#MeToo whistleblowing is upending A century-old legal precedent in US demanding loyalty to the boss : The Conversation


When was the last time you agreed to keep a secret?

Perhaps it was a personal confidence shared by a close family member or friend. Or it might have been in a contract with your employer to safeguard confidential information. Either way, you probably felt a strong sense of obligation to keep that secret.

At least when it comes to the workplace, that’s no accident. In the United States, the idea that workers owe their employers a duty of loyalty goes back more than 100 years. It is deeply ingrained in legal rules and American culture.

But it has been fraying, most recently in the form of former Trump lawyer Michael Cohen’s damning congressional testimony against the president.

This trend was also on full display when the #MeToo movement went viral in 2017. #MeToo was, of course, about sexual harassment and assault. But it was also a form of mass whistleblowing. The movement signaled victims’ willingness – at an unprecedented scale – to defy promises of secrecy to their employers in service of a larger truth by revealing their experiences of workplace harassment.

While researching a book on the duty of loyalty, I realized that the #MeToo movement isn’t merely a rift in the ordinary order of workplace relationships in the United States. It is part a larger legal and cultural shift that has been in the works for decades.

Employee fealty

The duty of loyalty is the idea that you “cannot bite the hand that feeds you and insist on staying for future banquets,” as an American labor arbitrator wrote in 1972.

It’s a bedrock principle that courts apply to employment disputes, even if you didn’t sign a contract promising to keep an employer’s secrets.

The duty of loyalty is why employers can demand that you sign a confidentiality agreement at the start of employment. It’s why workers can’t download their employer’s trade secrets on a thumb drive and use it in their new job. And why companies are able to persuade judges to enforce noncompete agreements.

 

Source: #MeToo whistleblowing is upending A century-old legal precedent in US demanding loyalty to the boss : The Conversation

Michael Cohen’s testimony on Trump business reveals conduct that’s widespread in corporate America : The Conversation 


The Trump Organization, Donald Trump’s private, family-run business, is well known to have operated at the fringes of what’s legal. Trump got his start in the rough-and-tumble atmosphere of New York City real estate development, after all.

And so, as someone who pays close attention to how businesses operate, I was glued to the Feb. 27 testimony of former Trump “fixer” and personal lawyer Michael Cohen, who also served as an executive vice president of the Trump Organization.

While I learned little that was new, the testimony was still troubling – but not for what it said about the Trump Organization.

Rather, what I found most noteworthy is how the conduct attributed to Trump the businessman, however extreme, actually reflects actions and attitudes that are widespread within corporate America generally.

Putting leaders on a pedestal

It is well known that Trump runs his enterprises – both business and governmental – on loyalty, rather than, say, competence or performance.

What Cohen highlighted was just how debilitating, even destructive, the lionization of individual leaders and expectation of loyalty can be, whether we’re talking about Trump, Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg or Apple’s Steve Jobs.

Cohen said he was “mesmerized” by Trump, calling him a “giant” and an “icon.” Being around Trump was “intoxicating,” he said, and “everyone’s job at the Trump organization was to protect Mr. Trump.”

Cohen’s testimony revealed just how blinding that commitment to a mesmerizing individual became, leading him to replace judgment with worship. Cohen admitted both to lying to Congress and to falsifying campaign finance reports in the name of standing by his boss.

Cohen’s description may seem startling. But to someone who has extensively studied leadership in business organizations, I recognize an unfortunate pattern that dominates corporate America.

Corporations all too often fall into the trap of romanticizing leaders, often to the detriment of performance. By placing their own role front and center, CEOs enhance their self-esteem and justify their power and prodigious financial rewards.

 

 

Source: Michael Cohen’s testimony on Trump business reveals conduct that’s widespread in corporate America : The Conversation

The Young Turks on How Donald Trump Negotiates: A Warning to America


Beastrabban\'s Weblog

The Young Turks’ Cenk Uygur and Ana Kasparian, with Jimmy Dore and John Iadarola here discuss an incident from Trump’s past where he screwed over the people, who had hired him to speak at an event. They do so not just because it shows he’s a d*ck, but because it indicates his egocentric and entirely self-centred attitude to business and government. There is no ‘we’ with Trump. It’s all about him, and when he gets into power, he’ll do the same and exploit the very people, who voted for him.

Apparently Trump was hired to speak at an event for a fee of $250,000. Then at the very last moment, he said he wasn’t coming unless he was paid a million bucks. The organisers were stuck in a terrible quandary. They had told everyone Trump was coming, and now he was threatening to pull out unless he was paid four…

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Councils have money in reserves


Local council spending

Although Local Councils believe they are run like business, in that each department has a budget, this is as far as it goes.  For as long as I can remember, councils have been unable to plan for the long term.  Just look at what some do, patch roads instead of resurfacing. This is a short term measure, as a patch will not last as long as a complete resurface, but is of course cheaper on costs in the short term. In Social Housing many councils will only do emergency repairs as and when required, when a full repair of required areas would be more cost effective over the longer term, but each individual emergency repair is cheaper. But how many emergency repairs are required over the long term and then totally are most expensive than the full repair.

Also in Sheffield there are a number of council run attractions, such as health centres, libraries, etc. Most people attending these attractions spend a good part of the day there, but do the council have any outlets for refreshments, in that they have to some extent a captive cliental. Just look at privately run outlets from DIY centres, garden nurseries and garden centres to large departmental stores and shopping centres, all have at least one refreshment outlet.

But to add to council expenses previous governments have increased staffing costs.

Local councillors were not paid expenses until 1970, by Edward Heath. But they did not gain access to Local Government Pensions until 2003, a luxury made possible by Tony Blair.  This is a perk which the current government are looking to stop.

Re paying expenses, surely this was good, as it enabled all eligible UK citizens to stand, not only the rich. To then offer pensions as well was totally overboard, but that is in keeping with Labour policies.

As to keeping reserves, where possible this should be encouraged, as it provides a safety net for lean times.  Are these lean times and should therefore some of the reserves be brought into the current spending calculation. If so, then only the part of the reserves not already earmarked for other projects could be used.

But remember when reserves have been exhausted, there are no more, should times become even leaner.

New Exams for UK students


New UK exams

I welcome the new exam systems and I feel it should have been implemented immediately.  Why do schools need time to get ready for the new exams.  I assume there will be no changes to the ciriculam.  The fault lies with the schools, as for years they have been teaching only the parts of the ciriculam they feel will appear in the exams.  Exams are only one part of schooling, all be it a major part, also included is making the pupils ready to continue their life outside school, which will be for the main part of their life.

For examinations to be worth while they need to have the support of the business community.  This will only occur if the business leaders feel the pupils achieving success in these exams are educated to a level which is needed to succeed in business.

Nick Clegg and the whole Lib Dems need to acquire some back bones. Like it or not they are part of the current government and should therefoe be doing all they can to help govern the country and not still be playing party politics.  They are all for PR elections, which would enevertibly create coalation governments.  They have already got what they wanted.