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Gary Miller: CEOs of small businesses must take active role in monitoring workplace behavior

March 24, 2019 / GARY MILLER

A little over a year ago, I represented Paul who was selling his business to a strategic buyer from the west coast. His company had 47 employees, was 27 years old, and very profitable. Paul’s company served the food processing industry. The transactionprocess was going smoothly. The buyer was paying a significant premium for his business and Paul was on top of the world. About two and half weeks before the closing of the transaction, Paul received notice that he, his company, and Roger, VP of sales, were being sued for sexual harassment. The complaint alleged that Roger, three years earlier, had begun sexually harassing one of his subordinates (Megan) at a sales meeting in Dallas. The complaint further alleged that, despite Megan’s rebuke of each of Roger’s advances, the harassment continued for the following two years, creating a hostile work environment for Megan. She finally left the company, without explanation, a year before it was put up for sale.