Raj Nair, 53, was President of Ford in North America. Described as a “career executive” in Bruno Ragali’s blog post from February 23, 2018, Nair began his career at Ford as an engineer in 1987. Early last year, after 30 years with Ford, Nair was appointed President on January 6, 2017. An investigation was later launched by Ford’s Compliance Department, as the result of an anonymous tip, which lead to Nair’s official resignation. In their statement, Nair had “certain inappropriate behavior not aligned with the Ford Code of Conduct.” These kinds of deliberate public confessions are usually considered by US Courts and the Department of Justice as a means to mitigate a company’s liability.
In the United States, it is very common for “ethical illegalities”, such as cases of harassment or bribes, to end in agreements with public authorities. Ford’s statement, therefore, can be seen as being very unclear on what actually happened, and cannot be considered a proper confession.
It is public knowledge that Ford has signed two-million-dollar agreements with the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission for unethical administrative conduct before.
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The first was in the 1990s for sexual harassment in the amount of $22 million and late last year for racial prejudice in the amount of $10,125,000. Under the latest agreement, the company published an open letter signed by President and CEO Tim Hacket where there remains no explicit admission of the investigated case by Ford’s Compiance Department.
In the case of Nair’s dismissal, it should demonstrate that no one employee is above rules of compliance. No matter their hierarchical position within an organization, everyone should respect established standards and participate in all developed training. It can be said that ignorance can never serve as a defense argument. Furthermore, companies should not limit the scope of their compliance standards to anti-corruption solely. They should also take good care in what Bruno Ragali calls “Social Compiance”, specific regulations, performances and training specific to the mitigation, monitoring and punishing of harassment or prejudice.
Bruno Fagali is an attorney based out of Såo Paulo, Brazil who specializes in Compliance, and in the consulting of Public Law, Advertising Law, Anticorruption Law, Election Law and Parliamentary law. In 2016 Bruno Fagali founded Fagali Law which also publishes regularly in the press and academia. Bruno Fagali is also a partner at nova/sb, a marketing and advertising firm also based in São Paulo.
Check more about Bruno Fagali: http://www.meioemensagem.com.br/home/comunicacao/2016/05/30/acho-saudavel-que-haja-revisao-de-contratos-diz-bob-vieira.html