professional sports teams of the past fifty years) are under FBI investigation for allegedly hacking into the proprietary data of the Houston Astros, another MLB team, in an attempt to steal secret data about the Astros’ trade negotiations and player evaluations. This scandal comes on the heels of the FIFA international corruption scandal and displays the utter lack of regard for business ethics in high-level sports today.

Breaking into Network Brings to Light Data Privacy Issues

According to the Times report, the FBI investigation revealed that Cardinals officials broke into the Astros network and stole information from special databases that had been built by the team. While the information stolen may not seem to be a major security breach to the casual sports fan, in reality the scouting reports and negotiation data provided a major upper hand when left unprotected. Further, the attack calls into question the security of the personal information and data that was stored in the Astros’ network. In any event, if the allegations prove true there was a massive ethics violation that occurred on several levels.

Employees of the Cardinals the Focus of the Investigation

Not surprisingly, lower-level employees of the Cardinals organization are the subject of the investigation, and the Department of Justice is not saying whether the investigation revealed that Cardinals executives knew or instructed the attack. In either case, it is clear that the training system in place at the organizational level was lacking, as Cardinals employees were apparently allowed to hack unfettered into the private data of another team.

Perhaps most disturbing, the FBI believes that the attack was intended to disrupt the operations of a former Cardinals executive who now works for the Astros, which evidences a malicious intent on behalf of the Cardinals as a whole. Finally, the report indicates that the employees may have used a list of passwords from the former executive’s time with the Cardinals to hack into the Astros data.

Many of the Issues Involved in the Attack can be addressed by Training

Although the aforementioned story may sound like fantasy to your business, rogue employees attempting revenge on a former executive by stealing proprietary information is all too common in the private and public sectors. For this reason it is extremely important to train your managers and employees on the consequences of ethical and data breaches and how best to avoid them. Although the MLB situation is public and high-level, similar breaches on a smaller scale can lead to significant civil and criminal penalties in any industry.

Syntrio is committed to helping businesses maintain the highest standards of ethical and data privacy compliance by helping companies demonstrate their commitment to compliance with state and federal laws and business ethics standards.  Contact for more information about our business ethics courses and remember to follow us on TwitterGoogle Plus and LinkedIn for daily updates on employment law and compliance issues that may impact your organization!


Supreme Court Decision Evidences Why it is Time to Conduct Interviewing & Hiring Training for Managers

On June 1, 2015 the United States Supreme Court issued its opinion in EEOC v. Abercrombie & Fitch Stores, Inc., an interview discrimination case brought by a woman who interviewed with the company while dressed in a Sikh turban head scarf. The Supreme Court held that individuals can raise claims of discrimination without proving that a company intentionally avoided hiring people who wear clothing for “faith-based” reasons.

Although the subject of the plaintiff’s religion did not come up during the interview, Abercrombie rejected the plaintiff for employment on the basis of its dress code, which prohibited headwear in its stores. Abercrombie argued that it was only liable to accommodate religious practices if it had actual knowledge of the prospective employee’s religious beliefs. The Court rejected that argument, and held what really matters is the employer’s motivation in rejecting an otherwise qualified applicant.

Interview and Hiring Training Highlights Key Distinctions in the Law

As you are undoubtedly aware, the pre-employment process is filled with legal pitfalls. Further, when a new opinion such as Abercrombie is issued the law becomes that much more complicated. With that in mind, individuals involved in the recruitment, interviewing and hiring process need to be familiar with the law so that they can avoid hiring practices that could be considered discriminatory or invasions of privacy.

Syntrio’s interview and hiring course discusses legal issues related to writing job descriptions, recruitment methods, interviewing, testing, and evaluating candidates as well as issues related to reference and background checks and offers of employment. It is critical for your managers to master the fundamental legal concepts surrounding these areas so that your company is well postured to get off on the right foot with employment law compliance. As the Abercrombie case shows, failing to follow the law prior to hiring an employee can be as disastrous as an employment lawsuit by a current employee.

Pre-Employment Screenings and Interview Questions are Hot-Button Issues

It is no secret that there have been numerous lawsuits filed over pre-employment tests that have an allegedly “disparate” impact on certain classes of people. Further, there is a significant amount of privacy litigation taking place concerning drug testing in the workplace (and the ever changing law concerning de-criminalization of recreational drugs). Finally, the questions managers ask (or fail to ask) during a job interview can place the company at risk of significant damages if a lawsuit is filed.

For all of the foregoing reasons it is critical that your company conduct routine pre-employment training for all managers involved in the recruitment and hiring process. Sytnrio’s interview and hiring training for managers course provides real life examples, and can be custom-tailored to suit the needs of your company or particular industry.

Syntrio is committed to helping businesses maintain the highest standards of compliance when creating policies and pre-employment formulas that demonstrate their commitment to compliance with state and federal employment laws.

Contact for more information about our business ethics courses and remember to follow us on TwitterGoogle Plus and LinkedIn for daily updates on employment law and compliance issues that may impact your organization!