CBS has agreed to a settlement that totaled up to $30.5 million, making big news in Texas and around the country. This was after it was an investigation revealed that the former president and other executives had attempted to hush up a series of sexual harassment allegations.
An attempt to cover up accusations
The findings of a recent state investigation showed that CBS executives knew these allegations were happening. But instead of reporting the claims, the heads of the company attempted to cover the whole thing up.
This wasn’t just one or two isolated incidents. The case involved a long series of accusations that sexual harassment victims had levied against the former president and CEO of CBS.
The investigation showed how multiple higher-ups in the company worked together to conceal the sexual harassment reports from the public, the company’s regulators, and shareholders.
Investigators also revealed that one senior executive had just sold his CBS stock, valued in the millions of dollars, mere weeks prior to the story going public. This was in violation of insider trading laws.
Who has to pay?
The settlement is divided up three ways. CBS has to pay $22 million to its shareholders and $6 million to programs that work against sexual assault and harassment. And because the CBS stockholders weren’t made aware of the situation, the former president himself has to pay $2.5 million to them.
A number of experts have pointed to this as a textbook case of trying to sweep sexual harassment under the rug. Ironically, CBS executives did it so they wouldn’t lose money. But in the end, it has cost them millions.
Some researchers have shown how this case against the behemoth of broadcasting is an example of how company culture works from the top down: If the people in the C-suite are allowed to live by their own rules, it tells the employees of the company that they can get away with anything. Many have hope that the ruling, in this case, will clearly show other corporate executives that there are still consequences for their actions.