A popular song from back in the ‘70s goes like this …
“I’m woman, hear me roar, in numbers too big to ignore”
Fast forward to 2018 and the women are roaring more than ever. In fact, they roared so loud it drove the Harvey right out of town.
The Weinstein Company decided to file for bankruptcy at the end of last month after things went downhill following the massive sexual harassment scandal against founder Harvey Weinstein, which also led to popularizing the #MeToo movement during October 2017. Founded by Tarana Burke in 2006, the “Me Too” or “#MeToo” movement helps survivors of sexual violence, particularly women.
Another company currently in the news for similar reasons is Wynn Resorts, whose former CEO Steve Wynn has been accused of sexual misconduct. Mr. Wynn stepped down from his position as Chairman and CEO of the company last month.
Troubles are far from over for Wynn as the tycoon faces multiple lawsuits over harassment in addition to several other lawsuits filed against him and the board of directors of his company for failing to prevent the misconduct.
The state of Oregon is the latest to file a derivative lawsuit against Wynn and his namesake company’s board. New York’s public pension fund filed a similar one last month. Several other shareholder groups have also filed separate cases.
The derivative lawsuits allege that the board of directors of Wynn Resorts failed to carry out their fiduciary duties and allowed the misconduct to go on for so long in a way that has proved detrimental to the company and its shareholders.
Over the last two months, Wynn Resorts’ market value has gone down by $2 billion. Shareholder groups have claimed their investments are suffering losses due to this quagmire.
Two of the company’s directors, Ray Irani and Alvin Shoemaker, are the latest to depart the organization. They have also been named in multiple lawsuits brought forth by shareholders and employees.
If found guilty, Steve Wynn and the board members will be held liable for monetary compensation to Wynn Resorts.
There have also been calls to remove Steve Wynn’s name from ongoing projects. It was earlier said that Wynn would not get a severance package or any of his benefits following his resignation.
However, on Wednesday, Wynn Resorts hiked its dividend by 50% and this increase could result in a $12 million benefit to Steve Wynn, who is a shareholder in the company.
In February, leading carmaker Ford made news after the unceremonious exit of its Head of North America operations, Raj Nair, over inappropriate behavior. This incident also put the spotlight on Ford’s work culture which was said to be rampant with sexual and racial harassment. Ford had to resort to swift damage control to save face.
Several other similar cases continue to come to the fore. Sexual harassment is an insidious issue that has gained more attention in recent times. The case of Wynn Resorts proves how harmful these kinds of incidents can be for an organization’s growth and development and how the concerned officials must take appropriate action at the right time.
Issues like these are important because once it all blows up, it takes the company down with it.