The New York Times is more than a little schizophrenic when it comes to reporting on the sexual predator who is running for President of the United States.
In a Business Section column today, The NY Times writes, “Were he seeking any other job, Trump would be flagged by H.R.”
Donald Trump describes himself as a businessman. And he says he wants to run the government more like a business.
But would any business hire Mr. Trump?
It isn’t a trivial question. Given the Republican presidential nominee’s vulgar boasts about sexually assaulting women and trying to coerce a woman to commit adultery with him — among other things — it is hard to believe he could get past the human resources department of a Fortune 500 company.
Over the last decade, much of corporate America has put in place strict policies to deal with sexual harassment and other offensive behavior, trying to make amends for an abhorrent history of letting such conduct go unchecked (remember “Mad Men”?). Hiring procedures at large companies, particularly for senior positions, include extensive background checks, which typically include interviewing former colleagues and combing through articles, court records and, yes, social media.
Thousands of employees have been fired or pushed out for using far less repugnant language than Mr. Trump’s words about how he gropes women.
Yet it was only a few months ago when writing about the Fox Corporation and a chief executive and sexual predator, Roger Ailes, The Times wrote:
Two high-profile lawsuits against Roger Ailes, the former Fox News chairman, have painted a shocking picture of brazen sexual harassment at the network. In her bombshell complaint against him, the former Fox host Gretchen Carlson said that he told her, “I think you and I should have had a sexual relationship a long time ago.” Last week, another former Fox host, Andrea Tantaros, filed her own lawsuit, stating that Mr. Ailes told her to turn around so he could “get a good look” at her and that she was harassed by other employees and even show guests.
The details both women lay out portray Fox as a place where sexual harassers roam free, grabbing or ogling whatever they fancy, with consequences brought to bear only on the victims who speak up.
But it would be wrong to think of Fox as an anachronism or even an outlier. Sexual harassment permeates the economy — it makes up an enormous share of complaints to workplace watchdogs and crops up in both low-wage restaurant jobs and high-paid tech offices. Fox is, in many ways, a typical workplace.
But sexual harassment remains so common to this day that complaints about it make up a huge share of the E.E.O.C.’s work. Most of the cases don’t end in favor of the plaintiff, given that it’s often a victim’s word against the person she is accusing. Those who win a settlement often get around $30,000. So the rare women who come forward are usually left with nothing to show for it, and employers get the message that it’s cheaper to feign ignorance or sweep complaints away. On top of that, the E.E.O.C. has found that there is no solid evidence that employers’ harassment trainings do anything to help.
Red flags in H.R.?
Instead of looking in the locker room, check out the corporate suites.