July 04, 2018
Partner Rima Ramchandani has spoken with Financial Post on the “potential legal and reputational implications” for companies feeling the pressures and uncertainties amidst the #MeToo movement.
Rima commented on the poor track record companies have in enforcing and following through with their codes of conduct already in place, saying, “[a] policy that is not enforced can be meaningless.”
She recognized there is “increasing public pressure to respond swiftly.”
“If rumors surface and impact trading, public companies may be required by stock exchanges to promptly make a public statement in response. Being silent may not be an option,” Rima said
“Failing to take appropriate action can affect the bottom line, potentially resulting in a public relations backlash and employee disengagement.”
In terms of the course of action these companies should take, she told the Financial Post “[w]ell advised boards can strike the right balance: responding swiftly but in a manner that is respectful to all parties involved.”
The article also suggested there could be re-examination at the board level, potentially changing the “processes companies undertake when acquiring a new firm or service provider.”
Rima elaborated on this, explaining that companies that are looking to acquire another may focus more on due diligence “aimed at understanding the culture of the target business and its history of employee restraints.”
Rima, along with other members our team, has provided further advice for corporate leaders in the face of the #MeToo movement, as well as in-depth expertise in the areas of activism and defence, board advisory and governance, and capital markets. You can read their insight on the relevant practice pages.