The Al Capone Theory is Your Financial Reason to Care about Harassers

by Isaac Benmergui, Esq on December 27, 2017

 The Al Capone Theory is Your Financial Reason to Care about HarassersSexual harassment. If no one reports it, it’s a victimless crime, right?

That’s been the theory of HR managers everywhere, clearly, for decades at least. That’s why HR is notorious for dissuading employees from reporting, complaining and otherwise acting out against this behavior. They explain it as “boys being boys,” blame the victim, assert that you aren’t pretty enough to be harassed, or that you aren’t special because “he does that to everyone.” Just do your job and don’t make a fuss. Go along to get along, right?

But there’s something more, and it’s why maybe the accounting department should care more about this than HR, perhaps. It’s the Al Capone theory.

Valerie Aurora, principal consultant at Frame Shift Consulting, a firm that helps companies promote diversity and inclusion, and Leigh Honeywell, the co-founder of female-driven makerspaces HackLabTO and the Seattle Attic Community Workshop, came up with the idea after a deep-dive into Sillicon Valley’s sexual harassment problem:

“The U.S. government recognized a pattern in the Al Capone case: smuggling goods was a crime often paired with failing to pay taxes on the proceeds of the smuggling. We noticed a similar pattern in reports of sexual harassment and assault: often people who engage in sexually predatory behavior also faked expense reports, plagiarized writing, or stole credit for other people’s work.…All of these behaviors are the actions of someone who feels entitled to other people’s property — regardless of whether it’s someone else’s ideas, work, money, or body.”

So it’s not just an annoyance, or an HR hassle. Someone who feels entitled in your workplace wants to take what’s not theirs, simply because they want it. Whether that’s a coworker, a bonus, or extra office supplies, this theory makes the case that if HR isn’t interested in your being harassed, maybe accounting should be.

Call Miami Employment Lawyer Isaac Benmergui at 305.397.8547 and set up a no charge, no obligation consultation to discuss your case. We have over a decade of experience handling Employment Law and Civil Litigation cases throughout Miami and South Florida, and will use our expertise to help your case to the best of our abilities.

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