Hewlett Packard CEO Quits After Sexual Harassment Claim

Hewlett-Packard chief executive officer, Mark Hurd, resigned Friday following a sexual harassment claim against him and the company. Hurd is credited with reviving Hewlett-Packard since joining the company in 2005. Hewlett-Packard shares have more than doubled since he took the reins in April 2005. Hurd, who is married, failed to tell the board about a personal relationship with a female marketing contractor who was hired by his office. HP stated that he repeatedly filed inaccurate expense account reports in a bid to keep the relationship secret. An investigation by HP found Hurd didn’t violate its sexual harassment policy. However, he did violate its standards of conduct policy. An investigation began on June 30, a day after the company received a letter from a lawyer representing a marketing contractor employed by the company. The investigation found a “pattern” of expense account inaccuracies by Hurd. During the interim, Cathie Lesjak will take over as chief financial officer. CNN

In the workplace, there are two common types of sexual harassment: quid pro quo harassment and a hostile work environment. Quid pro quo harassment includes either a one-time occurrence or repeated behavior that requires one person to tolerate some form of sexual harassment in order to get a job, keep a job, get a raise or promotion, or to receive some other benefit. A hostile work environment interferes or alters the victims’ ability to perform their job. Employers that foster or allow these conditions to exist can be found liable for the conduct of their unlawful employees. Title VII of the Civil Rights Act and many state-level anti-discrimination and sexual harassment statutes that prohibit sexual harassment give victims the means of pursuing and obtaining justice.

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