Chicago Regional Business Ethics Network Presentation Highlights Need for Global Anti-Corruption Training

On April 14, 2016 the Chicago Regional Business Ethics Network hosted a presentation by former FCPA violator and FBI/UK cooperator turned Anti-Bribery consultant Richard Bistrong. Several members of Syntrio’s staff were in attendance at the presentation, wherein Bistrong candidly provided the details of his path to the “dark side” in crossing ethical boundaries in foreign dealings while employed as a sales executive with a major U.S. corporation between 1997 and 2007.

Bistrong discussed his journey into a life of white-collar crime, as well as general bribery and business attitudes on foreign soil. Bistrong also stated that when he was hired, he was provided with a copy of the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act (“FCPA”), told to read it, and never given any other education on bribery or the corruption of foreign officials in overseas dealings. The fascinating presentation continued to detail Bistrong’s cooperation with the FBI and UK law enforcement culminating in Bistrong’s sentencing to fourteen months in a Pennsylvania federal penitentiary.

Bistrong’s presentation highlights the need for detailed global anti-corruption training by corporations doing business overseas. For years, U.S. corporations were concerned primarily with the FCPA and its prohibitions on bribing foreign officials. In the modern era, anyone engaging in business dealings with foreign officials or international entities must also abide by global anti-corruption laws, including the U.K. Bribery Act, legislation arising from the International Organization for Economic Co-Operation & Development (“OECD”) and emerging legislation in Brazil, Russia, India and China (the “BRIC” nations). Failing to understand and observe these laws can result in illegal business practices and expose individuals and their organizations to civil or criminal penalties.

We must remind you, simply reading the news is not enough. As Bistrong’s story shows, even the most well-intentioned corporate officers can be led astray by their affirmation that “this is how business is done overseas” or corrupt dealings involving relatively small sums of money are a “win-win for everyone.” All too many businesses are sending their employees to far away lands armed only with the text of the law, a risky and dangerous strategy that is outdated in today’s marketplace. 

Armed with the knowledge that companies need to educate their employees on how to ethically and legally conduct business overseas, Syntrio recently developed a detailed online global anti-corruption course designed to help companies instruct their employees on operating within the boundaries of the new world order of international law. Rather than just provide a synopsis of the law, Syntrio’s bribery and corruption course takes the user through real-world scenarios designed to teach the finer points of anti-bribery and corruption laws that trip up even the most savvy of managers and executives.

Syntrio is committed to helping businesses avoid costly incidents associated with bribery and foreign corrupt practices. We are also able to custom-tailor our courses to fit the needs of your business. Contact www.syntrio.com for more information about our anti-corruption and bribery online courses for employees and management and remember to follow us on Twitter, Google Plus and LinkedIn for daily updates on compliance that impact your company!

 

 

 

April is Workplace Violence Prevention Month: Educate Your Workforce

Incidents of workplace violence are serious threats to the safety of employees in companies of all sizes. In 2014, (the most recent available data), the Bureau of Labor Statistics reported over 30,000 incidents of violence in the workplace in the United States. This is simply too high a number.  You may feel as though your business is safe, and that you would not hire the type of employees who could commit a horrific act. Sadly, the reality is that workplace violence can occur anywhere and at any time, and steps must be taken in companies of all sizes to minimize the chance that something terrible could happen.

Workplace violence manifests in a variety of forms. Every year, millions of United States employees are physically or verbally abused at their place of employment. These incidents of bullying and abusive conduct often lead to significant retaliatory violent acts that can have a devastating impact on business and people’s lives. In addition to the impact on human life and security, the estimated annual cost of workplace violence to American businesses exceeds $36 billion.

Workplace Violence is Preventable

The Alliance Against Workplace Violence (“AAWV”) is an organization dedicated to the prevention of hostile acts at work. In 2011, AAWV declared the month of April “Workplace Violence Prevention” month.  Syntrio is committed to furthering AAWV’s message and has developed a detailed online training course designed to help your managers and employees understand what workplace violence is, how to recognize and diffuse potentially violent situations, and most importantly, how to prevent incidents of workplace violence.

Workplace violence cannot be prevented unless an open-door culture of understanding and encouragement of reporting is fostered. This can only happen when a workforce is fully educated about the dangers of abusive conduct and violent acts in the workplace.  Our course is designed to not only educate employees and managers about these dangers but also how to report and discuss these issues with management and co-workers with an aim at preventing these incidents before they rise to the level of physical (or psychological) violence.

Important topics covered in Syntrio’s Preventing Workplace Violence course include (but are by no means limited to) the following:

  • Types of workplace violence
  • Risk factors for violence
  • Behaviors and physical “warning signs” of potentially violent individuals.
  • Violence prevention policies and procedures that help reduce incidents of workplace violence.
  • Steps to protect you and others.
  • How to respond appropriately to threatening or violent situations

Syntrio is committed to helping businesses avoid costly incidents associated with violent acts in the workplace.  We are also able to custom-tailor our courses to fit the needs of your business. Contact www.syntrio.com for more information about our Preventing Workplace Violence online courses for employees and management and remember to follow us on Twitter, Google Plus and LinkedIn for daily updates on compliance that impact your company!