Jef Feeley and Anders Melin, Bloomberg, December 13, 2017

Some Liberty Tax Inc. investors have lost patience with founder John Hewitt. A pension fund is asking a judge to order Hewitt to relinquish his controlling stake in the national tax-preparation service after an internal review found that while running the company, he had sex in his office and hired relatives of female employees with whom he’d had romantic relationships.

The Liberty case is just the latest in a string of firings of prominent men as sexual harassment accusations shake public figures in fields as diverse as the media, the U.S. Congress and restaurant chains. Even company founders such as Uber’s Travis Kalanick and the Weinstein Co.’s Harvey Weinstein have lost their jobs following harassment allegations.

Company boards are increasingly being drawn into the fray. “This is opening up a whole new area of liability for corporations,” said Davia Temin, president and CEO of Temin & Co., a New York-based crisis management company. “They have to seriously look at the risks this behavior poses to the company.” […read more]