Facing threats of impeachment for turning the Office of Attorney General into a “raunchy frat pad,” Marc Dann initially held onto his post. After firing two staffers for sexual harassment, and accepting the resignation of a third for failing to properly supervise them, Dann hoped to put the scandal behind him.
And that may have been possible, had word of the shenanigans with a subordinate remained confined to his staff. But it didn’t, of course, and he resigned in May.
Dann himself never identified the subordinate, but he didn’t have to. Within days the media reported that he shared a close relationship with his scheduler, Jessica Utovitch. Press reports revealed e-mails in which the pair frequently teased one another, used nicknames and raunchy language.
Tip: Remind managers and employees that becoming too casual at work can be hazardous to their careers. And e-mail, which lends itself to quick and casual interchange, is company property. That means it is never private.
- How to Fire an Employee the Legal Way: 6 Termination Guidelines
- Never ignore harassment, even if employee doesn't use your reporting system
- In tight times, be prepared to handle whistle-blower complaints
- Show good-faith ADA accommodation effort by documenting interaction with employee
- Court won't second-guess good-faith firing decisions