Syntrio’s Award-winning FlexCode Code of Conduct Training

We are very pleased to announce that Syntrio’s "FlexCode Code of Conduct Training" has been selected as a Runner-Up in the E-Learning category of the 2019 International E-Learning Awards, Business Division, given by the International E-Learning Association

What are the International E-Learning Awards?

The International E-Learning Awards are given each year for the best work in e-learning, mobile learning, and blended learning. All submissions are evaluated based on educational soundness, effectiveness, usability, and overall significance.

What is the International E-Learning Association (IELA)?

IELA was founded in 2007 and is a diverse organization made up of members from every continent who are e-learning professionals, researchers, and students coming together from the realms of business, industry, government, and academia.

What does this Award stand for?

The International E-Learning Awards recognize the best uses of technology to improve learning and job performance within companies or through individual professional development.

What is Syntrio’s FlexCode?

FlexCode is the next evolution in Code of Conduct training. Syntrio ethics and compliance training are designed to bring learners into realistic  situations, where they must immediately apply what they learn about a specific topic. Further, Syntrio’s customizable ethics and compliance solution favors practical and relevant information, unburdened by “legalese,” so employees absorb the benefits of ethical behavior, as well as explore how to respond when questionable situations arise.

Businesses can choose any combination of Core, Summary, and Ethical Snapshot modules to design course that suits their unique Code of Conduct training needs. To learn more visit http://www.syntrio.com/resources/flexcode-brochure/ 

If you want to learn more about the International E-Learning Association visit their website at https://www.ielassoc.org/index.html 

 

Pour Over Effect: Wine Bar Hit with Large Harassment Judgment

5th and Wine, a Scottsdale, Arizona wine bar recently faced claims of sexual orientation harassment and retaliation. According to the complaint, the bar did nothing to stop alleged harassment against two servers, which include name calling, inappropriate touching and sexually based comments. Specifically, the two servers alleged that they were harassed based on a perception of their sexual orientation, then were retaliated against for complaining about the harassment.

On March 21, 2018, the United States District Court for the District of Arizona ordered 5th and Wine to pay the servers $100,000 in compensatory and punitive damages following prosecution of the case by the United States Equal Employment Opportunity Commission. The EEOC filed its lawsuit several months ago, and 5th and Wine failed to appear in court, resulting in a default judgment against the wine bar.

The court found that not only did supervisors at 5th and Wine do nothing to prevent the harassment, in many cases they actually participated in the misconduct. As soon as one of the servers alerted the employer that he was planning on filing a complaint with the EEOC, he was immediately fired.

This case presents a growing problem in employment law: small companies with a duty to prevent harassment from occurring actually participating in the misconduct. Many times, particularly in smaller businesses, supervisors, managers, executives and owners are in charge of taking complaints, yet also are the ones engaging in the misconduct. The slippery slope that is created when an employee is fired after making a complaint only exacerbates the problem.

So what to do?

The first step in preventing incidents of misconduct is to become aware that you may have a problem. If you are allowing an environment of jokes and innuendo to continue in your business (whether employees seem to tolerate it or not) you likely have a culture of harassment. Your company needs to take dedicated steps to prevent misconduct and change the culture, followed by a plan of maintenance to ensure a respectful workplace that is encouraging of diversity in thought and ideas. As you can see here, doubling down on intolerance with adverse employment action can lead to a significant penalty. It is likely that 5th and Wine does not have $100,000 to simply “make this go away,” and no business should feel comfortable paying that sum for an inappropriate set of circumstances.

Contact Syntrio to learn more about how we can help your organization best position itself to prevent incidents of harassment in the workplace! 

Syntrio is a leader in the human resources and employment law fields (as well as ethics and compliance), and is prepared to help your company implement a compliance program aimed at reducing the potential impact of harassment, discrimination and other employment law issues your organization may face. Syntrio takes an innovative philosophy towards employment law training program design and strives to engineer engaging, entertaining, and thought-provoking content.

 


Contact www.syntrio.com for more information about our discrimination, harassment, and prevention of retaliation online courses and remember to follow us on Facebook, TwitterGoogle Plus and LinkedIn for daily updates on corporate compliance that impact your company.


Written by, Jon Gonzalez, Esq., Chief Counsel for Syntrio

 

Second Circuit Holds Title VII Prohibits Sexual Orientation Discrimination

On March 1, 2018, the United States Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit held in Zarda v. Altitude Express, Inc. that sexual orientation discrimination violates Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964. This is the second such decision in the last year, with the Seventh Circuit reaching the same conclusion in 2017. The two decisions holding that sexual orientation discrimination is indeed discrimination based on sex are in conflict with an Eleventh Circuit decision reaching the opposite conclusion, and make clear that this issue is ripe for review by the United States Supreme Court.

Although a near-majority of states outlaw sexual orientation discrimination via their state fair-employment laws, under the federal law there is no clear consensus. In recent years there has been a growing trend to bring sex-related issues within the purview of Title VII’s prohibition on discrimination based on sex, and the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission has prosecuted cases wherein plaintiffs were victims of discrimination based on their sexual orientation. That said, last week’s decision is a landmark for proponents of equality, and should have far-reaching implications in the coming months.

Clarity on the Issue

The Supreme Court declined to review this issue for the current term when there were just two circuits split in authority, but now that more Court of Appeals decisions are coming down there is a clear need for clarity on the issue. Although the Supreme Court is extremely unpredictable in its decision making, there has been a clear trend toward including sexual orientation within the protection afforded by Title VII in the district courts (as well as the aforementioned state laws).

If you are an employer who has yet to institute a policy prohibiting discrimination and harassment on the basis of sexual orientation, now would be a good time to do so, regardless of your jurisdiction’s current position on the issue. In addition to the legality of the issue, it is simply good practice to be more inclusive than the law on issues of discrimination and harassment. For that reason, now may be a good time to train your employees on issues of sex-based discrimination that they may not traditionally associate with their view of “sex discrimination” and what exactly that term means.

Syntrio is a leader in the human resources and employment law fields (as well as ethics and compliance), and is prepared to help your company implement a compliance program aimed at reducing the potential impact of harassment, discrimination and other employment law issues your organization may face. Syntrio takes an innovative philosophy towards employment law training program design and strives to engineer engaging, entertaining, and thought-provoking content.

 


Contact www.syntrio.com for more information about our discrimination, harassment, and prevention of retaliation online courses and remember to follow us on Facebook, TwitterGoogle Plus and LinkedIn for daily updates on corporate compliance that impact your company.


Written by, Jon Gonzalez, Esq., Chief Counsel for Syntrio

 

#MeToo Allegation Spurs South Korean Actor’s Suicide

Jon Min-ki, a South Korean actor best known for his roles on a variety of television shows was found dead at this morning. According to multiple news outlets, the cause of death appears to be suicide. Min-ki, who was perhaps best known known for his role in 2013’s The Attorney, had recently been accused of molesting multiple students at Cheongju University, where he had been teaching.

Following the harassment allegations Min-ki lost his role as a professor and was edited out of several television shows he had filmed. Min-ki’s death is the latest incident highlighting a rash of harassment allegations sweeping Asia in recent months and shows that the harassment problem goes far beyond what we are experiencing in the United States.

Sexual harassment has become such a pervasive issue that there [rightly] is a massive stigma attached to an allegation. Given the seriousness of events such as Min-ki’s suicide it is extremely important that we take all steps possible to create a culture that is inclusive of thought and reduces the potential for these types of incidents. There are no excuses for sexual harassment, but perhaps with greater awareness we could prevent both incidents like these and the resulting depression and suicide that is associated with high-profile harassment allegations.

It is easy to forget the consequences for perpetrators of sexual harassment, as we [correctly] focus first on the victims. But incidents such as Min-ki’s death highlight the pervasiveness of the problem, and the impact it has on those who commit horrible acts of harassment. As awareness of harassment grows we need to focus on truly changing culture so that we not only eliminate victimization of co-workers, but also reduce the potential for life-ending consequences of someone’s actions.

By teaching our employees the importance of acting respectfully in the workplace we can hopefully get a handle on the severe sexual harassment problem, both domestically and abroad. No employee deserves to work in an environment where harassment is tolerated, and the onus should be on companies to promote environments of tolerance so that those who have a propensity to commit such acts are identified and dealt with appropriately before their actions rise to the level of harassment. Had this been the case at the Cheongju University perhaps Min-ki would not have taken his own life.

Syntrio is a leader in the human resources and employment law fields (as well as ethics and compliance) and is prepared to help your company implement a compliance program aimed at reducing the potential impact of conflicts of interest within the organization. Syntrio takes an innovative philosophy towards employment law training program design and strives to engineer engaging, entertaining, and thought-provoking content.


Contact www.syntrio.com for more information about our discrimination, harassment, and prevention of retaliation online courses and remember to follow us on Facebook, TwitterGoogle Plus and LinkedIn for daily updates on corporate compliance that impact your company.


Written by, Jon Gonzalez, Esq., Chief Counsel for Syntrio

 

Workplace Compliance About More than Just Following the Rules

Companies pay their lawyers a lot of money to draft policies prohibiting harassment, discrimination, and other illegal workplace activities and create codes governing workplace conduct. These practices are obviously essential to legal and ethical compliance, but those companies and organizations that are truly at the forefront of maintaining a positive corporate culture and avoiding litigation and negative press are doing more. Indeed, those companies are launching full-scale compliance training programs and are providing an opportunity for their employees to report incidents of suspected unethical or illegal acts anonymously.

Policies and Rules Insufficient to Maintaining a Positive Corporate Culture

While a policy or code of conduct can provide managers and other employees a path to avoid wrongdoing, those documents are often filled with blanket statements like “[t]his company has a strong policy against illegal discrimination of any kind” or “[e]mployees are encouraged to report all incidents of misconduct immediately.” This is a good start, but many managers and employees do not come into their jobs with knowledge on the nuances of discrimination and harassment laws. Further, a policy encouraging reporting of incidents may have been in place long before a manager or employee witnessing an unethical or illegal act may have started his or her job.

Creating an ethical and legally compliant workforce is often a majority response when executives are surveyed on what changes or maintenance they would like to see within their workforce. However, simply creating the rules is not enough. In order to create a true culture of integrity and management within the law it is important to train supervisors and employees on the nuances of ethical dilemmas and tricky legal situations that undoubtedly will come up within their career. It is also insufficient to conduct these training sessions just once.

Syntrio’s Services Foster a Culture of Compliance

Syntrio has developed a vast Learning Management System filled with online ethics and compliance training courses on virtually all topics relevant to management and workplace legal compliance. Clients are able to license as much or as little of Syntrio’s content as they wish, and Syntrio is even able to customize courses to suit the needs of a particular company, campus, or government agency. Additionally, Syntrio has remained at the forefront of the industry by partnering with Lighthouse Services to soon release an Anonymous Hotline Service, which will provide employees the opportunity to report incidents of misconduct anonymously, without any fear of repercussion from the company.

All of the above contributes to a “speak-up” culture within the corporate environment that provides employees with a workplace where they are educated and informed enough to make the “right” [ethical and legal] decisions but know they can report incidents they witness without worrying about retaliation from the company. Indeed, the sum is more than its parts. It is proven that educating employees and providing a forum to report incidents will lessen the likelihood of litigation. It is also likely that such an environment will lead to happier employees overall.

Syntrio is committed to helping businesses avoid the costly mistakes associated with ethics and employment law violations. 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 ethics and compliance 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! Finally, stay tuned for more information about the release of our Anonymous Hotline Service!

Contact Syntrio for more information about our prevention of disability discrimination in the workplace courses for management and remember to follow us on Twitter, Google Plus and LinkedIn for daily updates on compliance issues that may impact your business!