An ex-employee of Blue Cross Blue Shield of Alabama, Latonia Davis, pled guilty to charges of trafficking stolen identities. Ms. Davis used the protected health information of BCBS members to try to obtain credit cards. She apparently used the companies internal database to obtain the social security numbers of at least 7 people. She was sentenced to a 10 year split sentence, to serve 18 months, followed by 3 years of supervised probation.
Practice pointer. Sensitive information, such as social security numbers, need to be protected by all companies. This includes sensitive information of employees as well as customers/patients/members, etc. Policies and procedures, as well as regular training, should be provided to any employee who has access to this type of sensitive information.
Hewlett-Packard CEO resigns after Sexual Harassment Investigation
I often caution HR professionals that any employee, from the top to the bottom of the company, can be involved in sexual harassment. On Friday, HP announced the resignation it's CEO, Mark Hurd following a sexual harassment investigation. Mr. Hurd had on ongoing personal relationship with one of HP's contractors. According to the Wall Street Journal, the woman at the center of the controversy is Jodie Fisher, a 50 year old sometime actress. Ms. Fisher sent a letter to HP on June 29 alleging sexual harassment. She now states that she is "surprised and saddened that Mark Hurd lost his job over this. That was never my intention." Although the outcome of the sexual harassment investigation found that HP's sexual harassment policy was not violated, HP found that Mr. Hurd "demonstrated a profound lack of judgment" by filing several inaccurate expense reports meant to conceal the relationship. According to the WSJ, Mr. Hurd "did not fill out his own expense reports and offered to pay back the amounts involved, which totaled about $20,000." Interestingly, the WSJ is reporting that business experts are debating whether the HP board acted decisively or too rashly in terminating Mr. Hurd.
Practice pointer. Policies and procedures are for ALL employees, even the CEO. They must be enforced consistently and fairly for all, even if it means disciplining, up and including termination, the CEO, best sales person, or other valuable employee.